I’m at the bar

No, not that kind of bar….this kind of barre:

Source: http://butterflyblondie.tumblr.com

That’s right my friends, if you missed me teaching Spinningâ last weekend, take comfort in fact that I was not snuggled in bed watching TiVo’d reruns of What I Like About You, I was squeezing my booty, pointing my toes and turning out at CORE BARRE™ training.    

What is CORE BARREyou ask?  My unofficial answer:  awesome.

My official answer: 

The CORE BARRE™ system of SMART MOVEMENT™ promotes high-energy, low-impact, and fat-burning movements based on elements of Pilates, classical ballet and athletic conditioning.  CORE BARRE™ creates effective and safe movement where body strength and awareness are increased as well as joint flexibility, proper posture, stability, and form.  This unique workout is geared toward people of all fitness levels and for those that safely want to change their appearance while having fun. 

And, its set to music, how fun is that?  You know how much I love my music.  The instructor for my teacher training, Monica Hoekstra, is also the creator and founder. 

Monica Hoekstra

I was completely impressed with her knowledge, and her body.  Her body is ridiculous!  Is that weird to say?   I don’t think so, she obviously has been a ballet dancer her entire life as every move she makes screams fluidity, precision, and strength.  However, the more important detail in my gushing is her knowledge base.  I kept thinking to myself:  how can I get all of her wisdom transplanted into my brain!?!? 

Other than soaking up the training like a sponge (it’s so nice being the student once in a while), we also worked out, practiced proper form, and learned all about using the angles of our arms/legs to target specific muscle groups.  The entire CORE BARRE™ session is 55 minutes and starts with light weights.  We used small weighted Pilates toning balls that come in 1lb, 2lb, and 3lb sizes. 

"use the lighter weight toning balls"

Of course I decided to work with the 3 pounders…I do regularly teach Body Pump™ after all.  I liked how the toning balls fit nicely in my hands, but those 3 pounds felt like 50 after 10 minutes!  Lesson learned: listen to the teacher; don’t assume you know more, and when she suggests using 1-2lbs: use 1-2lbs.  It’s funny because I see this phenomenon all the time in Pump.  Newbies come to class, I make suggestions about what weight to use & explain that due to the number of repetitions, you cannot lift the same amount in Pump that you do on the floor…rarely do people heed my advice, they lift heavier than recommended, and look like they are going to die 2 minutes into a 5 minute track.  Why are we such silly participants?  They are instructors because, presumably, they know more than we do.  (Actually, as soon as I pass my exam, I will know more too!)

After the light weight portion, we moved to the barre and used isolated movements to target the thighs and buttocks while improving coordination and balance. 

Squeeze and lift!

Why is it always the tiny movements that burn so good? 

After the barre, we dropped (some of us literally) to the floor and focused on abdominal movements to challenge our core muscles and promote stability and strength.  And then finally:: stretching.  The stretching was amazing.  More learning about Active Isolated Stretching/The Mattes Method, more questions from me, more answers from Monica about the optimal order to stretch, and how to best position your body to target specific muscles….hello piriformis, why so grouchy?  

Finding the right angles

As you probably guessed, I am so excited to start teaching CORE BARRE™ and incorporate the principles into my personal training and Pilates!  Fingers crossed, you may see a CORE BARRE™ Small Group Training coming soon….and of course, I’ll be teaching/subbing at Thrive Pilates, whom I can’t thank enough for bringing Monica and her program to our studio. 

~Darcy
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