Posts Tagged ‘ballet’

Barre Body at Studio Body Logic

IMG_9459


Crash Course: Studio Body Logic is located in Ballston and Alexandria and best known for teaching authentic pilates. Open since 1996, the studio offers five different levels of mat class and an impressive number of apparatus options. Lesser known are the studio’s other sweaty offerings, including evolved sculpt, yoga, ballet, and Barre Body – a 55-minute cardio workout with a foundation in classical ballet moves. Expect weights, balls, therabands, upbeat music, and a sore tush the next morning. Click here for a full schedule of classes at Studio Body Logic.


 

studio-body-logic-front-door

Studio Body Logic is a hidden gem in the heart of Ballston, tucked away on the first floor of an unassuming apartment building. I had a very hard time finding it in the building itself, so if you’re going for the first time, give yourself five extra minutes to make your way through the maze of doors in the sprawling complex. Or, better yet, learn from my mistake and ask the front desk attendant how to get there before wandering into the labyrinth alone.

studio-body-logic-reformers

The space is well-lit and cozy, with every square inch occupied by strange contraptions with names like the “electric chair” and the “Pedi-Pole.” Don’t let their sleek and minimalist look fool you, these devices will make you beg for mercy. I’m itching to come back and try a traditional pilates session here. Something tells me, by sheer deviceage alone, this studio can whip up some mean workouts.

studio-body-logic-spring

studio-body-logic-barrel

Thanks to a bad combination of DC traffic and the last coughs of winter weather, I was running late to class. I shimmied my way into the already-started Barre Body session of 12 ladies, hoping not to cause a fuss or disrupt anyone. Karmic irony would dictate that the only spot still available was right in front. Of course. Totally busted.

Luckily, the class was still warming up and doing a stationary leg march with an added arm lift, so I did my best to join in and follow along. I’m not the most coordinated, so it took me a few counts before I synched up with the rest of the class, but I eventually fell in line. Right arm lift, left leg lift. Right. Left. Okay, I think I got this. The warm up was definitely more aerobic than I was used to in other barre classes, which I liked because it got my heart rate up and made my forehead glisten. I like to work up a sweat when I work out, what can I say.

studio-body-logic-arm-weights

The exercises and motions in Barre Body were also different than I was used to. Not enormously so, but enough to make you feel like you’re trying something a little different than your traditional tuck and lift barre class. In fact, there was zero awkward tucking, which I give two big thumbs up to. However, we did an entire series of floor exercises that mirrored something out of a Jane Fonda workout video. At first I was skeptical. Laying on our side and doing leg lifts and sweeps? Pass the leg warmers please. But by the time rep 15 came around, the burn was real folks. And the reps kept coming. And I started to wonder what the heck I had gotten myself into.

We also did a series at the barre doing squats and plies with a ball between the legs for added resistance. I had one hand on the barre for balance and another around a two pound weight extended out to my side. Again, my inner skeptic scoffed at the two pound weight. What the heck is that going to do? And then we began to squat, plie, squat, plie, releve, plie, releve. Oh my word. It was much more challenging than I had anticipated. My inner barre critic was eating her words.

studio-body-logic-arms

Adrienne – who was an awesome instructor with serious command of the moves and a killer playlist, by the way – finished the class with a final cardio segment. I was officially tuckered out at this point. My legs were wobbly, my arms were burning, and the glisten on my forehead morphed into a full-on sweat stream. The closing stretch and cool down was magnificent, and my body was so very thankful for a chance to take a break and work out the kinks. Was I sore the next day? You betcha. Abs, legs, and arms were all thanking me for trying something new.

So how did Barre Body stack up? Here are my takeaways: 

  • More cardio-centric than your average barre class.
  • Lots of props, get ready for some creative burn.
  • Not as much focus on “tucking.” A plus for those of us who think it’s a painfully awkward movement to do in public.
  • The moves are more fluid with a heavy emphasis on their ballet and dance origins.
  • Tiny class size with a personal, causal atmosphere.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

 

Note: While Studio Body Logic invited me to try a free class, my review is based entirely on my honest-to-goodness personal experience. Thanks for reading!

dc barre crawl: the breakdown

barre-crawl

Hold me closer, tiny dancer, because I’m about one pointed toe away from feeling ready to kick line with the best of them.

After tucking and plié-ing my way through the DC barre scene, it’s time to report back with my findings. I’ve successfully completed one class at each of the district’s barre studios and have written full reviews about my experiences. Check the barre category over to the right to see all of them. To help sum everything up, here’s a list of the need-to-know essentials.

  • The Bar Method DC: Most extensive class schedule in the area. Two classrooms. Intense focus on form. Showers. $24 drop in rate. {Metro Center}
  • Biker Barre: Beautiful space next to excellent dining options. Full-body workout. Cold scented towels after class. Shower. $22 drop in rate. {Eastern Market}
  • b.fit: Darling boutique studio in the heart of vibrant dining district. Challenging class. Small, community feel. $22 drop in rate. {Logan Circle}
  • Barre 3: Incredible designer space on the waterfront. Two classrooms. Child care. Shower. $25 drop in rate. {Georgetown}
  • Xtend Barre DC: High-energy class. Burpees included. Brand new studio. $20 drop in rate. {Mt. Vernon Square/Convention Center}
  • Epic Yoga: Yoga class with classical ballet moves added to the mix. Focus on balance and flexibility. Showers. $18 drop in rate. {Dupont Circle}

 Things I really enjoy about barre workouts:

  1. You won’t leave a sweaty mess, so it’s the perfect workout to sneak in during office hours or before happy hour.
  2. It’s given me a new appreciation for the essentials of good posture. Go to one of these classes and you’ll remember to stand tall the rest of the day.
  3. The focus on targeting the hard to reach leg muscles is wonderful cross-training for my running.
  4. I now realize the power of two pound dumbbells. They may be hot pink, but after 100 or so reps, they deliver sore arm muscles every time.
  5. I’m not a dancer. I’m not graceful. I can’t always touch my toes. But for an hour during barre class, I can have a lot of fun doing my best to pretend.

What do you like best about barre workouts?


yoga with a side of ballet @ epic yoga


Crash Course: The ballet barre class at Epic Yoga is not your average barre class. It’s heavy on the yoga with a sprinkle of classical ballet moves thrown into the mix. Be prepared to test your balance, flexibility, and focus. Click here to check out the schedule.


where: 1323 Connecticut Avenue, red line/Dupont Circle

bring: yourself

perks: showers, lockers, wifi, free mat rental and towels

sweat score: 5.5 out of 10

wear: yoga clothes

cost: drop in rate is $18, first week is $20*

instructor: Emma Saal

 

 

I crashed Epic Yoga’s martial-arts inspired Red Sun Yoga class last week and liked it so much I went back to try their popular barre yoga. My previous post features a full photo tour of the gorgeous Epic Yoga studio space and has more information about the instructor, Emma – so be sure to check it out!

According to Epic Yoga’s website, the barre yoga class is a “yoga-based class that incorporates ballet barre work, cardio and Pilates.” The reality is that it’s a yoga class first and foremost. The real difference happens when the class turns up the heat by adding in classical ballet moves like relevés, tendus, and thigh burning pliés. Have you ever tried doing chair pose while on your toes? Or spring from a lizzard lunge into a one legged relevé? Exactly. The ballet just amplifies and adds to what is already a challenging and fun practice.

Don’t be intimidated by the fancy French terms. Yogis with no dance experience will feel right at home, as Emma has seamlessly integrated all of the ballet moves into basic yoga sequences. If you can flow your way through a guided sun salutation, you’ll be just fine. But don’t think that means you’ll feel comfortable. Even without any barre work or the familiar yell of “tuck! tuck! tuck!” you’ll hear in other traditional barre classes, this class is sure to break a sweat. I was shaking within the first 15 minutes as we started in on side planks, lunges, and leg extensions. I thought it was a really fun way to switch things up, and made me acutely aware of how far I have to go on increasing my flexibility and grace.

Two things I really liked about this second visit to Epic Yoga:

  1. They are now offering lavender and peppermint infused cold towels after class – similar to my obsession at Biker Barre. I wish this blog had smell-o-vision so you could get a good whiff. These are oh so wonderfully refreshing after a sweaty class. Hooray!
  2. The women’s locker room was much warmer than the first time I crashed. The space heaters were blazing and it was nice and toasty. My toes thank you, Epic Yoga!

My friend Amy stopped by after work to join me for this crash (thanks Amy!). We try to meet up every week or so for a workout date, and the 8 p.m. yoga barre class was a great fit for our schedules this time around. By the end of class, however, we were both starved for dinner and needed to refuel. Luckily there’s a Sweetgreen just a few blocks away from the studio – one of our favorite spots for a quick and healthy bite. Yum!

I have an unfettered obsession with their Santorini salad, so despite the excellent choices and the delicious sounding seasonal salad on the menu, I caved and went with my stand by. But I’m not totally boring! This time I branched out by adding in some warm grains and avocado. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.


Would you try the barre yoga class or stick to the traditional barre method?


*Epic Yoga waived my walk-in fee, but opinions are entirely my own.