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Bar and Bay Wreath
Local
Published Friday Feb 14, 2020 by Fitt

BARRE + bay wreath Is Your New Go-to for Fitness, Coffee, Flowers, and More

Fitness
Barre

Located in Sorrento Valley, BARRE + bay wreath is an Insta-worthy, minimalist studio that’s raising the barre for fitness and community. And while you can definitely expect challenging, ballet-inspired, total-body toning workouts, the modern wellness brand is so much more than that.  

 

Small, But Mighty 

BARRE + bay wreath is also connected to a bohemian floral studio, coffee shop, and charming retail boutique, making it the ideal spot to hang out with your barre besties after class or to stop in on a lazy Saturday for a latte and a fresh flower arrangement. 

 

If you're swinging by for a workout, you're in for a real treat. The classes at this boutique space feature exercises studied and approved by physical therapists and are all about small movements and big results. Think isometric movements that fatigue, elongate, and stretch muscles to build strength and flexibility. That might sound easy, but trust us — it gets intense, fast. 

 

Don't worry, though, they offer a range of classes for all levels, so whether you’ve stepped up to the barre more times than you can count or you’re a complete tuck and pulse newbie, you'll find something for you. Plus, between their quick, 45-minute express workouts and their extended, 75-minute sessions, you’ll be able to get into the studio no matter what your schedule looks like. 

 

Get ROOTED with a classic technique breakdown complete with tried-and-true barre moves. Or, slow things down and sign up for their RESTORE class, a barre-based series that includes restorative stretching exercises meant to leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. But if you’re ready to kick things up a notch, you can’t go wrong with RISE, a challenging, cardio-based mashup that’ll push you to your edge. Fitt Tip: grip socks are required, but if you don’t own a pair, the studio has you covered. 

 

Barre + Blooms 

While we can’t get enough of BARRE + bay wreath's full-body barre classes, it’s hard not to get distracted by the dreamy marketplace at the front of the studio. A picturesque space filled with flowers, retail items, stationery sets, and some  seriously good coffee, we don’t blame you if you find an excuse to stay all day.  

 

So, order a cold brew and catch up with friends, channel your creativity in one of their bouquet making workshops, or snag a pre-made seasonal bunch on your way out the door. One thing's for sure — whether you’re heading over for a solid sweat or a killer cappuccino, you’re in for an afternoon of fun and good vibes. 

 

This article was originally published on Fitt.co.
 
About the author
Fitt is a location-based discovery platform that connects users to healthy experiences across 30 cities in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia. Find the best fitness studios, healthy restaurants, and outdoor adventures at www.fitt.co.
woman stretching warm-up
The Latest
Published Tuesday Apr 07, 2020 by Jay Greene

Don't Forget to Stretch: How to Prep for a Virtual Class 

Fitness
Expert Advice

With so many fitness studios and gyms closing their doors in a bid to help flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic, their members are turning to at-home workouts to fill the need for physical activity.  As we’ve mentioned before, there has likely been no better time to prioritize exercise in our daily lives, both for physical and emotional reasons. Luckily, many studios are now recording and streaming virtual workouts so people can take advantage of their offerings at home (Hint: you don't have to just book local, change your location to anywhere you'd like and explore classes all over the world!). But before you move the coffee table and roll out the mat, there’s something you should remember: stretching. 

Ah yes. Stretching. For many of us (though we’d never say it out loud) stretching before and after working out feels a bit like that pile of peas your mom made you eat as a kid: you know it’s good for you, but do I have to? The answer, I’m afraid, is yes—and even more so if you’re working out at home. Here are some best practices to help you prevent injury and make sure you’re getting the most of your incredibly valuable workouts. 
 

Step 1: Show Up Early 

Remember: any workout—even one done in your living room—is still a workout. If you’re about to do a 45-minute virtual class, don’t just give yourself 45 minutes. You need to give yourself time to arrange your space, get your water, and get your mind right before hitting play or joining that livestream. But you also need to give yourself time to get your body right too, and that brings us to… 
 

Step 2: Warm Up 

Wait, what about stretching? Conventional wisdom dictates that you should stretch your muscles before beginning your physical activity, but mounting research is telling us that may not be such a great idea. Stretching your cold, stiff muscle fibers before they’re warmed up can actually hurt them. And because we're spending so much time at home, it’s likely our poor muscle fibers are tighter now than they've been in a long time. 

If you’re following along with a livestream or on-demand workout, there will likely be some sort of instructor-led warm-up. That said, don’t assume that your virtual workout will provide exactly the kind of warm-up that you personally need. Without the trainer right there to keep you accountable and check your form, it’s super important to take steps to protect yourself and ensure you’re warmed up enough to begin. 

According to McAlister Training co-owner and head trainer Michael McAlister, “Warming up is as important, if not more important, than the workout itself. Even from home, I encourage clients to warm-up just like they would at our studio. Before every class, I ask clients to foam roll, do hip lifts, and perform trunk rotations as a pre-warm-up. Then, we’ll warm-up together on-screen.” 

So before reaching for those toes, spend a few minutes getting your blood moving to the areas you are going to stretch and exercise. A few other great ideas for some gentle (but effective) warm-ups include: 

- High knees (or run in place) 
- Push-ups 
- Holding a plank 
- Air squats 

Once you’re nice and warm, and maybe breathing a little heavier… 
 

Step 3: Now You Can Stretch 

Properly stretching your muscles helps keep them long and flexible, improving your range of motion during the coming workout and protecting muscles and joints from potential injury like sprains and strains. But as important as stretching is, you can injure yourself just as easily doing it incorrectly as you can by skipping it entirely.  

Enter your stretches slowly, and don’t overstretch to the point of pain. You should feel a satisfying pull, but if it hurts, you’ve gone too far. Combine static stretching—where you find your stretch and hold it for 30 seconds or more—with dynamic stretches like “cat-cow” where you move fluidly through a range of controlled motions. Feel free to concentrate on an area longer if you know you’re about to work that area out intensively or if you feel a lot of tightness there. And please, don’t bounce in your stretch—just stick with smooth, steady movements to avoid injuring yourself before you’ve even begun your workout. 

 

Virtual workouts now on Mindbody banner

 

Step 4: Work Out 

During the workout, pay attention to areas of tightness/sensitivity you noticed during your stretching session (or any new ones you discover).  Don’t “push through the pain” in problem areas or extend your muscles and joints past their natural range of motion. Basically, if it feels wrong, it is wrong. There’s absolutely no shame in modifying a move to protect yourself. 

“If you’re attending livestream classes at the studio you regularly go to, reach out to your instructor(s), and let them know what you’re experiencing. Just like in a regular class, they’ll be happy to chat with you on the phone or through FaceTime, individually, to provide tips to modify and recover properly,” says McAlister. 
 

Step 5: Cool Down 

Once you've counted down the final seconds of your workout and completed your last rep, you may be (justifiably) tempted to lay on the floor in a sweaty heap for a while before getting up to shower and carry on with your day.  But do that and you’ll miss a huge opportunity to improve your overall mobility and flexibility.  

As soon as your workout is over, cool down with some walking to bring your heart rate down in a controlled manner. Once you’ve caught your breath, it’s time to stretch again—and this one’s at least as important as the first. Think about it: your muscles are about as warm as they’re ever going to get, which makes it the perfect opportunity to work on conditioning those muscles and joints. Stretching can help lengthen and soothe your pumped-up muscles, which are now in a more contracted state after your workout. 

Plus, stretching is just a nice closing ritual for ending a workout. It allows you to decompress after the physical demands you just placed on your body and gives you a moment of calm reflection before changing gears. 
 

Step 7: Stick with It 

Just like working out, stretching only reveals its true potential when you do it consistently.  If you’re inflexible now, you got that way over a long period of time—and that means it’s going to take time to improve it. You can’t expect a single high-quality stretch sesh to undo months or years of tightness. Stick with a good pre- and post-workout stretch routine, and one day you’ll notice those toes aren’t quite so far away, and your back doesn’t hurt so much when you do that one thing anymore. 

Right now, a lot of people are re-evaluating what “normal” means for them, and many of them are finding ways to use this difficult time for self-improvement.  Virtual, at-home workouts are a blessing, giving us ways to stay active and stay connected with our favorite studios and trainers (or try new ones!).  But remember, you can protect yourself while you push yourself—you just might have to stretch yourself a bit. 

Jay Greene
Written by
Jay Greene
Copywriter
About the author
Jay has been proudly wearing his Mindbody lanyard since 2014. When he’s not writing for you fine folks, you can find him enjoying the great outdoors, holding a baby (or two), cooking and/or eating good food, or wading through a dusty old book of Stoic philosophy.