Yesterday marked our second session of our Don’t Sweat It! yoga series in partnership with Rexona Clinical Protection, and boy did we need that deodorant! Since last week was all about the basics, the Flow Athletic instructors thought they’d rev it up a notch and give us a workout to feel sore about later on: a sweat-enducing 45-minute Flow Barre fusion workout (yep, it was a unique combo of Pilates, Yoga, Ballet and HIIT).
Barre devotees swear by the targeted, pulsating motions to build a toned physique, so we couldn’t wait to give it a go. And even though our legs were shaking post-workout, we’ve already signed up for our next class. Here’s why…
This isn’t your 5th grade ballet rehearsal. Fifteen minutes into the class and Team Sporteluxe were already giving each other side-glances as beads of sweat started rolling down our faces – be prepared to feel the burn! The repetitious movements with weights, resistance straps and inflatable “core” balls will have you reconsidering that pre-workout croissant. And since the moves all have small ranges of motion (think lots of tiny pulses), you have to focus on control so your muscles switch on and as a result start shaking after just a few reps (but don’t worry, that’s a good thing!)
With the weights, straps and core ball, or even when balancing on one leg against the bar, you feel your core muscles activated, as you naturally have to cinch in the waist to stay balanced. It’s all about the pelvic tilt or “tuck”. Whether we were focusing on our butts, thighs or arms, the abs were always involved and we couldn’t help but secretly love it.
As mentioned above, prepare for your muscles to shake. The moves target large and small muscle groups effectively, thanks to the tiny pulses, just like in ballet. You will hear your instructor telling you to move “just an inch”: think small for all your movements, in plié squats or push ups. Much like Team Sporteluxe, you’ll probably discover muscles you forgot you had.
It’s fun! You’re deep into a plié squat at the Barre, and your thighs are on fire. What to do? Look to your neighbour, and smile! Through the burn and the sweat, you’ll find something to laugh about with your workout buddies. Unlike the somewhat serious silence around traditional yoga, Barre is all about light hearted fun skilfully disguised as a suprisingly tough workout. If your core isn’t hurting from the sit ups, it’ll hurt from the laughs.
Barre is a healthy combination of all the little things you love (and aren’t afraid of!), but best of all, it’s accessible and fairly easy to follow. The instructor is there to guide and help you out if you feel lost. No pirouettes or one-armed crow poses, just good old fashion kick-backs and lunges.