I’m not a Pilates or yoga gal. I’ve tried and I just can’t. I’m a sweat-it-out-cardio-mama and I like to not only feel like I’ve worked out, but look it too!
This week I was invited to try a barre (pronounced bar, FYI) class at the new Xtend Barre ™ Studio in Old Town Alexandria. I had no idea what to expect and I purposely didn’t watch videos on YouTube because I wanted to go in a blank slate and be surprised — and surprised I was!
What is Xtend Barre? It’s Pilates and dance/cardio…amplified.
Andrea Rogers, a petite mom of two and former dancer created Xtend Barre ™ by incorporating dance elements and music into her Pilates sessions in order to further challenge her clients in coordination, rhythm and cardiovascular fitness. By doing this, she found greater results than by maintaining a routine of Pilates alone — even more impressive was seeing her clients gaining energy, enjoying elements of dance, and having fun! It has been said that “If Pilates sculpts your body, Xtend Barre ™ chisels it.”
I may have only done one 55 minute class, but I have NO doubt chiseling occurs if done regularly. In that hour class I worked what was quite possibly every muscle in my body, feeling the burn in my core, my legs, my arms and gluts.
Having had no prior dance experience (except for that one semester of modern dance in college which I needed the credits for) I was still able to follow moves and keep up. Truthfully, I sort of lived out my early childhood dream of being a ballerina — just a very sweaty ballerina!
It felt as if the class would never finish but I realized we’d been stretching in between allowing you to work until the very end. My personal favorite was working at the barre, extending my arms and legs and maintaining a straight back imagining myself a graceful dancer. Even if I was off balance and clumsy, starting at myself forced me to properly plié and work harder and I liked it. Mucho.
Taking this class made me realize just how far I’ve come with my personal training sessions at Fitness on the Run where I’ve been focusing on my core strength — even Andrea noticed saying I was strong! I’m strangely attracted to this workout.
Yes, I said attracted.
I feel a gravitational pull to the Xtend barre studio doors and have the need to plié, chassé and xtend over and over again.
Why you should try it: I won’t sugar coat, it’s a tough class. Every part of you will be worked and you will hurt during and after. However I think everyone should at least TRY one class. I promise it’s like nothing you’ve experienced before. AND it’s all set to the latest tunes — I mean, Pitbull was blaring on the speakers as we channeled our inner dancer.
Xtend Barre Old Town opens this weekend, June 14 and is located at 1701 Duke Street, Alexandria. There are 150 locations worldwide — see their site for the closest studio to you.
Photo Credit: BoschStudios Photography (middle images)