With the days of May quickly coming to an end, it’s officially time to welcome the sweet summertime with wide-open arms. From wedding season to staycations, vacations and outside fun, there’s tons of reasons to plan ahead to feel and look summer ready for whatever lies ahead. Check out these simple tips and tricks to make Pure Barre your best hidden accessory for every occasion and outfit.
Suns out, guns out
Sleeveless shirts – they are always such a love / hate relationship. Proudly show off your sculpted arms by committing to these two challenges during tricep and weight work.
Unless you are switching weights (which should take less than 3 seconds – not an excuse to slack!) your arms should stay lifted throughout all of arm work. Every time you drop your arms down, you’re breaking your form and results. Try to push yourself harder and see where it takes you.
- Additional cues are everything
Actively listen for analogies and tips to improve your form. Close your eyes and envision your arms in different positions, such as “resting on a table top” or “getting straighter by extending closer to the mirror.” Better form leads to better results!
Feel abs-olutely amazing
“55 minutes of abs if you want it.” Maximize your potential with these helpful hints on holding your core tighter and flatter from the start to end of class.
Your warm-up is the perfect time to activate your abs for the rest of class. Starting with your first knee lift, pull the navel back to your spine. Maintain that focus throughout every exercise to truly achieve the flat abs feel and look.
One of the easiest places to overcompensate during ab work is your hip flexors. Whether you’re underneath the barre or in the center of the room, your abs should always be doing the work. Let go of the hip tension by finding your key resistance points in each position and allowing your abs to lead the work. Check in with yourself during each change to notice how your body reacted to the new movement. Adjust as needed to get back into your best work zone.
THIGHS & SEAT
Who wears short shorts?
Or skirts. Or even white jeans! Don’t hide a thing. Have your legs feeling top-notch with these tweaks to your thigh and seat work.
When you hear something like “one pulse, one tuck” or “one squeeze, one bend-stretch,” that’s a cue to dig even deeper. There’s a bunch of examples that apply here, but a two-part combination (or more) requires some additional focus. Make each movement in the combo unique to achieve your tightest position and deepest muscle contractions.
One of the golden rules: Do not stop. If you’ve become used to breaking during thigh and seat work to “shake it off,” now’s the perfect time to quit it. Do your very best to stay in your work, even if you have to work a little higher to fight through it. Remember you’re building an incredible amount of strength, even if the burn or shake is uncomfortable! Shaking out because of real pain? Ask your teacher what’s up to help you get into better form to last all the way through.
Baby, got back muscles
The forgotten side – your back! Believe it or not, you’re working it all, from your shoulders down through your heels throughout class, whether you realize it or not. Here’s a couple of ways to intentionally help yourself achieve that 360 toned feeling.
Start noticing your posture to bring more confidence into your overall stature. Bring your shoulder blades down and back while pulling your abs in tight at the same time. Think about standing an inch taller throughout class. Consistently tackling these little details will make you feel leaner and lighter instead of crunched and weighed down.
- Energy to the very last second
During the last working section of class, you have two and a half minutes to really burn it out. This is the time to take every bit of energy you have left and channel it into your entire backside. Close your eyes, squeeze harder and work stronger all the way through your Final 10!
And the #1 tip? Embrace the shake – you don’t need any aloe vera for this burn!
– Written by Kat Collins. She is a Pure Barre West Loop teacher and beyond the barre, she works in health and wellness marketing in her hometown of Chicago.