A tough warm-up, and a stretch. Three intense thigh sprints, and a stretch. Two killer seat sets, and a stretch. Are we seeing a pattern here? Stretching at Pure Barre is strategically placed to get the best workout possible, stretching your muscles at the right times for optimal results. Believe it or not, the stretches are just as importance as all of the tucks, pulses and squeezes. And, guess what? Form counts during these stretch sessions as well (Shocking, I know!). Here are 5 common confusions seen throughout class with quick fixes to maximize those coveted minutes between the burning and shaking.
The First Big Stretch
- What You Hear: “Seat to the ceiling chest to the floor.”
- What We See: Child’s pose
- The Fix: Instead of sitting your seat back on your heels, stick your seat straight up to the ceiling. Try to make a 90 degree angle with your legs, straighten your arms long in parallel with palms to the floor, and press down through your chest and shoulders. The stretch should intensify throughout your upper body.
After Arms Tube Stretch
- What You Hear: “Straighten your arms, shoulders relaxed.”
- What We See: Broken arm lines with bends through the elbows, shoulders up.
- The Fix: Pay close attention to set up here. Your grip should be about shoulders distance apart. As you bend right / left, really straighten out your arms and hold the tension on the tube. The extra pull will really stretch the arm muscles you just burned through to work towards that toned physique!
- What You Hear: “Cross your left elbow over your right thigh, back elbow is low, pull your abs in off of your leg.”
- What We See: Back elbow straight up to the ceiling, abs relaxed on your thigh.
- The Fix: Press your back elbow down to be in line with your opposing arm then press your palms together. Pull your core in tight to create space between your upper body and leg. These adjustments will help you twist through your center even more for a deeper stretch.
- What You Hear: “Cross your right ankle over your left thigh. Pull off the barre and sink your seat down. Back is flat, arms are straight.”
- What We See: Rounded backs, gaze to the floor.
- The Fix: Sit back like you’re doing a one-legged chair position. And try not to ignore the cues to flatten your back and straighten your arms with a neutral gaze. The focus should be on your seat muscles here. To intensify further, press your working knee out and try to square off your hips.
- What You Hear: “Hold on close to your foot on the tube as straighten out your top leg.”
- What We See: Holding onto the handles or too low down on the tube.
- The Fix: Once the arch of your foot is in place on the tube, straighten your leg and walk your hands up the tube to be closer to your foot. This will take some of the stress off of your knee and lower back to work safely towards stretching your hamstrings.
The best advice of all is to listen to your teacher. Their tips and cues are purposeful and will help you feel amazing during and after class. Remember, you deserve that stretch – keep up the hard work!
Kat Collins is a former Pure Barre National Brand Ambassador, turned Guest Blogger, turned Pure Barre West Loop teacher. Beyond the barre, she works in health and wellness marketing in her hometown of Chicago.