I've always wanted to write reviews of workout classes in the Washington, DC and surrounding area so I'm really excited to blog about Body by Barre in Ashburn, VA today! My girlfriend Michelle is pregnant (yay!) and her sweet mama wanted to find her a gym she'd be comfortable working out at now and when the baby comes, and that's how we discovered Body by Barre, which is held at the Mommy Bootcamp facility in Ashburn.
With a barre photoshoot on the horizon, I knew I had to get out to Ashburn to try this new class! And today, my sore legs are telling me it was definitely worth my while!
My first impression of the studio was a good one. The walls are painted a pepto-bismol pink and it's very girlie, which I loved! The instructors were friendly and welcoming, and there were little ones running around everywhere. It felt like a total mommy haven, down to the bathrooms, which were fully equipped with a changing table, pink fur rug, and Hello Kitty soap dispenser!
One of the bootcamp classes was finishing up as we arrived and once that group left, it quieted down quite a bit. Most of the kids left before barre, but there may have been some moms in the crowd!
We started the workout off with pilés (pronounced PLEE-AYs), which don't look so hard, until you're actually doing them and you're up on your toes! My quads quickly felt the burn and it was tough! All of us girls (I went with four friends) were looking at each other in complete shock-- we weren't jumping or really moving a lot at all, but yet, we were drenched in sweat within 15 minutes and begging for it to be over. That's the sign of a good workout in my book!
The movements were very fluid: lots of pilés (down and to the side, to the front and to the back), in counts of four, two, and a bit faster for single counts. Even though I was dying, it did feel like a very feminine workout! Weird? Not at all! I loved embracing my inner-ballerina! Although, she needs to do better staying on her toes. Keeping my heels up may have been the hardest part!
Well, no, arms was harder... We moved to arms next and with 2 and 3 pound weights in each one, we took our stance (tippy toes!) and proceeded with arm circles and shoulder presses, and movements that resembled the hand jive from Grease! Although, I have to admit, I could not keep up. My arms were literally giving out. And my toes were too. Sheesh. This was hard!
We ended this first segment (off the bar) with a short combination of arms and legs. To say I was relieved when it was over is an understatement. I ran to the bar! Thinking, 'this ought to help!' And it did, as we proceeded into even more pilés.
Pilés on the bar felt different than free-hand pilés-- I felt the burn up to my glutes, not just in my thighs. This is when I started to think Barre would be good for me, as a runner, because back when I was marathon training, I had IT band issues because of what my physical therapist said were weak glutes. Barre would certainly strengthen my glutes; especially because you work one leg at a time (and the stronger glute can't compensate)!
The ball exercises came next and it was shocking how difficult these movements were! It's this lightweight ball and you think, "what harm could this do?" But when you squeeze it between your legs, squat, and lean back... all while, you guessed it! You're up on your toes-- your legs will shake! Profusely! It was actually kind of scary, though, the instructor kept saying "Shaking is good!"
We did a few more exercises with the ball and then finished out with abs. That's when I started snapping photos with my iPhone. (Sorry for the poor quality.)
I struck up a conversation with the girl next to me who said she had just tried Pure Barre in DC. She said it was a lot more expensive than Body by Barre, but based off this class, Body by Barre was way better! I've never done Pure, so I can't say for myself but I thought it was interesting that this little class way out in Ashburn had Pure Barre-- THE barre studio!-- beat.
Overall, I would give this workout five out of five! I loved the atmosphere and I loved the burn. (I also loved the music, which I did'nt mention, but it was really awesome the way the movements were in sync with the songs! I love that!)
Have you done barre?
Would you consider trying it?