BALLET INSPIRED FITNESS
Barrecore is all the hype right now. The first time I have heard of this was Jourdan Dunn posting her barrecore workouts on Instagram whilst she was preparing for the Victoria’s Secret show. And now, it’s in Leeds!
Niki Rein is the founder and had opened her first studio in Chelsea back in 2011. Ever since then, it has expanded to 8 studios and it has opened another in Leeds, bringing the total to 9. This is the second studio to open in the North of England and the first in West Yorkshire. First being Manchester.
What is Barrecore you ask?
With the fusion of ballet, yoga and pilates, it helps to target all muscles. With the help of the ballet bar, body weight and isometric exercises, will lengthen and strengthen your muscles by working them to exhaustion. The training style of low impact, full body and interval training along with high repetition helps shape the body into that long, lean look.
Each instructor undergoes 200 hours of rigorous training, learning the signature moves to a T before being a part of the team. The training is designed and operated by the one and only Niki so the instructors will be able to deliver this unique fusion to you guys with skill, precision and excellence.
I was invited to the press launch, the day before it officially opens. I seriously couldn’t contain my excitement when it had landed in my inbox. Upon arrival, I was greeted by the lovely staff at Sweaty Betty, Alex from EBWPR and barrecore including Niki herself. It was a very warm welcome; everyone was hyped and excited about this opening in Leeds. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to try this out! I was able to go upstairs to the studio shortly after to get ready for the class. It’s the first time I’ve been upstairs in Sweaty Betty and it was well lit.
I didn’t research into what I was getting myself into yet I do love a surprise. I had the chance to experience one of the classes offered, barrecoreMIXED. This is their signature class, consisting of low impact, full body interval training incorporating isometric exercises, alternated with stretching.
Niki gave us an introduction to Barracore as well as introducing us to the Leeds leading ladies who have a background in dance or specifically, ballet. Emily King, the lead instructor at Chiswick studio had led this taster class. There she is in the below photo, in the all black outfit along with one of the Leeds instructors!
She asked if anyone had any injuries so she could tailor a particular exercise for you if she feels some of the moves would put a further strain on the injury. Emily does motivate you to push yourself, to hold that pose for that one last second. She makes it look easy but don’t underestimate! If you can’t hold a pose throughout the timed interval, you are able to stop and get back into position whenever you felt was necessary. Everyone’s fitness level is different. As long as you push yourself every time, that’s all that matters.
As with any type of exercise, form is important. Emily made sure everyone’s form was correct and will help you adjust. It was great how she didn’t focus on one person; she looked out for everyone there. She taught me that it was about small, resistant moves and not height. Some exercises weren’t suitable for pregnancy nevertheless she did provide an alternative to those who are pregnant. She had also suggested modifications for exercises as well as challenging ones for those who thought it was a bit easy or who wants to a challenge. There was a mixture of barre, dumbbell, mat, band and ball work so you’re never bored. The class was easy to follow. Emily, you are awesome! Thank you!
Whatever body part we were focusing on, it started to shake as we had progressed. Now I know what they meant by exhausting the muscles! I did pull way too many unattractive faces whilst completing the intervals and embracing the shake. It just shows how much I was pushing myself and that it wasn’t easy. FEEL THE BURN, FEEL THE SHAKE. Capital letters was necessary for this. I did take many quick breaks but I did put myself right back into it. During one of the exercises, “Do I look as elegant as a swan yet?” came straight to mind whilst staring at myself in the mirror.
Firstly, legs were shaking when the class had finished and going downstairs was a good struggle. The staff and other bloggers could see me taking my time walking down. Prosecco and healthy snacks was calling my name.
I bet you’re wondering how I felt the next day? My back, chest and arms ached first as my upper body is generally weaker than my lower body. As the day progressed, I could slowly feel my glutes and legs aching. I was on my feet all day at a tech conference so that didn’t help either. The day after this, my glutes and legs were full on aching whilst the upper body ache had decreased. Today being day three, I get the odd faint aches here and there however I was ready to combat another class.
Regardless of your fitness level, this will kick your butt. I’ve got previous gymnastics experience, go to the gym and exercise regularly, though this still kicked my ass! I honestly loved this so much and could definitely feel this will help me feel stronger. Upper body days at the gym are a chore and I don’t push myself as I would like. Now I’m trying to find the best way to fit this into my schedule and aim to do at least one class a week.
Where do I sign up?
It’s easy as 123. You can look at the schedule and sign up online on their website. The majority of the classes currently on is barrecoreMIXED but as time progresses, there will be more classes on offer such as:
barrecoreFoundations: If you’re new to barrecore or want to learn the foundations, this is the one for you.
HIITcore: High intensity interval training with barre moves.
barreASANA: A fast paced class that tones limbs, tightens the core and challenges you physically and mentally with the signature moves.
barreSculpt: Combining signature moves with resistance bands to work the muscles isometrically and adding intensity to your fitness regimes.
This is a quick overview on the prices for Leeds:
Welcome offer of 2 classes: £30
Single class: £18
5 class package: £85
10 class package: £160
20 class package: £300
Monthly unlimited membership: £149
Private one to one class: £50
8 one to one class package: £360
16 one to one class package: £640
Private 30 minute pregnancy modifications session: £20
If you live far from a studio, there is also an online option where you can follow challenges or even have an online private session!
Above Sweaty Betty
7 – 11 Victoria Quarter
What are you waiting for? If you want to try out something new, this is the one. I’ll see you there! Even if you’re not in Leeds, do check out if you’re near to any of the other studios in London, Manchester or Bristol. You can read more about barrecore here.
Have you heard and or tried barrecore before?