If you’ve followed the blog for a while, you know about my challenges with sticking to consistent exercise. I typically stay with a fitness kick for about a month or so before losing interest and lapsing back into inactivity. It’s what happened with running, with yoga, with going to the gym, and with Pilates. But currently, I’m on a fitness kick that feels like it might be around for a while. For the first time ever, I’m actually going to group fitness classes at least once a week and looking forward to them. That’s never happened before!
What is barre3?
Barre3 delivers a full body workout using only low-impact movements that are easy on the joints and simple to modify if you have an injury or limitation. It combines elements of yoga, Pilates and pure barre to get your heart rate up, target all the muscle groups of the body for strengthening and lengthening, and also improve your balance in the process. You do your workout on a yoga mat, standing for much of the time but also occasionally in plank position or on your back for core work. You can also opt to use small weights for added resistance when working your arms, and a small balance ball for added toning and balance challenges.
Most of the exercises move through a predictable sequence: first, you hold a posture, finding your balance and making sure everything is in proper alignment in order to protect all your joints. Next, you move small – meaning you do tiny pulses in the posture that work to fatigue the targeted muscles (and wow, they get fatigued quickly!) to the point of feeling shaky – this is how you know the muscles are changing. After that, you move big with broader, sweeping motions that oxygenate the muscles again after reaching fatigue. The “big” movements are designed to tone and build functional strength for everyday activities.
(Please note: This is my understanding of how b3 works as a class participant, not an expert or an instructor. For a better explanation of the technical details straight from the creators of b3, check out their website.)
Why am I so crazy about it?
Barre3 is the first fitness class I’ve attended where I have not felt inadequate or weak. There is SO much emphasis on doing what feels good in your body and adapting the moves to fit your needs and ability level. There is no sense of comparison and feeling like you have to keep up with the person next to you. There’s no pressure from the instructor to move your body in ways it just doesn’t want to move. There is freedom to adapt moves as you need to, with individualized help from your instructor so that you’re still effectively working your muscles and building strength and balance even in your modified pose. Barre3 emphasizes listening to and caring for your body. This is the first time I’ve experienced fitness in this way!
It fills in all these missing pieces that just weren’t clicking for me before.
I no longer feel self conscious that I can’t touch my toes – I’ve learned that my moves are just as effective at strengthening and lengthening my muscles with my knees slightly bent.
I no longer feel like I have to force my body through drudgery to exercise, like I used to when I was running.
I no longer worry about accidentally injuring myself, like I did when I was trying to do Pilates on my own at home without an instructor.
And I no longer feel like my efforts are not making a positive difference for my health, like I’ve felt in the past when just doing random workouts here and there at home.
I love that barre3 was intentionally developed by experts who understand physiology and know what it takes to build strength and endurance. I feel confident that every time I go, I’m getting a full body workout and I’m leaving a little bit stronger than when I got there. That’s a great feeling!
Want to try it?
There are currently barre3 studios in 30 states throughout the US. I’ve been attending community pop-up classes in my area as we gear up to welcome our own studio in Chapel Hill, NC– hopefully opening in mid-September! If there’s not a studio near you, you can also try barre3 workouts at home with a free 15-day trial.
So, are you curious to try it for yourself? Let me know if you decide to give barre3 a spin!
Have you tried barre3 before? Tell me what you love (or don’t love) about it in the comments!
Note: This is NOT a sponsored post. When posts are sponsored, it will be clearly stated at the beginning. This is just me being excited to share my latest fun fitness discovery with you all! 🙂