With so many exercises out there, it’s difficult sometimes to wrap your head around what workouts are fad and which fitness routines really work. Here at Chagrin Yoga, we enthusiastically offer a wide-variety of yoga classes – power vinyasa, vinyasa flow, bikram, slow flow and more – and recently we added Barre classes to our schedule four days a week. Barre is a unique fitness experience that embraces elements of yoga, Pilates, ballet and provides a fun, high-energy group experience.

For those of you who are interested in trying Barre but aren’t sure about what to expect, be sure to check out our Intro to Barre Workout on Saturday, January 10th. We’ve also prepared this blog with help from one of our Barre instructors, Lesley Monachino:

What does a Barre class offer the body?

Barre provides you with functional, dynamic movements that strengthen your body for life. We work on balance, large muscle group body weight training, and stabilizing work. With added, low impact cardio intervals, Barre gives you a total body workout with a great caloric burn.

What type of people would benefit from this type of exercise?

Barre is for ANY body. From young bodies who need to develop core strength and joint stability, to bodies who are looking for a change, to gracefully aging bodies who want to stay in shape with an easy on the joints workout. And… Barre isn’t only for women! Those strong male bodies that need work on balance and core strength that lifting heavy weights just doesn’t supply.

What can I expect from my first Barre class?

Barre starts with a 4-5 minute warm up of high-energy music. Dynamically warming up legs, glutes, back, and core. We then take to the floor for a series of planks and push-ups that will get your heart pumping. Then, we stand and work our legs from every angle. squats, lunges, curtsy lunges, side lunges, and plié balances – just to name a few. Some heart pumping cardio is woven into our legs series before we hit biceps and triceps. Then, we return to the floor for seat work, quad work, and of course, more core work. Finishing up with a full body stretch.

How would you describe your teaching style in 3 words?

Fun, intense, effective

What should I know/do before attending one of these classes?

Be prepared to work a lot of legs. As long as you come in with an open mind and are willing to put in effort, you will be just fine. I teach to the max, which means – I do not expect you to be able to complete each exercise perfectly, however, I will push you to try. Modifications are always offered and if you need a variation – just ask!

Is there anything I need to bring to a Barre class?

WATER and a mat. Towels are provided at Chagrin Yoga.

I’m a beginner. Can I do this?

ABSOLUTELY!!! As I said above – Modifications are provided for almost every movement. Do not hesitate to ask for additional help. Barre classes are meant to be fun and full of learning. You will be told what you should feel, where, and sometimes why. It’s a lot of information but, if you tell someone, you tell them again, then tell them one more time…and they will get it 🙂

See you in class!! xoxox, Lesley 🙂