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Raising the Barre

Find out how barre fitness can help strengthen, shape and lengthen your body.

Sculpt Your Body
Pure Barre  
6791 Quail Hill Pkwy., Irvine;
7101 Yorktown Ave. Ste. 101,
Huntington Beach
:: 949.500.5924 (Irvine)  
:: 714.330.9001 (Huntington Beach)
:: purebarre.com
The Bar Method  
7772 E. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach
949.715.2199 :: barmethod.com
Studio Fusion  
16401 Gothard St., Huntington Beach
714.596.7400 :: studio-fusion.net
Core et Barre  
200 Newport Center Dr. Ste. 308,
Newport Beach
949.706.0800 :: coreetbarre.com
The Sports Club/LA  
Offering Ballet Blend classes,
1980 Main St., Irvine
949.975.8400 :: thesportsclubla.com

In the ’80s there were legwarmers and jazzercise; in the’ 90s it was Reeboks and aerobics. The turn of the millennium turned to meditative yoga and core-strengthening Pilates, and it appears that this decade already has its new fitness darling: the barre method. A combination of ballet-inspired work, yoga and Pilates, barre fitness is designed to strengthen, shape and lengthen the body, leading to long, lean muscles and overall body benefits such as long-term postural improvement and deep muscle conditioning.

“What it comes down to is people want a workout that works,” says Chelsea Gregory, owner of Pure Barre studios in Huntington Beach and Irvine. “Clients who come three times a week for three weeks will notice changes in their bodies. They want fast results and [the barre method] can give it to them.”

Gregory answered Coast’s questions about the barre method’s technique and advantages, and explained why this fitness routine isn’t destined to go the way of Jane Fonda’s leotards.

How is barre fitness different from other fitness programs?
Pure Barre is different than other fitness programs because it strengthens the muscles and then lengthens them right back out to create a long, lean look rather than bulk. It’s a safe way to work out; there is no impact, so no jarring to the joints and knees. Class sizes are [also] kept small to ensure personal attention to form and technique.

What are some of the benefits of barre fitness?
This workout is for people of all ages and sizes because it is extremely effective. Anyone who has taken approximately 10 classes will tell you they notice a difference in their body. I even had a client the other day tell me after a couple of classes she noticed her posture had improved. Other reasons [barre fitness] is a great workout for everyone is that you don’t need prior experience to take the class, there isn’t any bouncing or jumping throughout the class and teachers can provide modifications for clients if necessary.

Is barre fitness a passing trend or is it here to stay?
It’s here to stay because of its extreme effectiveness in transforming your body. The [barre] technique focuses on women’s trouble areas: thighs, hips, seat, abs, and arms. Throughout the class we use the ballet barre to work on thinning your thighs, lifting your seat, flattening your abs, and toning your arms, all in an hour that’s musically driven. The idea is to get each muscle working to the point of fatigue and then we stretch, creating those long lean muscles. Your heart rate [is] up the whole time, so you get a cardio benefit as well.  

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