Keep the elbow wide with a diamond shape in the arm and bring the shoulders down and relaxed away from the ears. Release the tension from the shoulders and put it into the ab work.
Keep the elbow wide with a diamond shape in the arm and bring the shoulders down and relaxed away from the ears. Release the tension from the shoulders and put it into the ab work.
I took my first Pure Barre class in May of 2012. I walked into the class, having heard a little about it from a friend, but not knowing what to expect. By the end of the class I could barely walk. I kept saying to myself: I think it’s because I am sore from the half marathon I just ran. Little did I know that Pure Barre was capable of this. I signed up for my first month and was hooked. I began to look forward to the shaking and burning sensation my body feels during and after the class.
Not only has Pure Barre changed me physically, it is also my time to myself that I know will help me relieve any stress and give me a boost of energy. With the energy and relief Pure Barre gives me, I am more motivated to eat healthy and to try new foods in the kitchen. After having such a good workout, why ruin it with greasy fast food?!
One of the things I am most thankful for that Pure Barre has given me is new friends. The environment is always positive and encouraging. The instructors and all of us clients push each other–which helps with results. I have made new friends that I know will last a lifetime! – Nicole D.
I felt compelled to write this letter for so many reasons! In a short 17 classes, Pure Barre has changed my life in so many ways.
To start, I want to give you a little background on me. I broke my first bone at 4 years old. That was 1 of the 17 I would continue to break in my life. At 13 years old I had a terrible skiing accident and broke my femur bone and had to have a total hip replacement at 15 years old. At the age of 25 I was diagnosed with severe Osteopenia. At 28, I had major stomach surgery and was cut up and down my stomach where they had to cut through my abdominal wall. A few years later I had to have abdominal surgery again. At 33, I had a metal plate and screws put into my SI joint to secure it. Over the years I have used a cane, walker and a wheelchair to get through most days. I have been diagnosed with an immune disorder that no one can quite pinpoint their finger on exactly what it is. I have had 13 surgeries in total. I have been prescribed almost every drug on the market just to function through the day; I have racked up thousands in medical bills, in and out of physical therapy, and have been off and on disability for the last 8 years. It had got to the point where I considered quitting my teaching job and going on permanent disability. I have been told over and over that I need to try to do weight bearing exercise to try to strengthen my core, legs and back so that I don’t end up permanently in my wheelchair. Besides physical therapy, every form of exercise I have tried, even walking around my block, did not work. I would try it and I end up in my chair or cane for days and weeks.
A few months ago, people in my hometown of Hudson, Ohio were raving about this ‘exercise thing’ called Pure Barre that had come there. So many friends kept contacting me telling me this might be the perfect option for me. An exercise where I can strengthen my muscles and work on strengthening my back and core but without putting the stress on my joints so that I could still walk and perform the functions of my daily life. I researched it and prayed that it would come to Naples so I could try it. To my excitement it did! I couldn’t wait for the studio open! I stalked you on Facebook for weeks. My first class was very similar to everything else I have tried, I showed up skeptical with the thought that this would be like everything else I have tried. I’ll take the class only to find that I can’t do it or end up in my chair or using my cane and limping in horrible pain the next day. After 17 classes, I can tell you the exact opposite has occurred. The pain in my knee is gone, the pain in my back has diminished significantly, my limp has improved and I have stopped taking nerve blockers and pain pills because I feel so much stronger and can walk better than I have in years! My cane is always in my car, just in case, and I have not used it once since I started Pure Barre! The pain I had in my stomach from multiple major surgeries has changed from horrible pinching to a ‘good’ burn where I can actually feel my muscles getting stronger. My 12 year old son said the other day, “Mom, you‘re not limping as much as you always do.” I thought, oh my goodness, he’s right, I’m not. It brought me to tears. I have walked with a limp his entire life.
So what has Pure Barre done for me… it has given me something that you can’t put a price on… it has given me hope. It has given me hope that I can help my body and be the best me that there is. I knew the life I was living was not the one I wanted. I have never been more excited to go to anything than I am Pure Barre. My husband was very skeptical about the price but when he has seen, in a short amount of time, how much it has done for me, both physically and mentally, we signed on for the whole year! When we started to look at what we spend on medical bills, prescriptions and physical therapy we’re actually saving money! I started thinking I would only go 2 days a week and now I try to go 4 and this week I am going 5! My spirits, my attitude, my outlook on my life and my body have given me so much heartache over the years and going to the barre has helped me be more positive and given me a feeling of determination and strength that I haven’t felt in a very long time. In fact, a feeling that I thought was gone forever. I have long way to go, I am unable to do some of the exercises but the staff is very helpful in modifying for my limitations and giving me an alternative move to do that still lifts, tones and burns without hurting me! I’m excited to continue to go and see how much further I can take my journey. My dreams were never to be a marathon runner, lift extreme weights or become some exceptional athlete… my dreams were pretty simple… I wanted the strength to walk with out support and live a more pain free life so I could enjoy the little things in life that so many take for granted like playing with my son, working and walking. So, to Carrie Rezabek Dorr, Olga and the entire Pure Barre Naples staff, thank you! I feel very blessed.
With lots more hope to go and love,
Nature is pretty awesome. Just when we get bored with certain foods, seasons change, and a whole new harvest inspires us again. Not only does that keep the party in our mouth going, but it also provides our mind, body, and spirit with what we need during each season.
My personal food motto is “nutritious and delicious.” So I went on a little hunt for deliciousness for you. And here are my top favorite things to make with squash. Once you have made these recipes a few times, feel free to wing it ‘your style.’
First, a little food for the intellect: “Squashes generally refer to four species of the genus Cucurbita, some varieties of which are also called pumpkins, zucchini, courgettes and marrows (the last two mainly in British English). In North America, squash is loosely grouped into summer squash or winter squash, depending on whether they are harvested as immature fruit (summer squash) or mature fruit (autumn squash or winter squash). Well known types of squash include the pumpkin and zucchini.”-Wikipedia.
The first recipe is one of my all-time favorites and I found it on www.chocolatecoveredkatie.com
Vegan Pumpkin Muffin
This is a great breakfast or snack. Heck, I sometimes eat these for dinner. Especially great after an amazing and challenging Pure Barre class.
Moving on to lunch and dinner, shall we? How about some pasta?
Vegan, Cheesy Zucchini Pasta
Take a Zucchini and use a peeler to make pasta looking stripes. No need to cook these!
For the sauce, I found this epic recipe on www.ohsheglows for a cheesy sauce, without any dairy.
This is super satisfying and energizing to keep us going.
And for the big finale, a raw and vegan cheese cake recipe by http://www.detoxinista.com that hides a squash in there too!
Raw Chocolate Cheesecake
For the crust
For the filling
Now it is your turn. I hope that you feel as inspired by these recipes as I do. And please remember to infuse your food with loving, peaceful, and nourishing thoughts as you prepare it and eat it.
Pure Barre Barre may be low impact, but it’s truly intense, and staying hydrated is key to performing at the top of your game.
When you come to class you’re encouraged to bring a water bottle and grab it whenever you feel the need. After warm-ups. Between thigh and seat sprints. While you’re wiping down your mat.
Your trainer will never frown upon an H20 break, and you’ll find a quick sip does wonders to give you extra energy without missing a beat.
Proper hydration keeps the human body working at optimum potential, and the easy rule of thumb is to drink eight, 8-ounce glasses of fluid per day. But experts suggest several variables require even more — including exercise.
According to the Mayo Clinic, if you engage in any strenuous activity, you need to up your intake. An extra 1.5 to 2.5 cups is enough for short bouts of exercise, but the recommended increase can vary depending on how much you sweat.
Signs of moderate dehydration include a sticky mouth, dry skin, headache and dizziness. At its most severe dehydration can cause low blood pressure, a rapid heartbeat, fever, and delirium. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you feel tired and lethargic.
The good news is your body gives one clear signal that it needs more juice: thirst.
Any type of beverage, including energy drinks and even coffee or wine, count toward your total daily liquid intake, but experts recommend quenching your thirst with good old-fashioned water because it’s readily available and calorie-free.
Many Pure Barre studios offer bottled water for sale or donation, but a better investment is a reusable and recyclable water bottle. Pure Barre recently partnered with bkr to offer a chic 16-ounce glass bottle that makes it easy to get your minimum 64 ounces a day with just four refills. But whatever container you choose, make filling it and chilling it part of your pre-Pure Barre ritual.
You’ll be thankful for the quick pick-me-up before your last tuck. And after class, downing a big dose of water will do worlds for your recovery and going on about your post-Pure Barre day.
Yeah. I ate that cupcake immediately after taking that photo. Do I feel guilty? A little. Do I regret it? Heck no! Was it gluten-free? Yes! If you’re like me, then sweets are your weakness. It can be so painstakingly difficult for me to turn down a freshly baked cookie, pie, cupcake or macaroon. I know not everyone has the same food weaknesses. For some it’s salty, potato chip goodness, for other more fortunate souls, it’s brussel sprouts–shout out to you, Ania! All I’m trying to say is: you aren’t alone. Everyone has cravings and everyone has their comfort food, we just try not to default to our comfort food in times of stress or exhaustion.
About a month or two ago, I began the journey to becoming gluten-free, which has turned out to be more simple than I thought. Don’t get me wrong, I still wander through the baked-goods aisle at the grocery store, drooling over the pies and cookies, but the thing that keeps me grounded is the fact that there are alternate options. I’m sure there are those of you this who are starting to mentally yell at your computer screen right now, thinking something like, “HIPSTER!! Way to follow the crowd like everyone else. Really original, Michelle,” then considering shutting your laptop and tending to your delicious cheesy bread in the oven and saying “The heck with this blog post.” I urge you to go turn off your oven and take your cheesy bread out so it doesn’t burn and then come back to the computer. Something in this post will pertain to your life, I promise.
I guess the best way to continue this story is to tell you why I went gluten-free. It’s simple and I have two pretty good reasons. The first is that my sister had a genetic test done and showed my family to have a gluten intolerance. Nothing fatal, just an intolerance. The second reason is a little more shallow. My fiancé’s dad pointed out to me why he doesn’t eat hamburgers with the bun. He pointed out that the bun was just an avenue to get what he really wants to eat into his mouth and the bread was just extra calories and carbs. Immediately, I thought that philosophy was genius and I had a food revelation! It just made total sense; I realized then and there that I have always had the same feelings toward the carby, cheap bun. I hate the cheap buns from the supermarket. All I really want was the lettuce, tomato, burger, and mustard. The bread was just a way to deliver it to my mouth without getting my fingers dirty. And as it turns out, silverware is a fantastic alternative to getting the hamburger to my mouth without getting my fingers dirty!
I guess you could say I’m not medically sure that I am supposed to be gluten-free, since the genetic test was technically run on my sister’s DNA, but I figured that if nothing else, it would be a good way to cut carbs out of my diet. Previously I had been eating egg and cold cuts between bread for breakfast and lunch every day, I eliminated the bread and now eat just eggs and lettuce wraps which results in fewer carbs and more protein. Score! I didn’t write this post to encourage you to adopt a gluten free lifestyle; I’m urging you to see where you could be doing better in your everyday food routine. We all know it can be easy to fall into simple grab-and-go food routines, but by changing the parameters of your diet to not eliminate entire food groups, it forces you to find alternates to your not-so-healthy, go-to items and to see where you are lacking from a different perspective.
A more blatant shift in lifestyle that my fiancé recently took up was juicing his vegetables. He went from never, and I mean NEVER eating any veggies to now juicing them 4-5 times a week, and that has made a huge difference in his life and well-being. I have been juicing for a couple years before the peer pressure of my good habit finally rubbed off on him and he caved, bought a juicer, and now juices more than I do on a weekly basis.
I cave to gluteny goodness about once a week, where I’ll eat some pancakes with my Dad on Saturdays. I usually get a stomach ache from the wheat, but sometimes the pros outweigh the cons, especially when having breakfast with Dad. Anyway, the moral of my going gluten-free was to find alternatives. It really forced me to question things in my diet that I had never questioned to be unhealthy before. Now with this new perspective on food and personal diet, I am able to drop unhealthy routines and substitute them for something much more beneficial for my health.
For me, the shock value of going gluten-free sparked the challenge to find alternatives for things I had never even considered replacing in my diet. The most manageable component for me, was that I didn’t have to cut all delicious baked goods out of my diet. Not only that, I eat pasta, pizza, and bread less while substituting grilled chicken, hummus and steamed veggies as my go-to staples for easy meals. Ultimately, I always try to remind myself, it’s okay to cheat every once in awhile, so long as I’m not cheating every other meal… these adjustments have brought about a true lifestyle change for the better!
I’d love to hear from you… what small changes have you made to improve your lifestyle?
Sculpting the inner thighs means doing precise and detailed exercises, both specialties of Pure Barre. Take a Pure Barre lesson in your home and learn four toning exercises, plus additional variations, with this video. And don’t worry about not having a barre — you can use your kitchen counter, the back of a couch, or a sturdy chair for support. Press play, and get ready to work it with Pure Barre’s very own, Margaret Ward, and Allie Merriam of Popsugar.
Avoid letting the arm get lazy and droop. Keep the arm strong and reach while maintaining good posture.
Being a triathlete and a runner I didn’t think I could add much more into my life regarding exercise and fitness, but little did I know…
It all started with a coupon that I had. It was about to expire so I took the plunge to see what this class was all about. With absolutely no dance experience in my past, I was filled with anticipation on how my first class was going to play out. I remember feeling like I had no clue what I was doing and that everyone around me was going so fast. I managed to get through, and by the end I thought to myself: I can do this, no problem.
So I went back a couple more times. It just so happens that my form was all wrong and THAT’s why it was easy. As time went by, classes started becoming more and more of a challenge–so I couldn’t stop then. The more I went to class, the more I learned, the more it hurt–and WOW did it hurt…lift.tone.burn is right; the motto rang so true.
So you would naturally think that the more you practice something the better you get at it. Well yes, I agree, but the thing I love about Pure Barre is that the results that you see are directly correlated with the hard work that you put in. It’s just that simple: you put the work in, you SEE the results.
After two and a half months of attending class anywhere from three to five times per week, I have become obsessed with Pure Barre. Whenever I have a moment, I find myself practicing. Even with all other activities, I make this class a priority. Pure Barre is not only an intense set of exercises that shapes your body, it’s simply a brilliant workout technique!
I do Pure Barre because I get results! – Carrie L.
Whether you’re brand new or a member of the 100 Club, it can’t hurt to brush up on Pure Barre etiquette. Here are some tips from Arika Hundt-Cole, manager of Pure Barre studios in Okemos, Brighton and soon-to-open Novi, Michigan:
Arrive Early: When you take your first class, give yourself 10-15 minutes to ask the instructor questions, purchase your class or new client special, fill out paperwork, and get your equipment and spot set up.
Tune In: Listen to the cues that the instructors give instead of looking around the room. It will help you focus on where you should be working, plus it is really hard to see what others are actually doing because the movements are so small, sharp and precise.
Go at Your Own Pace: No one would ever believe when watching how hard this class really is. Take breaks and modify when needed, then jump back in as soon as you can. Most important, know that it takes time to get this technique down. You may feel silly or lost your first couple classes. The more you come, the better you get.
Unplug: Make this hour about you. Arrive a few minutes early to get set up and ready your mind and body for one hour where you can let everything else go. Keep your phone out of sight, out of mind. You spend so much time worrying about everyone else, this is time for you to be selfish!
Cover Up: When taking class (even if it’s hot out) wear either capris or full-length yoga style pants. In certain positions you will use a ball or tube around your thighs and if you are wearing shorts you will not get the grip to keep the equipment in place. Plus, long pants and socks keep the body warm, which reduces the possibility of getting injured and ensures your muscles are warm.
Complete Class: Life does get in the way sometimes, but try to be in class from the first knee up until the last stretch of cool down. Not only will your body thank you, but your mind will as well.
Make a Friend: Don’t feel shy when coming in to take class! Introduce yourself to someone next to you. A lot of people end up coming to class at the same times each week and it might be motivational if you know your PB buddy is going to be there when you feel like taking a day off.
Offer Support: If you see someone who is new, make them feel welcome. After all, we all remember our first class. During class that new person may be struggling, and you may want to help, but remember that the hour is about you. The teacher will be over to help the new person get in the correct position and assist them with form and technique.
Share Equipment: If there is a class coming in after yours, feel free to wipe down your weights, tube and ball and ask someone coming in if they would like it left out. Not only will they appreciate it, but it will help reduce traffic in the equipment room.
Wear Socks: It doesn’t matter if they are Pure Barre sticky socks or some other kind of grippy socks, but you want to make sure that your feet are covered during class. You will really notice how much your feet slide in certain positions like plank if you are not wearing sticky socks. It is also beneficial for hygiene reasons, as socks help us keep the carpets as clean as possible.
Have Fun. We know it’s hard, so it’s OK to “whew” and “OMG” out loud during class. Whatever helps you get deeper and stay in longer!