Equilibrio, ever keen to attempt new fitness adventures, decided to try one of the newer group-class offerings at Virgin Active, Barre 180.
We had heard that Barre included a fair amount of ballet but were unsure if that meant we’d be attempting pirouettes during the class – something which was unlikely to be successful! The instructor quickly reassured us that you don’t have to be a ballerina to partake in the class. All you require is a yoga mat, so bring your own if desired.
A large part of our class took place in the middle of the studio, in a squat position or balancing on one leg. We did quite a few routines lifting one leg forwards, sideways and backward with pointed toes and ‘ballet arms’. This requires a fair amount of balance and engages the core, glutes, quadriceps and hip flexors extensively.
The second part of the class was spent at the barre, stretching and doing other strength exercises like pliés. And finally, we went back to the middle of the studio for several Pilates and yoga inspired movements and poses focusing on abs, legs and balance.
We loved doing something graceful for a change. The flowy movements are somehow calming but very challenging. Make no mistake, you will ache and sweat during this class! Another plus is the big focus on posture which we all neglect while sitting behind desks all day. I was stiff in strange places after this class like the inside of my thighs and my shins which is proof that you engage different muscles and particularly stabilizers while doing Barre.
This is a great class for people who enjoy Pilates but would like to change it up a bit. If you are a runner or a cyclist Barre will be excellent for strengthening the glutes and hip flexors.
Equillibrio will go back to Barre!
Click here to watch Virgin Active’s introductory video to Barre 180.
Click here to watch another more detailed clip.