What makes a barre workout so, well, awesome, you ask?

Ok, so maybe you didn’t ask but I’m gonna tell ya anyway. 😉

After riding a consistent barre n9ne high this week (and last week, for that matter), I got to thinking about well, what does make a barre workout so awesome, anyway?

For me, it’s a few things…

…the combination of strengthening with lengthening. In just a few weeks, I’ve noticed some pretty awesome definition popping up – in my shoulders for example (there’s just something very sexy about strong shoulders, not gonna lie…), and hell even my legs seem longer (a tough feat given my stature – 5’3″ club anyone??). My sis and I were commenting on that very fact after class the other night – that we’re finally seeing the results of all of our hard work, well – appearing, right before our eyes. Finally. It’s about damn time!

…the tiny little movements that all add up to one gigantic owwwww, but result in a tighter butt, firmer thighs and better posture. I honest-to-God stand taller, shoulders back, chest out – and even though I’m darn short, I feel leaner somehow.

…the quiet camaraderie that builds during a particularly intense barre workout. Anyone who has taken a barre class (Core Fusion, Refine, Barre N9ne, Physique57, etc.) knows exactly what I mean. That moment when the instructor says (slightly too enthusiastically): “Ok, we’re done with thighs, time to work glutes!” and at least one student will grown and giggle, and then a few more giggles make their way through the room and before you know it, we’re all laughing as we move into the next pose. It’s a very different camaraderie vibe than any other group fitness class I’ve taken. Sort of an unspoken support system – we’re all in this together, yet nobody really voices that until the most intense portion of class and then all bets are off. Groans, giggles, maybe a little whining, but by the end, we’re high as ever…which brings me to my final point…

…the mental ‘high’ that comes from working hard for an hour straight. (Very different from running hard for an hour) Concentrating so hard on keeping good form (hips tucked, shoulders back, knees slightly bent), on tiny little up movements (not down up, but up up, if that makes sense) and letting that shake in the legs, arms, calves, shake as they might. But knowing that that shake is GOOD. And walking (err limping?) away feeling so proud that you stood strong, you pushed through the pain, you didn’t give up. That, my friends, is a barre n9ne high.

But don’t take it from me…my mentor and inspiration, barre n9ne studio owner Tanya (if you haven’t checked out her blog yet, please do -it’s awesome!), will be doing a blog Q&A with me in the next few days around what it is that makes a barre workout so effective (sure it’s awesome, but why is it so effective??). If you have any questions for her, send them my way and I’ll work them in!