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Get Fit: Barre Comes to Greenwood

Get Fit: Barre Comes to Greenwood

Never heard of Barre? Well, moms and dads, it’s come to Greenwood, and this season of new resolutions is the perfect time to consider barre for your health and fitness.

Basically, it’s a workout at a ballet barre. The “barre” is a horizontal tube that’s attached to a wall or is freestanding. Although this type of workout is relatively new in these parts, it’s been around for decades.

Lotte Berk was a German dancer who fled to London in the late 1930s to escape the Nazis. Using Berk’s exercises, combined with input from physical therapists, Burr Leonard created what is known as the Bar Method.

These movements target muscles without impacting joints. They use paced interval training and fuse ballet, Pilates, sports conditioning and stretching. The moves are low-impact, but high-intensity and are followed immediately by deep stretching.

Classes begin with a warm-up focusing on postural strength and alignment, followed by a series of upper body exercises using light weights (1-3 pounds). The ballet barre is used to sculpt the lower body and abs.

Workouts are generally one hour in length and are full-body. Patterns begin with the front side of the lower body and then alternate between the front and back. This allows one area to be stretched while the other half is working.

Certified Barre instructors, such as Lisa Melton, from the Alluvian Spa’s Studio A, are trained and tested in anatomy and physiology in order to provide modifications for students during class. Although the classes are based on ballet, Melton indicates you do not have to be a dancer of any kind in order to enjoy the workout. Barre instructors through Studio A are adept at personalizing classes for each member of the group.

The workouts are low-impact and not stressful for joints, so participation is not limited by age or fitness level. When I began going to Barre class in 2012, I was well over 200 poundsand severely out of shape. The instructors and the workouts help me condition and tone my body.

Since every workout is customized by the instructor, no two workouts are ever the same. While Melton tends to be more cardiovascular in her approach, instructor Meghan Litton teaches a yoga-themed class. For the dancers, Lyn McCool is spot on. Each instructor is distinct, so the experience is always enlightening.

According to Aleshis Scott, operations supervisor at The Alluvian Spa, barre class is offered at Studio A on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. and Saturdays at 11 a.m. at 325D Howard St., Greenwood.

Single classes are $10 each, but by purchasing multiple classes or a membership, you save money.For $40, you can go to all the classes offered in a month. This is an average of 12 classes and saves you $80.

So come get in shape and make new friends at your local Barre!

 

By Dr. Erin Jacobs Stagner, DC, MS

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