I took my first ever barre class about 2 weeks ago at a local boutique studio called OMCORE Yoga & Body located on Saint Simons Island, GA and y’all, I absolutely LOVED it. Let me start by saying this is in no way sponsored, I just wanted to share my personal experience for others that might be interested in switching up their regular fitness routine! First, let me tell you a little bit about the studio I took the class at….
“OMCORE is a unique space in which you are encouraged to tap into your core being — physically, mentally, emotionally, and energetically. — so that you may genuinely connect with others and radiate your very best self to the world. Our class sizes are small enough for individual attention, yet large enough to promote a sense of camaraderie and support. It’s the ONLY boutique studio in the Golden Isles area to offer HOT YOGA, OMCORE BARRE, and INDOOR CYCLE classes. We intentionally offer a wide variety of classes to bring ultimate strength, flexibility, and balance to the body, mind, and heart.”
Source: OMCORE Yoga & Body
I was so excited to sign up for the 8:15 barre class on a Tuesday morning with the owner of OMCORE, Patricia as the instructor for the morning. Immediately upon walking into the studio I was greeted at the front desk with a warm good morning! Y’all, this is important to me. Gyms and studios can be known for being intimidating or even cliquey–I did not at all get that vibe from this class experience. After signing in, I walked into the room where all the equipment and spots were laid out. This was extremely nice as a first timer!! I wasn’t awkwardly scrambling around asking others what I needed–I felt included and not at all like I didn’t know what I was doing (even though I didn’t, haha). Before the class started the instructor came over and welcomed me and told me what I could expect for the class. This was also a nice touch–for me, it’s these extra little things that make an experience great! It was around this point that I realized I forgot my water bottle in the car. And if you know me, you know that I am never without my water bottle. Like I actually get very anxious if I don’t have my water bottle. BUT, I just told myself, this is a low-impact class, you’ll totally be fine. Well, you bet your biscuits that I really wanted that water half way through. Just because something is low impact doesn’t mean that your body isn’t working hard!!!
Let’s get to the format of the class….
The entire class was set to music which makes for such a fun atmosphere and also gives you an idea of how long you’ll be doing specific movements. We started off with a choreographed warm up which was mostly stretching and waking up our muscles. We then moved into hand weights where you could either use 2, 3 or 5-lb weights. I chose the 5-lb weights and half way through I thought, “crap, are we using these the whole time?” My shoulders were on fire…but a good kind of fire! We focused mostly on shoulders and then moved down to our biceps and triceps. Just as I was thinking OMG, the song ended and we moved on to push ups, then abs. The low weight, high rep format really works to quickly fatigue your muscles building muscular endurance. If you’ve ever done CrossFit (which is the style workout I typically do), then you know how important muscular enurance is! The abs portion of the class was pretty challenging. It was a combination of floor movements using sliding disks, planks, abdominal twist, flutter kicks, and even did some resistance band work. It was a very effective burn!
Immediately following abs we grabbed a tiny ball and headed over to the barre–I was excited to get to something completely unfamiliar. We get to the barre and the girl next to me goes, “get ready, this is torture.” I thought, oh, lovely. We started with chair pose on our toes, squeezing the ball in between our thighs for a variation of count schemes. It was tough but definitely not torture. We then removed the ball and added the resistance band around our thighs. We worked facing forward and then to each side doing variations of hip abducting movements and some squats… mostly targeting the quads and glutes. This is when I thought I was actually going to die and I realized what she meant by torture. But again, a good kind of torture if you know what I mean. We were at the barre for quite a while and I wish I could tell you everything we did but amidst my shaking legs and burning glutes, I think I mentally blacked out, haha. This was also that time where I was really wishing I had my water. 🤦🏻♀️
We then moved back to the floor… THANK GOODNESS. We kept the resistance band on and worked our glutes and core a bit more…. bridge clams, planks, etc.
At last, it was time to slow down and stretch. Still set to music, we did a few yoga-style stretches as we brought our heart rate back down to a normal pace.
Honestly, I have no negative things to say about my first barre experience. It was fun, challenging and overall a great full body workout. My bum and quads were definitely sore later that night and the next morning. I highy recommend trying a barre class if you are looking for a full body, low-impact workout. Because barre works your smaller muscles it is a great complementary workout to my traditional CrossFit/HIIT style workouts.
I am already looking forward to going back for another barre class, but up next… CYCLE! Stay tuned 🙂