Raising the Barre: Wedding Workouts

With visions of svelte dancers swirling in her head, Brigid Sweeney samples three local ballet-inspired workouts.

ballet-inspired workouts

Photograph by Véronique Beranger/Veer

Ballet Booty

Filled with graceful twentysomethings whose perfectly turned-out toes suggest years of training, this workout at Back Bay’s Life in Synergy studio comes closest to a traditional ballet class. The hourlong session focuses on strengthening the lower body without employing any real cardio activity, which gets a bit boring after a while. Still, the series of arabesque leg lifts—performed without the crutch of a barre—is great for improving balance, and my quads definitely ache from the plié squats the next day. 867 Boylston St., Boston, 617-867-6500, lifeinsynergy.com.


Held in the Sports Club/LA’s mind/body studio, which has panoramic views of the city, BalleCore provides a relaxed, very yogalike experience. Each participant uses a portable barre that resembles a double-handed baseball bat for balance; moves range from Pilates-inspired planks and curl-ups to thigh-toning ronds de jambe (leg circles). BalleCore skimps on upper-body strength, but delivers a challenging core workout that leaves me feeling poised, limber, and tall—and confident enough to consider donning a white dress. 4 Avery St., Boston, 617-375-8200, thesportsclubla.com.

Core Fusion

Popular with ladies who lunch and celebs (one recent early-morning session had me sweating alongside Cameron Diaz), Core Fusion at Exhale offers a tough full-body workout in a Zen setting. The one-hour class begins with shoulder flies, bicep curls, overhead tricep extensions, and a few sets of pushups before transitioning to squats and toe-pointed leg lifts at the barre. The difficulty is in the duration of the poses: My thighs quake as we plié for minutes on end. The class winds down with several variations of Pilates-style v-sits to strengthen the core before mercifully segueing into deep stretches. Intense enough to produce quick results and relaxing enough to replace a massage, Core Fusion is a solid addition to any bride’s prenuptial calendar. 28 Arlington St., Boston, 617-532-7000, exhalespa.com.