Everything You Need to Know for a Safe Barre Workout
Lovers of graceful yet exceptionally kick-ass workouts, rejoice! Boston and its environs are brimming with new studios offering sublime and strengthening Pilates, yoga, and Barre classes for movement junkies of all stripes.
This trio of workouts has at its core, well, your core—one that, with regular and safe practice, is strong, lean, and powerful.
But as awesome as this power trio of workout bliss can be for your mind and body, there is a downside to the recent boom of Pilates and Barre studios popping up in Boston, one that could lead to anything from a sore wrist to a herniated disk—or worse.
Every new studio needs a staff of instructors to guide students along their fitness journey, and unfortunately, many of these newly trained instructors lack the training and experience to provide the safest workout possible, especially when classes start getting packed. And while the Pilates method was carefully crafted by its founder for optimal effectiveness, there is no guarantee individual instructors or studios will teach it the way it was intended to be taught.
Correct alignment is crucial for getting the best results possible for barre, Pilates, and yoga. But if they are not cued just right and preceded with a proper warm-up, the moves can lead to injuries that could take months to recover from. Who wants to risk that?
If you haven’t tried these workouts yet, here’s a quick introduction:
The shoulder bridge in Pilates helps to strengthen glutes, core and open up fronts of the hips. The goal is to get the entire body to fire as you roll hips up and down with control:
The Barre Boston Plies help students find proper glute engagement and turnout from the hips. You look to keep the torso upright:
Joseph Pilates developed his now eponymous system of precise exercises as a way strengthen the body and mind. His method, which he dubbed Contrology, was primarily used by dancers until Hollywood caught on in the 1970s and the rest of the country beginning in the 1980s.
Regular Pilates gives you a slew of great benefits, including better posture and body awareness, better strength and flexibility, and a much stronger core (the area from your shoulders to just below your glutes). A strong core not only looks great, it can help prevent back pain and injury and lead to more supple and adaptable body in your golden years. A big Pilates plus: you’ll discover and gain control of a ton of tiny muscles that you never even know you had.
O, wonderful yoga—for many of us a first introduction to a movement that is powerful but deeply relaxing and beneficial to our well-being. With roots reaching back over 5,000 years, yoga has shown a surprising adaptiveness to new methods (think hot power yoga, acro yoga, and yes, even horseback yoga).
No matter what style works best for you, the benefits are the same: better mental and emotional health, better muscle tone, higher flexibility and balance, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and increased immunity.
The Barre Boston Hands and Knees Hip Extension helps prepare students for the Barre class by introducing proper glute engagement and hip extension. The movement should remain small and everything should stay aligned as you slowly pulse bent knee up towards the ceiling:
The newest member of the power trio is catching fire in Boston and across the country for a great reason—it gets results! Barre combines Pilates, yoga, and ballet to give you a fun and effective workout that targets all major muscle groups, but especially your core, using super precise movements and special equipment.
Barre classes leave you a little sore, very uplifted, and after some regular practice—sporting a stronger and leaner body. (Note: A tighter and toned tush is a common side effect of regular Barre practice).
Do your homework, love your workout
Ready to try a new fitness studio to help get your body ready for the summer? Make sure you choose one that not only offers convenient class times, a positive atmosphere, and a great location, but also has highly-trained and experienced instructors who will give you the best and safest workout imaginable.
Endurance Pilates and Yoga Studio in Boston’s South End offers a full slate of Pilates, Barre, and yoga classes in a positive, supporting atmosphere. Every Endurance instructor has completed a minimum of 1,000 hours of training in the Endurance Method and will provide the highest quality, technically specific, and most beneficial workout for your time.
If you’re searching for a Pilates experience the way Joseph Pilates intended it to be, Endurance offers Classical Authentic Pilates taught on authentic Gratz equipment designed by Joseph Pilates himself. Endurance is the only Boston studio offering a true Authentic Pilates experience on Gratz equipment. No matter how many Pilates classes you’ve tried, you’ll find Endurance Pilates classes are significantly more challenging.
Whether you’re ready for Pilates, Barre, yoga, or another workout, remember that the proof will be in the practice. At least three times a week is optimal for overall health and well-being (and a tighter and firmer rear!).This post is a sponsored collaboration between Endurance Pilates and Yoga Studio and Boston magazine's advertising department.