Fitness at Barreworks

Barre workouts have really risen in popularity over the past 12 months. Everyone from Victoria’s Secret models to Madonna are raving about the benefits of this ballet inspired fitness trend and with new studios cropping up across the city, clearly Londoners have caught the ballet bug too.

As a dance devotee I was keen to get in on the act – and equally keen to resemble a lithe model – so attended a class at Barreworks in Richmond; an exercise studio dedicated to barre and barre-based workouts. The studio is located just off Richmond high street making it nice and central for early morning commuters to fit in a 60 minute class pre or post work.

The class kicked off with floor work to get our heart rates up and adrenalin pumping. From there, holding 1.5kg light weights, we carried out a series of exercises aimed at toning the upper body before moving over to the barre and using resistance bands to push our muscles even further. This really stepped up the workout and upped the burn factor.

Moving on to the legs, the focus was on using small isometric movements to work the glutes, calves and thighs. The small pulses ensure you are continually engaging the muscles and really focusing on the moves while increasing your endurance and ability to stay in the position for longer. This section of the class caused me to shake like a maniac but the teacher assured us that if you’re not shaking, you’re not working hard enough.

For those looking for an extra challenge we could lift our heels off the ground or sink deeper into the stretch during plies and squats which led to a whole new level of shaking. If the amount of unintentional movement was comparable to the level of effort, I should have been awarded a gold star!

Not neglecting our abs, we were taken through some mat work, targeting our obliques with the help of a resistance band and pilates ball to add an extra challenge to each movement.

The 60 minutes went by in a flash, in part due to the variety of the class but mainly as a result of the enjoyment factor. The teacher was also very supportive, approachable and encouraging throughout the class, correcting my posture and alignment during stretches to ensure I got the most out of each move.

You’re guaranteed to leave on a high while feeling like you’ve had a really effective, targeted workout. What’s great about the class is that it’s perfect for all abilities and you can choose to push yourself a little more each class, whether that be working your way up to heavier weights, deepening your squats or holding your positions for longer.

I would recommend Barreworks to anyone looking for a full body workout that tones, sculpts and strengthens the muscles without the bulk. Click HERE to view their studio timetable.

Contact details for Barreworks.

WHO SHOULD TRY IT: Those looking to achieve a long, lean dancers physique

STYLE OF CLASS: Low intensity, high impact full body workout

AVE CALORIES BURNED PER CLASS: 300-600 calories per hour

WHAT TO WEAR: Leggings, top and grippy socks (Available to purchase at Barreworks, Sweaty Betty and Lululemon)