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Your dreams of becoming a ballet dancer might have died sometime around age 10, but a new workout that fuses ballet technique with a full-body workout might just bring them back to life.
What is Pure Barre?
Pure Barre is a low-impact workout that combines ballet, dance, yoga and pilates. According to the Pure Barre website, the workout was created in 2001 by dancer and choreographer Carrie Rezabek Dorr.
“There’s no jumping up and down,” said Tia Jasniak, a certified Pure Barre instructor and studio manager. “There are other ways to work out your body without putting too much pressure on your joints.”
Routines are set to music, and utilize the ballet barre, weights, resistance bands and balls as participants perform small, isometric movements to work out different parts of their bodies. Pure Barre focuses on toning muscles and burning fat.
Jasniak said that the aim of each Pure Barre class is to exercise each muscle to fatigue.
“Once your muscles start shaking, that’s when you start to see changes in your body,” she said.
What are the health benefits and risks?
Jasniak said that with Pure Barre, as with any exercise, you should consult your doctor if you have any health issues that could be affected by working out.
“Honestly, there’s not really anything harmful about a Pure Barre class,” Jasniak said. “That’s the beauty of the low-impact [workout] and the small, isolated movements.”
According to the Pure Barre website, the classes are even safe for pregnant women. Jasniak said that Pure Barre classes are especially good for runners, since the workout focuses on strengthening the core and improving posture. The class’s low-impact emphasis is also easier on the joints.
According to Jasniak, within four to six classes you can start to see results. She suggests taking Pure Barre three to four times a week, but said that Pure Barre is safe to do every day.
What should I expect in a Pure Barre class?
Classes are 55 minutes long, and follow the same general structure.
Each class begins with a warm-up, then works out the upper body using light weights. Then, participants stretch and move to the ballet bar to work out the top and inner thighs and then stretch again. Then, it’s back to the barre to exercise the butt, tailbone and hamstrings from the right side to the left side, stretching in-between. The workout then focuses on the core, abs and lower back, and afterwards the class stretches again. The class finishes with a cool-down.
Jasniak said that people who take the class come out amazed by how hard they’ve worked, since Pure Barre doesn’t include cardio.
“You leave these classes feeling so strong,” Jasniak said. “One of the things [women] love about Pure Barre is the strength that they build, the endurance that they build, the posture that they build…It helps you hold yourself in a different way.”
How should I prepare to take Pure Barre?
No dance experience is needed for Pure Barre classes.
According to the Pure Barre website, you should wear pants or leggings that you can move in, a top that covers your midriff and socks with grips on the bottom to prevent slipping. You should bring a water bottle, but all workout equipment will be provided at the studio. You should also arrive at the studio 10-15 minutes early to meet the instructor and fill out any paperwork before class.
“You feel really good after these classes,” Jasniak said. “You don’t feel drained. You walk out feeling really good and really strong.”
Places to Try Pure Barre
Pure Barre Weston
4575 Weston Road, Davie, FL 33331
$20 per class and $18 per class for students and teachers
Pure Barre Pembroke Pines
14822 Pines Boulevard, Pembroke Pines, FL 33027
$20 per class
Pure Barre Fort Lauderdale
2408 North Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33305
$25 per class
Caption: Pure Barre is a low-impact workout that combines ballet, dance, yoga and pilates.
Credit: T. Jasniak