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Posted by on Sep 2, 2014 | 0 comments

The Barre in Canton: a Ballet-inspired Workout

The Barre in Canton: a Ballet-inspired Workout

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Half the battle of exercising is finding a form that doesn’t feel like drudgery. We’ll be the first to admit that we’re more likely to choose happy hour, errand-running, eight-episode Netflix binges, even ‘emergency’ organizing of the ol’ sock drawer, over a trip to gym. Because the gym often sounds awful. And it smells.

The brand-new Barre Studio in Jackson Township, however, may have just trumped happy hour. What?! It’s true; we recently tried a ‘classic’ Barre class and LOVED it. The super-sculpting workout, stylish studio, & non-judgmental staff stands in stark contrast to the florescent lighting and row-upon-row of treadmills you’ll find at most gyms.

Barre mixes ballet-inspired moves with Pilates and Yoga. If you’re thinking that sounds like a nice, relaxing ‘workout,’ think again; Barre completely kicked our butts…and arms…and legs.

WHAT TO WEAR

First things first. Girls know that choosing the right workout gear is of utmost importance. You need to look good when you hit up Starbucks after class. For Barre, you’ll  need leggings or yoga pants, a fitted tank or t-shirt, yoga ‘grippy’ socks, and a mat. There’s floorwork involved, so best not to wear that oversized college tee, unless you don’t mind Barre-mates looking up your shirt while you ‘plank.’ If you’ve got the funds, it’s a fantastic excuse to get outfitted at Lululemon in Akron {their bar o’ yoga pants is insane}. The Barre also has a small boutique with super cute Barre/Yoga/Pilates apparel.

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Those grippy socks? They’re required, and you can purchase them at the Barre, Dick’s Sporting Goods, or through online retailers like Amazon.

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WORKING IT OUT

The Barre workout is all about getting that long and lean dancer’s body through firming, toning and sculpting. Think light resistance, lots of repetition, and a laser-focus on various muscle groups. If you’re expecting Barre to be like those ballet classes you took in middle school, you’ll certainly recognize a position here or there, but don’t expect to be piroutte-ing or grande jete-ing around the room. It’s truly a dance/yoga/pilates combo, and depending on your instructor, it may be a little heavier on one than another.

Expect to use light weights (two, three or five pounds each) for arm exercises. As beginners, we used two-pound weights, which sounds easy enough until you’ve been lifting those little guys for 10 minutes straight. For legs and butt, you’ll use the barre itself {for balance, mostly} and two balls for resistance – a larger pink ball for legs, and a smaller red one for bumbum exercises. Again, you’ll be foolishly thinking, how hard can a workout with a ball be? …Until your legs start quivering. Finally you’ll hit the floor for abs. Holy. Obliques.

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While we definitely got our heart rate and sweat-quotient up, it’s not a cardio workout per se. Our super friendly and knowledgeable instructor Theresa said that a lot of Barre students mix it up with hot yoga or even running. Since the Barre is connected to Yoga Strong, it’s easy to mix up your routine with some of each.

LISA SAYS….

My workout habits aren’t really habits, they’re more like speedy last-minute attempts to tone up when my clothes start “shrinking,” When in the moment it’s fun and exciting, I totally forget that when I see a text at 4:30pm asking if I want to grab dinner or a drink.

In addition to my poor prioritizing, I only keep my membership at Planet Fitness “just in case” I should have the desire to workout. But I hate it in there. It’s un-motivating, and it’s only challenging if you are pushing yourself and know what you’re doing. And let’s be honest, I don’t know what I’m doing.

That’s why structured classes work so well. The Barre has a schedule of class times, both for those who are early-risers, and those who want to pop in after work. Each instructor follows similar barre methodology (booty barre to be exact), but customizes their class with their personal fitness style.

You may get a total-body workout with an instructor on Tuesday, but may target your lower-half and booty on Thursday. One isn’t better than the other, but the mix allows you to switch up your workout routine when you want.

The staff is wildly helpful too. When I walked in late (shocker, I know) the receptionist told me how the room was set up, what I needed to grab and gave me a quick run down of what to expect. Thank the stars should told me to grab the 2 lb weights; do not take that ‘lightly,’ beginners.

Overall, it’s fun, motivating, and seriously works your muscles. And while you may think $15 per class (less if you purchase a package) is a little over your budget, think of that gym membership you throw money at but don’t use. Not to mention, it’s cheaper than that dinner you were going to grab anyway.

COLLYN SAYS….

I’m terrible about putting my workouts at the very, and I mean VERY, bottom of my list, unless I’m really trying to lose weight. Between caring for a family and holding a full time job, it’s easy to spend my precious free time doing anything BUT working out.

A wise friend recently reminded me, though, that caring for my family includes caring for myself. If I can’t carve out a handful of hours to tend to my own health, what good will I be to anyone else? Duh…why didn’t I think of it like that?

As for Barre, I’ve tried all sorts of workouts through the years {anyone remember Cindy Crawford’s workout TAPE?!}, with mixed success. My favorites are full-body workouts like Tae-Bo, Pilates, and now Barre. I love the studio’s vibe: it’s pretty and peaceful – a place I’d happily spend 2-3 hours each week. Given the sore muscles in my arms, legs and abs, I have no doubt that with a consistent routine, I’d start firming and toning in no time. They also offer child care,  which is awesome for moms with challenging schedules like mine.

I can’t wait to include Barre into my weekly routine.

YOGA STRONG & AERIAL YOGA

The Barre is actually the newest addition to Yoga Strong, Canton’s first hot power yoga and aerial yoga studio. Hot yoga {the room is heated to 90 degrees, so it’s literally hot} helps release toxins in the body through yoga exercise, and, well, sweat. Props to the owner, Amanda, for bringing several very cool exercise concepts to Canton. They also recently introduced Aerial Yoga, low impact yoga that’ll have you bending and inverting from your own suspended silk hammock. We’ve yet to try it, but it’s on the must-do list.

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Oh, and if you think we’ve completely changed our tune about happy hour, full disclosure: the Barre is next to another bar, Winking Lizard. You may just see us popping in for a beer after our workout. Life IS all about balance, right?

5894 Fulton Dr NW
Canton Ohio 44718
330.526.8620

http://www.thebarrecanton.com/

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