Insiders guide to Charlotte fitness: Pure Barre
My good friend is a Pure Barre addict, so it was with her urging that I attended a 9:40 Pure Barre class at the Charlotte location last Friday. You might remember that my first blog was about Carolina Barre and Core; this gave me a good benchmark for comparison.
The first thing you will notice about Pure Barre is the carpeted floor, which is different from other barre studios in that most are wooden floors with mats provided for floor work. The work out room is spacious with mirrors on the wall with a barre attached.
We started in typical barre tradition with knee lifts and arm swings to get warmed up. We then moved into plank work, followed by tricep dips on the floor. Arm work followed using light weights and focusing on small muscle movements.
We worked biceps, triceps and shoulders; while squeezing a small ball between our inner thighs. We went to the barre for glute work, which consisted of squats on tiptoes with pelvic tilts. This exercise was done in different foot positions and most be done correctly to prevent knee injuries.
We then moved into isolated glute work, working one leg at a time while holding onto the barre. Then it was back to the floor for outer thigh exercises with a band. It was then back to the barre for some seated abdominal work. We sat against the wall gripping the barre overhead and were supposed to move our legs in and out while contracting our abdominal muscles.
We finished the class with abdominal crunches and then stretches.
This class moved from exercise to exercise extremely fast. I could have used more transition time between exercises as well as more instruction on what muscle group we were focusing on.
I also would have preferred less moving to and from the barre over and over again. I definitely got the feeling that most participants were regulars and "knew the drill".
This is not a cardio workout, but rather a toning and sculpting class. Like all barre classes, it requires good body awareness to perform the exercises correctly and get the most benefit.
The major difference between this studio and other barre studios is the position of the spine during the exercises. Some barre studios have you working in a neutral spine position, while others encourage a small pelvic tilt. We worked with a slight pelvic tilt in this class.
This class was also very formatted with little room for variation.
The class was a good mix of young to middle aged women, including a few pregnant women. Most everyone was dressed in tights or leggings with tank tops. They ask that you keep your legs and midriff covered and non-slip socks are required, which can be purchased at the front desk where they have other cute workout gear for sale too.
The music was more of a techno beat rather than top 40 music, and the exercises were in cadence with the beat.
The studio is located near The Manor and has plenty of parking in the back.
The reception area has cubbies for storage, benches to wait for class on, and a restroom/changing room. I would recommend that you try this class at least
5 times before deciding if it is for you, because there is a steep learning curve.
603 Providence Road
Hours : 6:00am - 6:40pm classes
Parking : Good (plenty behind the center)
Costs : $23.00 for 1 time - discounts for class packages and new client specials
Reservations: sign up on-line, but walk-ins welcome
Cathy Bortz, a mother of 4 teenagers, is a native Charlottean. A fitness instructor for the last 25 years she has taught at the Dowd YMCA, Exercise Plus, Workout of Charlotte, and is currently teaching at The Cornwell Center.
Read Cathy's Introduction and other reviews:
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