Why Open Barre?
I get asked all the time what makes our method different from the hundreds of other programs. It's always hard to give a short answer, especially because it depends which studio/ method you're familiar with. I've never heard of a studio that has the same method as us, and I've also never heard of a place where our methods have nothing in common. So instead, I will outline a few key points that make up our foundation.
We plan our workouts to promote strength, balance, coordination, and stability, while helping you to feel your best and achieve a sculpted lean look! Lots of planning and research goes into it. Our barre classes here at the studio are a mix of many practices including: Pilates, yoga, ballet, weight and resistance training, HIIT, and more. We blend the most effective exercises and methods from each practice to breed our super-powered barre classes! The outcomes that we strive towards while designing these classes are to help our clients to first and foremost, stay safe and keep healthy joints and bodies, and next, sculpt lean muscle, eliminate bodily aches and pains, improve posture, and increase flexibility, endurance, & strength. Curious how we do this? Then read on. Even if you do not live close by, you could still incorporate elements of our classes and our workouts into your own fitness routine to see results. We want to share our knowledge with as many people as we can- it is our true passion! In later posts, I will share specific workouts and exercises, but for now, here is a summary on our fitness beliefs & what we're all about.
- When you do those tiny pulses or holds, you’re building SLOW TWITCH muscle fibers, which are the smallest muscle fiber in size & the type that accounts for your endurance and stability. The muscle will become stronger and you will appear toned without the bulk. The stronger the muscle, the more calories you burn- even at rest, so it'll help with weight loss as well.
- While performing an isometric exercise, your brain initiates muscle contraction by sending electrical impulses through ‘motor units,’ which are arranged into small groups of muscle fibers. The longer your brain tells your muscle to contract, the more motor units are recruited to contract in order to keep holding that position. When you start SHAKING, the muscle is beginning to fatigue. If you fight through it, your brain will be forced to use the muscle fibers that aren’t typically reached as a last resort. You’re really getting into those nooks and crannies! So Shaking is GOOD!
- Low-impact: Isometrics & low weight, high rep
- Low weight, high rep movements also mainly build slow-twitch muscles, to ensure those muscles are very lean. Although women don’t typically bulk-up from fast twitch muscle due to our hormones, it does happen to some- I've personally experienced a bit of that. So if you are prone to bulking and would prefer to avoid it, low weight/ high rep exercises or isometrics would be right up your alley!
- We exercise control with each movement, aiming to eliminate the momentum that is typically found in plyometrics or heavy weight lifting. Our slower movement and lower weight ensures that we are using only muscular strength, and not momentum, which is typically absorbed by the joints, tearing and inflaming them. In short, the low-impact exercises are very safe. You have very little risk for injury!
- Most of our classes incorporate at least a few full-range-of-motion exercises to raise the heart rate and build your fast twitch muscle fibers, which promote speed and power. This combined with the sculpting isometric exercises will give you a more well-rounded workout regimen. It’ll help you gain more functional strength (some barre-skeptics argue that the isometric exercises don’t give you any power to carry into your life). Not to mention the boost of your heart-health!
- Core strength
- Your abs are engaged for about 80% of the class, and worked hard during the core work section, so you will have abs of steel, reduce any back pain you may have, and improve your posture/ alignment, which in turn reduces your risk of injury!
- We offer many different types of classes so that you can mix up your routine. Your body’s cycles aren’t linear, and neither should your workouts be! This way, you can keep from reaching a plateau or getting bored. Most instructors cycle through choreography about once per week or two so that if you can attend multiple of her classes, you can get the moves down pat, notice your improvements, and then before you get bored- the choreography has changed!
In addition, our workouts are designed to build coordination, balance, & strength. Although there are modifications and progressions so that you can stay working within (or maybe a little bit above) your own fitness level, the combinations can require a bit of concentration on the choreography. You won't be worried about that presentation you have to give tomorrow or dwelling on that argument you had with your sister yesterday, because you have to focus on YOU, which is such a refreshing feeling. Focusing on the choreography- and moving your arms one way, and your leg another, while keeping a neutral spine, and good posture, etc. will help build your mind-body connection, improving your general coordination. The resulting AMAZING form from that concentration will allow then you to work more effectively to build more strength with every pulse or bicep curl.
So there ya have it! And that is just the surface level on why we do what we do! There is a lot more to our methods, especially when you dig into our alignment beliefs and what we believe is the most safe and effective way to position your body during each individual exercise. I won't get into that today, but maybe in the near future I will bore you with those details as well ;)
I'd love to hear your comments below!! Always feel free to ask questions, or even introduce yourself!