When I say ‘exercise’ what is the first thing that pops into your head? I’m going to take a wild guess and say that you thought of the gym, lifting weights, running or perhaps some kind of group aerobics class. Am I right? I bet I’m close!
These forms of exercise have long been the standard ways we think about moving our bodies. For many of us we’ve tried them, pushed ourselves to do them and now, we absolutely hate them! Welcome to the year 2016 and the world of fitness and exercise is getting bigger, broader and more exciting everyday. We now have things like Pilates, Yogalates, Cross Fit, Jump Fit, Kettlebells, Boot camp, HIIT, Soul Cycle and Zumba just to name a few.
With so many new fitness trends popping up all the time, the world of fitness can start to seem a bit foreign.
For example, I saw a poster at the gym just the other day for a class called Piloxing and I thought to myself, Pilo-what?! These days we are spoilt for choice when it comes to ways to get in shape but let's face it, with names like Piloxing and Zumba, we usually have no idea what these new trends actually are about and they can sometimes seem just a little bit intimidating.
I want you to love your body. I want you to feel fit and healthy and able to handle anything life throws at you. I want to inspire you to try new things and to find a form of exercise that you absolutely love. So to help you do just that I've created this new blog series called Fitness Road Test. I want to give you some insight into what some of these new and exciting fitness trends entail, what to expect if you decided to try it for yourself and where you might be able to join in on some of the action. For my first post in this series I am really excited to tell you all about a really amazing new way to strengthen and tone your entire body. Please allow me to introduce you to the world of Booty Barre.
A few months ago a friend of mine told me about an amazing woman she had met that had just started running some new classes called Booty Barre. My first reaction was very much like the sentence above, Booty what? Intrigued by the sound of this 'Booty Barre' I decided it was something I needed to try. Going into the class I had some vague idea that I would probably be doing ballet moves like plies, squats, perhaps some leg lifts and that the class would involve using the ballet barre. I was kind of skeptical that it would be a good workout and that I was going to get my sweat on. Nonetheless I was curious and eager to find out for sure. So off we went one chilling Wednesday morning to a sports club in the Buda side of Budapest. Here I met our gorgeous instructor, Fruzsina Szemzo-Lorant. One hour later, I was dripping with sweat and slightly in shock that this Booty Barre thing had just kicked me in the butt (pun intended) and that after just one class, I was absolutely hooked!
Booty Barre is an amazing weave of Pilates, Ballet and Yoga but at the same time, not quite like any single one of them!
It is something you must experience and may come to love just as quickly as I did.
What a Booty Barre class was like
The first thing that really warmed me to this class was not only the amazing instructor Fruzsina, but the great tunes she had prepared and the welcoming and friendly atmosphere. There were smiling, friendly faces everywhere. This put me at ease right away and I was excited to see what this class was all about.
We began with a warm up of Pilates and Ballet moves to fire up the muscles and prepare us for some serious conditioning. This was followed by an upper body workout with small hand held weights to tone and tighten the arms, shoulders and chest.
The middle section of the class was split into 2 parts. The first part was all about small isolated movements of Pilates to hone in on the muscles of the butt, inner and outer thighs and hips.
The second part of the class moved to the ballet barre. This is where the workout really started to kick in and the booty part of 'Booty Barre' took centre stage. We did plies, squats, leg lifts and some standing core work that really bought out the sweat and made my muscles burn.
While doing each of the movements there was always a focus on drawing in the abs and keeping your back straight and tall. This constant observation of correcting my form, using the right muscles and holding the postures brought in a real mind body connection to the workout. There were times I was so focused on what I was doing and what I was feeling that I completely forgot there were other women in the room.
We ended the class with some mat work; abs and yoga moves to stretch, rest and restore. The class was amazing and nothing like I expected. I was starting to feel a bit sore already but in all the places us girls really want to feel sore. I knew right away that I would be back for more.
Who Booty Barre is suitable for
Booty Barre is perfect for anyone looking to improve the shape and tone of their muscles and who wants to get a full body workout that is high energy but low impact on the body. You are there to work on your own technique and it is really about self improvement. Booty Barre offers you the chance to really work on getting stronger, leaner muscles that will improve your posture, the shape of your body and your confidence. It is a body and mind workout that is challenging but very rewarding. You are going to feel strong not only physically but also mentally! You are also going to have a ton of fun in the process in a really friendly and welcoming atmosphere.
Each movement has a variety of modifications for beginners through to advanced so this makes Booty Barre suitable for people of all fitness levels. It is always advisable to consult your doctor first if you have any major health issues before embarking on a new sport or exercise routine.
What you should bring
Bring a towel, a water bottle and an open mind. Why not bring a friend too! Be prepared to sweat, work your muscles and have so much fun doing it!
Where you can join a class
Booty Barre classes are becoming more and more popular and are offered all around the world.
Fruzsina teaches at Body Factory in Budapest. You can find more information and the latest timetable on the website here.
For everyone else, check out the Official Booty Barre website for class locations all over the world.
Have you tried Booty Barre before? What did you think? If you try a class, I would love to hear your opinion.