Earlier this year, I wrote a full review on my experience with Pure Barre. I’m coming up on four years since I took my first class, and it’s been an integral part of my life ever since. My original post explained why I started talking Pure Barre, the philosophy behind Pure Barre as an exercise method, and the logistics of class. I briefly mentioned some changes I saw in my body, but that’s honestly not what got me hooked. However, I know anyone looking for a new workout routine is curious about the results so I wanted to add a bit to my original post.
Pure Barre is composed of small, isometric movements that are designed to tone and elongate your muscles. The main focus is on your core, and you’re constantly working to stabilize that while targeting the other major muscles groups (thighs, arms, and seat). I was a competitive swimmer for a long time, but my muscles always tended to be a bit more bulky. I had been without a workout routine for years when I walked into my first Pure Barre class, and I had no muscle tone, well, anywhere.
The photo on the left is from a friend’s wedding about 2 months after I started taking barre. The second photo I snapped after my class this weekend.
Like I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’ve gained a bit of weight this year. However, I’ve kept up my 3-5x a week barre routine, and I still feel really good. My core is so much stronger than it ever was, and I don’t have as many jiggly parts even with a few extra pounds. I think I see the biggest difference through my arms and shoulders, and it just makes me feel less bulky overall. I also kind of have a butt now! That’s right- toning the muscles at the base and side of my seat have given it a bit of a lift. My butt was totally flat before so I appreciate having a little more definition.
I know the title of this post focuses on the physical aspect of exercise, but I still think the best part of Pure Barre is the improvement in my mental well-being. I tend to go after work, and it’s such a good way to let go of the day before I head home. The class moves quickly enough that you don’t have time to dwell on anything else so it really is a mental escape. Of course there are days my body or brain aren’t into it, but the general improvement in my overall health and wellness has been huge.
Last thing- I hate that the image above basically deems the girl on the right “better” than the girl on the left. I always want to spread the message that women are so much more than their size or shape. That photo on the left is actually from my best friend’s wedding, and it was one of the best nights! I was also newly engaged, working my first job, and recently back from a European vacation. The girl on the left was doing just fine, and any improvements in my life since have not been related to my weight. However, I was having increased back pain from my scoliosis, and I knew I had to strengthen my core. Pure Barre was the exact workout method I needed, and the other changes in my body were just a bonus. Now, I feel strong and healthy, and that’s so much more than feeling “skinny.”
I’m considering hosting a group Pure Barre class within the next month or two! Let me know if you’re in the Chicago area and would be interested in trying it out! Working out is always more fun with a friend, right?