Bellying Up to the Barre
Four months after giving birth, with a vacation to the Med fast approaching, one thing was certain—it was time to lose the gut. My search for the best “new mommy” workout lead me to Pure Barre, a bar-type technique which promises to lift, tighten, lengthen and tone quicker than you can say “monokini." I soon presented myself, in the loosest, most tummy-concealing black t-shirt I had, at the Beverly Hills studio.
Class was being lead by Kelsey Rood, owner of two Pure Barre locations. By the look of her long, lean muscles and petite frame, I knew I was in the right place. It didn’t take long to realize that this was going to be a very effective 55 minutes, as I had never before felt such an icy hot burn in my muscles within just a few reps of each exercise. Looking around the room during the seat-and-leg portion at the bar, I was pleased to see that I was not the only one suffering; at least three other women were shaking as if operating a pneumatic jackhammer on concrete. And we’d only just started.
While using very tiny, isometric movements that make the seemingly innocuous two-pound weights feel like you are wielding a beer keg in each hand, you're also chanting the recurring mantra: “TUCK-tuck-tuck-HOLD." At the same time, you are being repeatedly instructed to move this body part or that by just an inch. All this tucking (of the pelvis, that is, as a dancer would) serves to work pelvic and lower ab muscles so that each move really counts—and even more so when done in plié position, holding a small rubber ball between your thighs and squeezing your muscles. Pure Barre founder and CEO, Carrie Dorr, explains, "it's a great workout for all women because it's highly effective in transforming the areas women universally struggle with the most: hips, thighs, seat, back of the arms and abs. It's especially great for new moms because it hits the areas impacted by pregnancy, and it also gets everything done in one hour and, as a mom, you don't have much extra time!"
With over 70 franchised locations in 20 states, new moms all over the US can benefit from the three-month “bounce back" package at Pure Barre. Diana Stein, who began taking classes after giving birth to her second child (a regular at the Beverly Hills studio), says of her experience: “I signed up for a 30-day package and literally saw a difference in my body after three classes. Since then, I have been going three times a week. I have lost 75 pounds and went from a size 14 to a size 6 within eight months.” As for the aforementioned gut on its way to the Med, after 6 weeks of Pure Barre, this new mama has stocked up on some new bikinis and is just about ready to hit the beach.
By Gaia Guidi Filippi
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Plus, Pure Barre Founder & CEO, Carrie Dorr, suggests the “PB Pretzel” exercise for new moms to try at home (photo in slideshow above above):
1. Take a seat on the floor
2. Fold your L leg in front of you at 90 degrees
3. Bend your R leg straight to the side or slightly behind you
4. Finger tips on floor, sit tall
1. Rotate your R hip forward leaving your R ankle on the floor- rotate 20X
2. Rotate your R hip forward lifting your R ankle off the floor, keeping your R knee down- rotate 20x
3. Hold your ankle up, loft your R knee up an inch off the floor, flex foot, press back- press back 20x
4. Extend arms in front of you or towards ceiling, press back- press back 20x
Repeat whole thing on other side