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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Workout Wednesday: Beginners Guide to Pure Barre

As a Pure Barre teacher I get asked "What should I expect for my first class?" Pure Barre is one of the most unique workouts I have ever done, and is definitely the most effective. Pure Barre is a full body low impact workout targeting trouble areas such as stomach, thighs, seat, arms, and hips. 
This workout uses small isometric movements to target, and isolate muscles to build that long lean dancer muscle. Many think that you need a dance background to understand the technique, but in actuality all you need is a good attitude! Carrie Rezabek Dorr the founder of Pure Barre once said "If you can hold onto the barre, you can do this."  
Here are a couple tips that can help you become a professional LTBer (Lift. Tone. Burn). 

1. What do I wear?
During class you work out a specific muscle group to the point of fatigue, then we stretch it out to lean out the muscles. During the stretches you want to keep your body warm to prevent tearing of the muscle. Wear tops that cover the midriff, socks, and either pants or capris (absolutely no shorts). Sticky PB socks are sold in studios. (I promise we didn't mean to match our socks ;) )

2. What do I need to grab?
Once you walk into the studio grab 2 pairs of weights (lighter and heavier pair), tube, and a ball (not shown). Make sure that you also bring water with you to drink during class. Since we sweat a lot during class it's very important to keep yourself hydrated. 

3. Modifications
Before class the instructor will introduce themselves to you, and ask you a series of questions such as "Do you have any injuries?" The instructor will then go through the specific modifications for the injury, and check on you during class ;) There are also many modifications for those that are pregnant.

4. Tuck
The main word you'll hear continuously throughout class is the word "tuck." A tuck is pulling in of your abs toward your spine while simultaneously dropping and rolling forward your tailbone. Think pulling your hipbones up to your ribcage. You want to keep your hips tucked all through class so that you have that flat neutral spine, and preventing pressure into the lower back.

5. Listen
As a teacher, I don't actually do the workout with you. I set you up, then walk around class to perform hands on corrections. Listening is key to understanding what you are doing, what muscles are being targeted, and the transitions in the choreo. The movements are also so small to see that it's hard to watch someone else during the workout.

6. Contraction / Small Movements 
Class is essentially a constant contraction. By keeping the movement in the tight contractions, and small movement you are able to isolate/target muscle groups. The contraction causes the deep burn in the muscle, and the small movements is smart for the joints.

7. Hands On Corrections
As a teacher my job is the circulate the room, and perform hands on corrections. I do this because a) it helps clients get in the correct form, b) help prevent injury, and c) give the clients that extra push to work harder.
Lisa's Outfit - Leggings: Beyond Yoga / Top: Beyond Yoga / Bracelet: Laura & Lily
Jess's Outfit - Leggings: Splits 59 / Top: Halogen / Bra: Splts 59 / Bracelets: Laura & Lily
8. Embrace the Shake
When the muscle starts to shake it's your body letting you know that great changes are happening. Your muscle is reaching the point of fatigue, and then we stretch it out to build the lean muscle. Get the most out of your workout by embracing the shake!

9. Results
You'll see results within your first 10 classes (3-4 a week). At first I do recommend measuring yourself with a tape measure to see the inches melt right off.

10. Most Important...Have Fun This is Your Hour
This is your hour to clear the mind, and focus in on yourself. It doesn't matter if the person next to you can lift their heels higher, you are your own competitor. Listen to your body, and respect where you are at. Have fun!!!!!

Happy Tucking!

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