DATE/TIME: Class offered daily
INSTRUCTOR: Jenny Gillan
FE Reporter: Melissa Brading
Beyond Barre When I walked in to class, Jenny the instructor introduced herself to me before the class and it turned out she was also a dancer, so I was happy about that. I went upstairs and she had a spot ready for me with a glide board, yoga mat, hand weights and hand towels. I am a very active person, but it had been a while since I had taken a real exercise class, so I was nervous.
Class structure: We started out with warming up the spine by reaching up and rounding over several times, went through some rib and hip isolations and then some stabilization exercises in plank pose. We then moved into triceps exercises with the hand weights. We did several repetitions in different positions and it was pretty intense. My arms were seriously burning. The upper body portion of the exercise continued on to incorporate biceps and deltoids as well. We used the glide board and just skated back and forth, which proved to be more difficult then I thought, but it was super fun. We had a ball in our hand that we swung side to side, circled it around our bodies and lifted it up and down as we continued the gliding movements. My hands were sweaty and I dropped the ball twice… once bouncing into the teacher’s legs…ha, oops! This is where you will get your cardio portion of the class.
We also did something called “The Cinderella Sequence” which involved everyone being on all fours, using the towels underneath the hands, and ‘scrubbing’ the glide board in large and small circles working the arms, scapula and stabilizing through the core. We also got into plank pose on the glide board and used the core to draw the legs in and out, this was super difficult and required a lot of core strength. We also used the glide board at the barre under the working foot (the room was carpeted). We did tendus, dégagés and battements at the barre.
What part of the body did you feel this exercise worked?: This was a total body work out, but I felt that my arms, core and legs got a good workout. While at the barre, we also went through a series of leg lifts that targeted the glutes and the hamstrings. For the quadriceps and calves, we went through many plié and relevé exercises.
Class demographics: The class was very small- just me and two other women, probably in their late 20’s or early 30’s. We all hung in there and no one stopped moving the whole class!
What did you like the most about class? The most enjoyable part of class was when we used the glide board. You must have ballet shoes for this class, so you can properly slide on the glide board. They sell ballet shoes at the front desk if you find yourself without them.
Note: bring your own ballet slippers, unless you want to pay for a pair.
Was this class challenging for you? This class was super challenging for me. For every exercise we did enough repetitions to completely fatigue the muscle. Every time I thought I couldn’t do one more, we would squeeze out the last few. I left the class with all muscles twitching!
Was the instructor engaged in class? The teacher was upbeat and used fun music. She walked around and made adjustments and was very clear in her instruction. I never felt lost or unsure about what was going on.
Fitness/Dance Level Recommendations: The class does use classical ballet positions, but I still think someone without dance experience could pick up the movements fairly easily. This class is difficult, but appropriate for all levels. A beginner or someone who is not very strong can physically do all the exercises, but may need to cut back on the repetitions. I think this would be a great class for dancers to incorporate into their fitness program. It strengthens all the muscles we need to do the things we do- especially in the hip, leg and core regions. I also think it is a good class for anyone who wants an all-in-one class that raises the heart rate and tones the entire body.
Did the class give you want you felt you needed? The only thing I wish was different was the amount of stretching. We barely did any at all. It would have been nice if the last part of class was reserved for stretching and lengthening the muscles after all the hard work. I did feel like we hit every spot in the body, so maybe if they made the class longer than an hour, they could do 15 minutes of stretching at the end to make it the ultimate class. This class is definitely more concerned with building strength rather than length. Overall, I would definitely recommend this class to anyone looking to sculpt and tone with a little cardio on the side.
Class description: BeyondBarre program is a cardio-infused workout that uses classical ballet barre exercises to strengthen and develop long, lean muscles. The workout also includes upper-body sculpting, a stomach-flattening abdominal series and the BeyondBarre Glide Board-a slippery surface designed for sliding back and forth like an ice skater-which adds fat-burning cardio for a true body workout for extra challenge and fun. Address: Power Pilates,: 920 Third Ave. 6th Fl, New York, NY 10022. 212-371-0700
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