Pure Barre – The Latest Fitness Craze [POLL/VIDEO]
While having delved into the field of fitness, I’ve found that for as many trainers as there are, that’s about as many opinions they all have about all the different modalities.
I’m not going to sell you on any one – because what works for you may not work for the next person.
But if there’s one thing I’ve preached, it’s engaging the core, which is where all your balance lies.
A good many modalities don’t emphasize the core enough.
Many times in the gym, I see users lying down, sitting at machines, or otherwise not using their core muscles in addition to the body part they’re trying to work.
Yes, they'll work sit-ups into their routines, but I've become to believe that engaging the core along with whatever body part you're working is the best way to go.
See how we can't help ourselves? Opinions, constantly opinions!
Well, another modality has come along that combines agility, body weight and the like to produce results – and takes only 55 minutes out of your day.
It’s called Pure Barre (proun: bar), and it combines ballet moves with other movements.
And since ballet is involved, you would have guessed right if you said that it appeals in large part to women.
However there are a number of men that aren't ashamed to use it - and who should.
Carrie Rezabek Dorr, Pure Barre’s founder and a professional dancer and choreographer, spent many years teaching dance, Pilates and other types of group fitness classes, before she opened her first studio in the basement of an office building in Birmingham, Mich., in 2001.
“I wanted to combine what I loved about these disciplines into one effective exercise program and Pure Barre was born,” she said. Calling it an “intelligent exercise regime,” Dorr explained that it uses small, controlled, focused movements with high repetition to quickly change the shape of specific areas of the body.
Today, there are more than 200 Pure Barre studios across the country. The Westfield studio, which opened three years ago, was the first one in New Jersey. Additional studios are in Spring Lake, Haddonfield, Red Bank, Manalapan and Wyckoff.
Beth Flynn and Ellen Bernholz, co-owners of the Westfield and Spring Lake studios, grew up together in Westfield and both worked on Wall Street when they first became interested in the barre workouts. Always interested in keeping fit, the women were on the lookout for something new and different.
Aside from focusing on strength, balance, flexibility and endurance, what makes Pure Barre so popular with women, Flynn said, is that it’s female-focused, targeting such areas as arms, buttocks, abdominals and hips.
Although it has its origins in dance, she said, “you do not have to be a dancer.”
The 55-minute workout consist of exercises with a ballet barre, light weights, Velcro tubing and a rubber ball. The class also gets your heart rate up so you get a cardiovascular benefit as well, she explained. “And, it’s low impact so you won’t put pressure on your joints,” she said.
One thing that many clients like about Pure Barre is that you see results more quickly than with other types of exercises, for some in as little as five weeks.
Since I haven’t been to the gym in a while, and plan to go on a more regular basis, I wouldn’t be opposed to trying Pure Barre – even though I’d probably look silly trying it (which, again, would imagine be concern for many men.)
But I’ve always found that some of the best exercises are those that incorporate body weight, and boost your heat rate.
Hey, whatever works – first thing you have to do is get off your ass!