What woman doesn’t covet sinewy arms, a high and tight derrière, lean legs and a regal posture? In search of this dancer’s shape, many of us are becoming regulars at the barre…the ballet barre, that is. Over the last few months, I’ve become obsessed with Barre Fitness! Hello, new favourite workout! After suffering a running injury earlier this year, it was the perfect way to strengthen my body and get back into action.
Barre classes are a breath of fresh air for fitness fanatics who are sick of traditional workouts, exercise newbies who prefer low-impact activity, yoga- or Pilates-lovers looking to mix it up, or ex-dancers who’d rather die than go for a run.
These classes take you through a series of exercise moves designed to target certain muscle groups with laser-like precision. Arms, abs, glutes and thighs all get special attention. Rather than big, sweeping movements, you’ll do tiny maneuvers that you’ll repeat so many times your muscles will shake and burn. (Nobody’s kidding when they use the term barre burn!) Simple, but deadly. The repetitive movements fatigue the muscles, which forces them to adapt -building new muscle fibers and getting stronger. Depending on the day, you can step it up and really sweat it out with Cardio or Power Barre, sneak in a quickie with an Xpress Barre class, or take the more traditional Classic or Barre Fitness classes.
On first impression upon arriving at the North Shore Barre Fitness studio, I was stunned by the beautiful space- bamboo floors; big, bright windows; and floor-to-ceiling mirrors; a gorgeous locker room with showers and towel service; everything about it feels airy and relaxing. And what I’ve come to love about the studio over the months I’ve been attending classes is that it gives me an outlet for stress and bad days. It’s a place to feel comfortable, in my element, at home. Not only is the owner, Norrie Zaplatynsky friendly and fabulous, her entire staff is absolutely wonderful too. It doesn’t hurt that there’s a phenomenal group of ladies who attend class there, making the environment a truly welcoming one.
Live nearby and curious to try out a class? Buy the new client special and get two weeks of unlimited classes for just $40. Trust me, you’ll want to be a regular at the barre.