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Social distancing has us skipping the fitness studio—but that doesn’t mean skipping your next workout. If you used to live for your membership but now find yourself working out from your living room, or you just need something besides WFH to focus on, it’s about time you try barre.
Barre is straight-up one of the best low-impact, full-body workouts you can do for yourself—wherever you are. No dance experience required. From strengthening your core, to elongating those leg lifts, to tapping into your triceps, barre tones different muscle groups through isolated movements. Barre is gentle on the joints but tough enough to tighten. The best part about barre? It can be modified to fit any at-home environment (yeah, we're looking at all the busy moms working out bedside).
So, why should you try barre right now? Because barre during quarantine might just be your best introduction to this all-level workout.
Not sure what you need for barre class, social distancing style? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Barre instructors know you don’t have a ballet barre just bolted into the wall of your at-home office, so they have modified classes to be conducive to equipment we actually have. Your “barre” can be everything from a highchair to the edge of your couch. The main thing you need? A yoga mat to support your core, back, and booty. Some virtual classes might also use light hand weights. If you don’t have weights, you can get creative (try using a book, bag of flour, wine bottle—just don't drop it!) or opt out of using extra gear. You’re guaranteed to get a great workout without extra weight in hand. You can choose from hundreds of virtual classes.
Since being quarantined is the new norm, thousands of barre studios around the world are hosting virtual classes on Mindbody. Who said you couldn’t travel during social distancing? There’s no shortage of studios going online to get you off the couch. You can try classes from Sydney to San Antonio, London to LA. You’ll rack up those air miles without ever leaving the living room. Feeling a little overwhelmed on where to begin your barre journey?
A few of our favorite studios offering virtual barre classes include:
Roll out your mat, grab some grip socks if you want, and get ready to check out some of the best instructors in the barre biz.
Flex, fold, extend, pelvic floor—this body-toning workout has its own language. Not well-versed in barre? You’ve got nothing to fear. From plies and point to “up an inch, down an inch,” instructors will help to correct and educate you as you flow from floor to core, especially over virtual classes. If you aren’t sure what an instructor means when he or she says “tuck,” just watch and learn. Making sure you understand the actual movement is more important than remembering the word. You’ll get the barre lingo down in no time at all.
Barre is made up of ballet-inspired classes that incorporate elements of Pilates, dance, yoga, and functional training, and it has *tons* of benefits. Barre workouts include isometric strength training combined with high reps of small movements (think pulsing and lengthening). It’s a total body burn, sometimes in just 30 minutes! When you work a muscle group to fatigue in barre, it tends to tremble. That feel-good shake is where “the good stuff” (AKA the magic) happens. Where you push yourself mentally and physically to go the extra inch—or to finish out those final ten seconds. Barre instructors everywhere love when your muscles are shaking and trust us, you will, too.
If you live in a two-story walkup, the last thing you want to do is be jumping up-and-down as your neighbor's downstairs are on day 17 of self-isolation. Or as your S/O is on a conference call in the room next to you. Barre lets you break a sweat without making a ton of noise (unless you’re turning up the tunes to get through your final 60-second plank). In barre, you’ll experience the isometric strength training and small movements we mentioned earlier. Knee lifts paired with a glute press is a common combo, along with a variety of core exercises (burn out those lower/upper/middle/left/right abs, baby!), ballet squats, planks, and pulsing—a lot of pulsing. But like we said, that’s where the magic happens and where your muscles (and your mind) fight to finish that last 5, now 4, 3, last 2, and 1.
Whether you’re booking your first (virtual) barre class or taking your fourth one this week, we love to see how you stay active from the comfort of your home! Share to your Instagram stories and tag @mindbody, so we can share what working out looks like for you during social distancing. Here’s to sweating it out in our makeshift gyms and keeping safe, one day at a time.
The hybrid-style of virtual and in-person classes has become the new normal for the majority of fitness studios across the world. While we all have augmented our workout schedules to accommodate in-person and online classes, I suddenly got the motivation (it could be because I am getting married soon) to get back into in-person HIIT classes.
Pre-COVID, I had just started getting into HIIT. Coming from a girl who grew up dancing and doing barre her whole life, it was a big adjustment for me, but I started to love the classes. And with studios near me reopening, I realized that I felt ready to go back into the studio to test out a new style of HIIT class.
I found Gemini Fit by Scott Baker on the Mindbody app. It’s a HIIT/ Tabata training studio in San Diego, CA that aims to create a unique, fun, effective group and personal training experience. What immediately sold me was the class sizes were limited to 5-6 people to allow for social distancing, so I signed up a week or so in advance and was ready to go.
Not going to lie, when the day came to go to class, I was a bit nervous—what was an in-person class going to look like in the new normal? Luckily, my fears subsided when I arrived.
Scott excitedly welcomed me and gave me the low-down on everything in the studio. I got there 10 minutes early to make sure I had enough time to go through everything and check in. I also got to meet the studio mascot, Alabama, Scott’s adorable dog! Scott explained that the class would be HIIT/Tabata style (like an F45 class), where you go from station to station for a certain amount of time. He explained the exercise at each station and equipment accompanying.
He then went over the several COVID-19 precautions they were taking:
• Limiting the classes to 6 people
• Sanitization wipes and hand sanitizer at each station
• 50-minute class times
• Masks required in the lobby areas (can be worn working out depending on comfort
• Optional gloves
• Extra cleaning between each class and station
I was a bit intimidated; my workout regimen had been less than optimal (thanks, COVID), so I was scared to get back into things. Once we got moving all my concerns disappeared, and I got into a groove. The music was blasting, the exercises were dynamic, fast-paced, and effective. Each station had different props and moves, and they all felt extremely safe and clean.
What stood out to me immediately was the personalization of the class.
I was so impressed with the way he personalized each move at the different stations for each person. He really gets to know his team and provides separate workouts for everyone based on their comfort level and what they want to achieve—it’s almost like a personal training session!
As the 50-minute class was drawing toward the close, I realized I didn’t want it to end! It had flown by due to the moving of stations and dynamic mix of exercises. I was feeling the burn and going to be sore the next day—but I loved it.
What I enjoyed most about the class was the fact that I felt so safe the entire time, and could go at my own pace and comfort level, which is especially nice coming back to an in-person for the first time since COVID-19. I can’t wait to go back and would recommend trying the class. The fast-paced style of HIIT may not be for everyone, but if you're looking for a new workout to mix up your fitness routine, it’s definitely worth a try.
Want to try it for yourself? Book a class at Gemini Fit! Not ready to go in person, browse virtual HIIT on Mindbody.