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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.
Times are strange right now, as you all know. We’ve all heard the phrase “new normal” about a million times already, and all the while, things are still changing every day. If you asked me a few months ago what I’d be writing about right now, I would never have guessed I’d be interviewing someone about what it’s like to get a haircut.
Nonetheless, we’re all doing our best to band together and help each other out right now. You may have noticed salons and spas offering messages of support, video tutorials for DIY beauty, and now, waitlists and announcements of reopening their doors. But as we all know, this isn’t the “old normal” anymore, and there will be changes.
Here’s what you can expect to be different when you finally head back into the salon or spa:
As salons and spas begin to reopen, they’ll likely have to make changes due to new social distancing requirements. When you enter the space, you’ll probably see a complete rearrangement. Stations will be separated by at least six feet, and some might even be removed to allow for more space. Salons that don’t have that much space to spare are putting in temporary walls or partitions.
On top of that, there may be fewer appointments scheduled at the same time (and definitely no walk-ins) to limit the number of people in the building. Say goodbye to waiting rooms and lobbies—you’ll likely be asked to wait outside or in your car until the exact start time of your appointment to prevent too many people crowding the front.
In addition to their increase in space, salons and spas will likely up their cleaning standards and procedures. We surveyed active consumers on the Mindbody app and learned that among the many changes beauty and wellness businesses can make upon reopening, following rigorous sanitization guidelines is the most important. You’ll probably see social posts or confirmation emails that outline new cleaning protocols, and you may notice some signage hanging around the building to reassure that the areas have been disinfected. Employees, and even guests, will be wearing masks and/or gloves, and you may even get a spritz of hand sanitizer at the door. According to Salon 124 Group, getting these supplies is turning out to be one of the largest obstacles for reopening.
In between each appointment, they’ll thoroughly disinfect the area before the next client arrives. Not only that, but each time you move to a new station (like from shampoo to haircut), they may also wipe down the station as soon as you get up to make sure it’s clean for the next guest.
After a good haircut, we all want to check ourselves out. And now that we’re all more cautious of germs and bacteria, we also want to literally check ourselves out at the end of our appointments. Out of the various fitness, beauty, and wellness businesses on our platform, consumers feel most comfortable returning to hair salons, and 62.7% said hair cutting, coloring, styling, barbering, or blow-drying would be the first beauty service they book once restrictions are lifted. An extra, important layer of comfort can be added in the form of contactless payments.
Many salons and spas will likely be incorporating some sort of contactless checkout process to limit touch points. They may end up taking your payment information at check-in via text and removing the front desk, so you don’t have to interact with another person face-to-face.
All-in-all, you can expect changes—and lots of them. Whether it’s increased retail offerings, curbside pickups, virtual consultations, at-home appointments, or video tutorials, many salons and spas are getting creative with how they offer support to their clients. Above all, they want to help us feel beautiful, confident, and somewhat normal during this time—and for that, we’re so thankful.
Want to hear about a real salon experience firsthand? One of our own got her hair done at a reopened salon in Georgia—here’s how it went.
Are you a salon owner yourself? Check out the Reboot Kit for Salons, Spas, & Wellness Businesses for extensive info and advice on how to prepare for reopening.