Giving a Barre Class the Benefit of the Doubt
I won’t lie — my barre class experience at Pure Barre left a bad taste in my mouth. But after discovering the “fit” that is Flywheel Sports in Buckhead, I decided to give their version — Flybarre — a shot.
There were a few things that persuaded me to try the class. The first was that I’ve taken a few of the Flywheel spin classes and have been consistently impressed with the quality of the studio and the instructors. (Shout outs go to Cara and David for their beyond-awesome teaching abilities!) Also, it didn’t hurt that my first Flybarre class was free after I created an online account.
I decided to try the 6 p.m. Tuesday class with Erika, and FYI, when you attend a Flybarre class, you get to enjoy the same amenities as Flywheel folks do. There were about seven or eight people in the class, plus myself, and I think several of us were new. But Erika put everyone at ease with her smile and relaxed demeanor.
The hour-long class is what I’d described as an up-tempo Pilates experience set to music that makes you want to move. Each song focused on a muscle group so that by the end of the class, we’d worked every muscle in our bodies. Although I was sweaty by the end, this isn’t a cardio class. Instead you are doing a lot of small movements (get ready to “pulse” a good bit) that really isolate and work focused muscle groups.
For example, the first song focused on abs, so, if my memory serves me right, we stayed in a plank position for the entire song. However, we were constantly lifting a leg or twisting our hips in a way that challenged us. (If I had to give one piece of constructive criticism, it would be that I don’t recall many modifications being offered if you couldn’t, for example, hold a plank position on your toes. Otherwise, Erika was great about reminding us of proper form throughout the class.) We also had a lightweight ball and bands (see the picture at the beginning of the blog) to use as tools to make the movements more challenging.
And I will admit, that even thought I feel like I do a lot of core work in my own workouts, this barre workout kicked my butt. At times, I had to stop and take a brief break because my muscles were screaming at me — and I loved it!
I left the class feeling like I’d gotten a FWABulous workout. Thanks Flybarre, for offering a class that I will return to again — you actually set the bar high when it comes to barre classes.
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