Woah! A non-food post.
Can you dig it? I think you’ll love it.
Today we’re chatting about something super near and dear to my heart: barre.
Up until about four months ago, I had no idea what barre was. Nor did I really work out. I mean, I did yoga when I remembered, but that was about it.
I never really knew how to workout. I was an active kid, playing a bunch of different sports. But when I moved on to different activities and then to college, I kinda totally became a couch potato. I almost always chose to watch reruns of The Office and Parks and Rec over moving my body.
But then…barre happened. I tried a barre class with Classpass a few months ago (if you want to try Classpass out, here’s a link for $30 off your first month), and I honestly have never looked back. Barre has been such a positive influence on me, and I now go to a barre class 2-3 times a week.
I. Love. It. It gets me moving, talking to people, making friends, building strength, and toning my muscles. I mean, I actually have some muscle for the first time in my life! Whaaat?!
One of my favorite studios is The Dailey Method here in Pittsburgh. The owner and instructor, Joanna, is literally one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. The first time I met her, she ended our conversation with, “I’m so glad I know you.”
I mean, really. She’s the best.
I’ve gotten to know Joanna over these past few months, and she is full of barre, health, and wellness knowledge.
I wanted to put together a short little resource to show you what barre is all about. Maybe you’re just wanting to move a bit more in the new year. Maybe you’re up for incorporating a new type of workout into your routine. Maybe you’re barre-curious.
I’ve found so much joy adding barre into my schedule, and if you choose to try barre out for yourself, I hope you feel the same!
Alexa: What is barre? What kinds of workouts (cardio, strength, etc.) could I expect from a barre class?
Joanna: This is from The Dailey Method website: “Each class begins with high rep movements in a very small range of motion, effectively toning, elongating, and isolating the muscles. We focus on the triceps, biceps, shoulders and chest, back, seat, and legs. After working each muscle group, we stretch, shaping and leaning out the muscles, and bringing balance through increased flexibility. Our core engagement exercises emphasize our quest for ultimate alignment, learning to stabilize the muscles closest to the spine, improving our natural, functional spine position. This is very important for posture and overall spinal health; especially as we age.”
Though our Dailey Barre classes don’t have a direct aerobic element throughout the entire class, our more advanced students keep their heart rate elevated by participating more vigorously. We do have two classes with direct cardio elements throughout the entire class: Dailey Interval involves 45 minutes of an non-impact, but intense cardio-focused workout, and Dailey Fusion combines elements of Barre and Interval.
A: I’m just getting started working on a workout schedule. Is barre for me? What kind of class should I look for to start?
J: Barre is for everybody and every body! All exercises are safe and have a focus on spinal alignment and core musculature. The Dailey Method (TDM) is a full-body workout with an emphasis on body awareness, strength and flexibility. Our clients experience a huge transformation in not just body, but also in mind. Any client should feel comfortable trying on a class at TDM and know she/he will be cared for properly. Good first classes include, Dailey Basics, Barre and Gentle. Our Dailey Fusion and Interval have a big cardio focus and are best-experienced once a sound body awareness and foundation in maintaining core engagement throughout a fast-paced class has been established.
A: I’m not new to working out. Could I add barre into my workout regimen?
J: Absolutely! No matter who you are. Core strength, flexibility and body awareness are what we all need to live an enriched and pain-free life. All of our clients stress how regular practice at our studio has improved all other genres of exercise, from yoga to cycling to cross-fit.
A: What are some pre- and post-workout foods you’d recommend?
J: I like to focus on a diet with a focus on vegetables, fruits, and protein with healthy fats to keep me energized. One of my favorite snacks is chia seed pudding, made with coconut milk, vanilla and cinnamon and topped with some fresh berries. For a special treat, I sneak in almond butter spread on a banana or a green smoothie.
A: How has barre impacted you?
J: Barre has completely changed my life. I was living with chronic back pain since two foot surgeries that led to a fallen arch on my left foot. I haven’t been able to run since 1998 and was on the search for something that DID feel like a solid workout but DID NOT hurt my back. Enter barre. I now live a generally pain-free life and get to celebrate my strength and flexibility with a wonderful, supportive tribe of people cheering for each other through every plank, pushup and squat :-)
A. What kinds of changes can I expect to see in my body if I’m adamant about doing barre? What if I just want to maintain my physique?
J: The changes are spectacular and come quickly – longer, leaner muscles. There will be definition, but not bulk. There will be a markedly improved sense of balance and flexibility. For many, everyday pains tend to disappear.
A: What does a healthy relationship with exercise mean for (or look like to) you?
J: I exercise to find my happy. To find my center. To feel stronger and more empowered. I exercise to honor my body and show appreciation for my health. It sends energy from my fingers to my toes, and I leave class feeling lighter and brighter.
A special thanks goes to Joanna for sharing her thoughts on barre! This post is not sponsored in any way – I’m just a huge fan of what Joanna and The Dailey Method are doing, and I was excited to share more about one of my new favorite activities with my Fooduzzi Fam. :)
Have you tried barre? If not, what’s your favorite kind of workout?
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