As an ex-dancer the concept of barre workouts has intrigued me the past year or so as it seems to be rising in popularity with new classes popping up throughout the country. When I found out that Xtend Barre were going to be at Balance Festival I signed up for a class straight away to experience a barre class for myself.
What is Xtend Barre?
From what I experienced an Xtend Barre class combines elements of dance inspired movements, resistance exercises and stretching to create a dynamic workout which really works up a sweat. We didn’t get to use barres unfortunately however we did a mixture of standing and floor work over the 45 minutes.
Was Equipment Used?
Yes, we had a floor mat each, a resistance band and hand weights which I believe were 2kg in weight.
What Was The Class Structure?
We started with a warm-up of a lot of dynamic movements to get the heart-rate up. I was a little naive in thinking it would be a reasonably slow and steady class however this wasn’t the case! Our warm-up consisted of various pliés, leg kicks and lunges with accompanying arm movements at a fast pace leaving the body thoroughly warmed up after minutes.
For the second part of the class we each took a pair of hand weights for a more upper body focused workout. Combinations of graceful movements resulted in targeting the triceps and biceps with a lot of pulses resulting in your muscles really feeling a burn.
Next we were asked to get a mat each and a resistance band. I use resistance bands regularly and I knew this was going to hurt! We used the bands for various lower body exercises including side lying leg lifts and clamshells. As before, we did a lot of pulsing of certain movements which really fired my glutes and quads.
Nearing the end of the class we put down the resistance bands but kept doing floor work on the mats including donkey kicks to work our glutes and bicycle crunches for abs.
The last section of the class was to cool down and stretch. The instructor made sure we stretched our whole bodies and I left feeling out of breath but supple.
Would You Do It Again?
100% yes! It brought back memories of my ballet dancing days and gave me that chance to use my gracefulness and fluidity which I don’t really get to when weightlifting. It blasted my whole body, especially my lower body and I could feel it straight away. The use of resistance bands was especially effective and the amount of pulsing we did meant I felt DOMS in my legs for a couple of days! You don’t have to be a dancer to do this workout which makes it accessible to everyone.
Have you tried a barre class before? If so let me know what you thought in the comments below!