Barrecore is a high-energy, low-impact workout using a ballet barre, your own body weight and isometric exercises to strengthen and lengthen muscles. Sessions combine elements of ballet, pilates and yoga. Add to this the promise that you will see results in eight to ten sessions and it’s no wonder fitness-focused women are queuing up for the barre.
The Chelsea-based studio I attended runs barrecore classes for all levels of experience. As a first-timer, I opted for a barrecore dance class – a one-hour workout blending some dance-conditioning with high-energy routines utilising a variety of dance genres and a whole lot of Bruno Mars’ ‘Locked Out of Heaven’.
At the start of the class, our instructor Morgan reminded us that this was about letting loose and having fun. We were definitely not in po-faced ballerina territory. The barre itself was put to limited use, simply book-ending the hour for warm-up and warm-down stretches. To a soundtrack of upbeat party hits, we were put through our paces with a series of high repetition strengthening sequences focusing on the major muscle groups. The interval training nature of each sequence ensured you barely had time to bemoan your aching limbs before you were jumping into the next set. By my fourth set of push-ups though, I was deeply regretting not bringing the recommended bottle of water to class.
In the latter half of the hour, we were taken through a series of steps from a myriad of dance genres – mixing the Charleston with Elvis snake-hips and a spot of slightly drunken-looking Highland dancing. The routine was worked together with increasing speed. I can’t string together a series of dance steps to save my life but the instructor’s good humour was infectious and the dance segment offered an aerobic workout that left my heart racing. I may not be practising any full-body wriggles on my next night out, but trying to perfect dance moves to make Beyonce proud provided an excellent distraction from tensing thighs and tired tummy muscles.
If the idea of ‘striking a pose’ in front of a mirror and doing snake-hip thrusts in public fill you with nausea, this may not be the class for you. But if you take your workouts with a pinch of playfulness, barrecore dance offers a fast-paced and fun introduction to the latest fitness craze.
Barrecore Studio is currently offering two introductory classes for the price of one (£28). Packages are also available from £135 for five classes.
First Floor, Atlantic Court
77 Kings Road
London, SW3 4NX