Saturday, November 12, 2011

Xtend Barre - What a Workout!

I will admit, my daily/semi-daily exercise routine consists of walking, and every now and again running.  That is my staple workout.

But I absolutely love throwing in something fun and different once a week to break the monotony.  The past few weeks, that fun and different has been Xtend Barre!

For those who don't know what Xtend Barre is, it is a ballet and Pilates amplified.  You use ballet and pilates moves to build core strength as well as chisel and elongate all of your muscles.

An Xtend Barre studio just recently opened a mile away from my home in Mission Viejo, so I am especially excited how convenient it is for me to attend.  (This morning, I rolled out of bed at 8:10 - yes, the kids were nice to me! - and made it to an 8:30 class.)

What I like most about the class is the emphasis on elongating the muscles.  As a girl {I prefer to call myself that over "woman" :)} who has short legs and has always felt kind of stumpy,  it feels great to try and stretch my legs and arms into being longer and standing taller to actually feel taller.  Perception is reality, right?

I have been to three classes so far, and what I love is that the movements in the class have never been the same.  We work out the same zones of the body, but in different ways. That is great for me because I can't figure out a way to make the movement easier on myself, a.k.a. cheat! 

When I originally signed up to take classes at Xtend Barre, I figured it would be just like Pure Barre.  As I mentioned earlier this year, Pure Barre is great because there is a lot of "shaking and shaping."

And while Xtend Barre and Pure Barre share some of the same basic principles, ballet and Pilates, there are some subtle differences.

Xtend Barre does seem to focus more on the proper ballet dance poses and movement as well as style and grace.  All of which are challenging to me since I don't have any dance background (high school and sorority dance skits don't count!).  But if you do have a dance background, this class would be a perfect way to use what you know in a workout environment.

But I like that.  Maybe in the process I will gain some grace.  And as I mentioned before, Xtend Barre does seem to focus a little bit more on posture and elongating.  Pure Barre seems to have more high repetition, slight movements that focus on muscle tightening. 

For the sake of a workout, I think you really can't go wrong with either Xtend Barre or Pure Barre. It just depends on what suits your needs and likes in a class.  And bottom line, which class actually motivates you to keep going to class!

Courtney and Stephanie, the owners and instructors for my Mission Viejo Xtend Barre studio are fantastic!  They have both been very helpful in correcting my positioning so that I optimize each movement, and bottom line, they keep me going!

If you haven't tried Xtend Barre, I highly recommend you do it now!  With all the yummy holiday foods coming and the weather turning cold, it is the perfect time to turn to an indoor studio class that makes you feel great!


Alyson said...

Fun post! I heard about your site from a mom who owns a studio that offers xtend barre. eager to try! And, love your blog.

Houses, Couches and Babies said...

Thanks, Alyson! You should definitely try Xtend Barre. Even if you didn't like it (which I highly doubt), at least you will know you got a great workout!

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