When you hear the words ‘ballet-barre workout’, do images of ballerinas with perfect buns in pretty pink tutus twirling and swirling gracefully to the peaceful sounds of Swan Lake come to mind? Well, if they do, you’re wrong. Very wrong. Instead, think booming music, hair stuck to your head, a bright-red face, pounding heartbeat, shaky legs, shaky arms, shaky stomach – and, well, shaky everything. Plus a whole lot of sweat.
Not so pretty. But oh-so effective. And don’t worry, you don’t need to be able to dance either, or be able to wrap your legs around your head. Which is always a bonus.
Barre classes have become increasingly popular over the past few years, especially since Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman revealed that practicing ballet helped them get into shape for Black Swan. The likes of Madonna and Miranda Kerr are fans, and even Victoria’s Secret Angel Jasmine Tookes recently told Savoir Flair that barre keeps her body in tip-top shape. And once you’ve seen her strutting her wing-clad self down the runway, you won’t need any other reason to get yourself to a barre.
Incorporating Pilates, yoga, ballet, and dance methods, barre classes offer an all-over body workout and are about high repetitions and isometric movements – which means you’ll hear the words “and… hold” a lot. Instead of big movements like lunges or bench presses, isometric movements are all about holding your body in a position, either completely still or with tiny pulses, to strengthen both the bigger muscles and the smaller ones that support them. This technique brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “feel the burn” and helps create that long, lean look without the risk of bulking up. You’ll use a ballet barre for some movements, dumbbells, rubber bands, and soft balls for others, and some strengthening is achieved by just using your own body weight.
The new FlyBarre SPORT classes at FlyWheel Dubai crank it up a notch, combining all the principles of a barre workout but with higher weights and the added bonus of high-intensity cardio bursts (honestly, you will be thankful for them in the long run). These get your heart rate up, burn fat, and mean you seriously get your sweat on whilst strengthening and sculpting from head to toe. The 60-minute class is divided into sections, each focusing on a different body part or muscle group and, after a quick warm-up to get your blood pumping, the music is cranked up and the pace picks up. You’ll work everything, like your arms, legs, core, seat, back – you name it and we guarantee you will feel it. Muscles you didn’t even know existed will kick into life (two words – thigh abductors), and once the hour is up, you’ll feel exhausted, but invigorated. It’s by no means easy, but you’ll be amazed at how quickly your fitness improves and how strong you feel after just one session, and it is actually fun. You might not think that when you’re pulsing in on your tiptoes whilst squeezing a ball between your legs, or doing so many jump-squats that you can’t feel your thighs, but we promise that you will feel (and soon look) a million dollars. Although walking up the stairs or sitting down the next day might prove difficult…
FlyBarre SPORT class, AED 120/SAR 123. Packages and memberships available. For more information, visit www.FlywheelSports.com.