We review: Xtend Barre
I have to admit something, a gym bunny I am not. I also hate running, due to the weak ankles I inherited from my mum – so hitting the pavement is seriously not a pleasurable experience.
So what does that leave me with in terms of exercise? I find gym classes kind of crowded and while I know yoga is great for stretching, I’m definitely looking for something a little more active. So when I stumbled across Xtend Barre, I was instantly intrigued. A fusion of ballet and pilates? I knew it would be a good stretch and great for my posture – but the exercise I needed to get my heart rate up? I wasn’t so sure. I’m in my last week of Xtend Barre classes – and I want to share what I’ve learned over the last 30 days…
It helps with your posture and technique.
One thing I really loved about the class was the instructor’s interest in ensuring that you did the particular stretch or movement right. This is due to the fact that the class is heavily centered around ballet poses and movements. You won’t get through a 50-minute class without finding your perfect first and second positions and doing around 50 pliés. It’s never about how high you kick, but about your hips being squared and ensuring your weight is in the right place as you kick. After a few classes I felt myself sitting up straighter, straining less with each kick and looking a whole lot more graceful compared to my first class.
It makes a difference – fast.
After just two weeks into my month-long trial I felt slimmer. Not like I’d dropped a massive amount of weight, but the outline of my body legitimately felt a little smoother, without as many bumps. The feeling I got from seeing results like that so quickly definitely got me a little hooked.
It makes you feel stronger.
I distinctly remember in my first class, struggling to do two push-ups and wobbling the entire way through a three-second plank. The instructor is really clear about where you should be focusing your attention and how you should be completing each exercise, which helped me to push through. After a week of attending the 50-minute classes, I felt far more comfortable doing push-ups, planks and even never-before-completed ab work. I just felt stronger and more stable through my legs and arms and even though my limbs ached for a few days after each class, it let me know I’d worked hard.
It’s turning into a long-term love.
I’ve tried all of the workout fads; from dance classes to slimming stretching but I’ve never actually found a class that I’ve felt excited to turn up to. One thing’s for sure, I’ll be continuing with my Xtend Barre classes. With classes both in the morning, a few in the evening and even some on the weekend, I always find it easy to schedule two of three classes into my week. The women are lovely and the environment is motivating, supportive and friendly. The best part for me is, Xtend Barre is perfect for women of all ages and all fitness levels – the women in the classes I attend range from 21 to around 70 and the fact that the instructor’s aren’t like pushy trainers you often find in gyms, means that you can feel comfortable enough to go at your own pace and push yourself by taking advantage of the advancements provided with each pose or stretch, if you choose to! Better still, it’s perfect for new mums; they even have Baby Barre classes, where new mums are invited to work out with their baby attached to the front of them.
Have you tried Xtend Barre before? What is your favourite kind of exercise?