Saturday, July 26, 2014

Cross Training: BarreConcept

In my quest to find free cross-training options, I scoured YouTube for barre classes.  My dear friend and I took dance together for 14 years while growing up, so the idea of a barre-style class was immediately appealing.  One that I found and really enjoyed is BarreConcept by Pilates Union.  This intense, dance-inspired workout focuses primarily on legs and core exercises.  The instructor is perky, encouraging, and gives good pointers about form.  The class is well-paced and at just 20 minutes is easy to fit into your day.

Though a 20 minute workout may sound easy on paper, this workout isn't for the feint of heart - or the feint of quads.  Holy burning muscles, Batman!  I assumed that running, hill repeats, and squats meant that I had strong quads and glutes, but this workout certainly proved otherwise.  My first attempt at this sequence was humbling, to say the least.

BarreConcept requires no equipment, other than a barre or sturdy chair.  I pulled a dining chair into action and could complete most of the exercises with it.  I will say, however, that my chair did not provide sufficient support for the final core exercises.  A wall-mounted barre is probably the only possibility for those.  I did the best that I could and supplemented with planks and side planks when I couldn't fake it with my chair.

While I enjoyed this video and continue to use it from time to time, the other options on the Pilates Union YouTube channel are rather limited.  They have one other full workout posted, but the rest are just clips or short segments.  They do, however, offer viewers the opportunity to purchase other full length classes on their website.  I haven't made any purchases and therefore can't comment on them, but if they resemble their free YouTube counterpart, then they should be a glute-burning, quad-shaking good time.

Have you tried any barre-style classes, either in-person or online?  Any recommendations for others I should check out?