Merging the principles of pilates with the energy of dance delivers one serious sweat.
Mixing up your exercise regime and surprising your body with diverse workouts is a great way to consistently build your fitness and achieve your health goals. Xtend Barre is a challenging class that incorporates the fundamental principles of Pilates with the intensive cardio workout and energy levels of dance.
Xtend Barre classes are springing up around Australia and Medibank member Sonia headed to the Xtend Barre Melbourne studio in Flinders Lane to see what all the hype was about…
What Sonia says
This was my first experience attending an Xtend Barre class and I was keen to try something different where I could utilise my background in dance with a strengthening and toning workout. I thought I would find the class a challenge but I was really blown away by how much work your body does in the 60 minute session. Muscles that don’t typically get used in the sorts of running, swimming and cycling exercises that I generally do were really put through their paces and I walked out feeling taller and much more aware of my body and how I carried myself.
There were six people in the class and we got started using lightweight exercise balls and facing the mirrors. Rolling the balls along our legs while bending and springing off the floor was first up. It was quite a simple motion, but gradually more and more steps were added in and by the end we were all working very hard. Facing the mirrors introduces an important awareness of your posture when exercising that can easily drop off when you’re furiously peddling away on a bike or running on a treadmill.
Barre and floor work are a big component of Xtend Barre and brought me back to my ballet days. It’s all about strengthening and lengthening the muscles and limbs. Even if you can’t get into every ballet position, as long as you carry yourself through each exercise and continue to work your body, it feels very rewarding.
Our teacher spent time with everyone making sure they had the right movement and were working correctly. Some of the exercises didn’t feel like they were working the body really hard at first, but it’s all about repetition, strengthening and building on each step that you do - and by the end I felt like I’d had an incredible workout. I can only imagine the toning you would get from a regular class.
I think it would be great to substitute a couple of my gym classes for two Xtend Barre classes each week. It’s easy to lose motivation at the gym and the energy and supportive environment of the class was really appealing.
Mary Shaw, owner and manager of Xtend Barre Melbourne City, shares five reasons why people should give Xtend Barre a go
1. To get that long and lean dancer's body we all desire. The Xtend Barre system sculpts the body proportionally so that all body parts are equally challenged
2. To burn off calories! There is an added cardio element to Xtend Barre to keep the heart rate up (burning between 450-650 calories in an hour.
3. If you are time poor. Xtend Barre works the upper body, glutes, and core all in 55 minutes. We also offer 45 minute classes at lunch time.
4. Because anyone can give it a go - no matter what age, gender, level of fitness or dance ability. We offer exercises that can be modified for beginners, prenatal clients or clients with injuries.
5. If you want to have fun! Xtend Barre is set to music and incorporates elements of dance and ballet – making this workout so much fun. The 55 minutes will just fly by!