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Christina’s Healthy Crusade: Meet you at the barre

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I hold onto the ballet barre in front of me for dear life as I try to raise my leg while also lifting a weight with my opposite arm. This is absolutely nothing like that ballet class I took in first grade.

Barre isn’t new to the fitness world, but a recent influx of barre studios, such as Inline Barre in Bel Air, makes it seem as if this trend appeared out of nowhere. Barre is a type of workout inspired by concepts from ballet, pilates, and yoga to target small, typically unused muscles.

With the indoor track season recently ending, I thought trying out barre could be a cool way to cross-train. Luckily, Inline Barre allows non-members to sign up for a class as a drop-in for $16 as long as you reserve your spot ahead of time.

There are five different types of classes you can take at Inline Barre. The most popular class is called Barre Fit. This is the class that comes to mind most often when people think of barre, so I signed up for that class.

Although the class is called “barre,” the workout began on yoga mats. It was only after stretching and warming up that everyone stepped up to their own places on the ballet barre that stretched nearly the whole perimeter of the studio.

The ballet barre itself is used as a tool to help people balance. Everyone in the class relied on the barre in order to replicate the instructor’s actions. Most of the workout consisted of repetitive, small movements of the legs and arms while either balancing, doing ballet techniques, lifting small weights, or moving with a resistance band above the knees.

Balancing at the ballet barre, along with push-ups and planks, requires core work. This idea, which comes from pilates, drove the class and made it a workout.

In the final minutes of class, the instructor played slower music as she guided everyone in stretching and cooling down. As I sat on my yoga mat in the butterfly stretch, I couldn’t believe how sore I was after just an hour.

Days after my first barre class, I was still a little bit sore, but that’s why I hope to drop in on another class soon. Although the class was only an hour, barre is one of the best workouts I’ve done in a while, and I think attending classes consistently would not only keep me from getting out of shape, but would also increase my overall athleticism.

I’d recommend trying this workout for anyone looking for a fun new way to cross-train. Barre isn’t just for ballerinas anymore.

Christina Giovanazi is a Sports Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.

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Christina’s Healthy Crusade: Meet you at the barre