Anyone who tells you a ballet barre workout is easy is, unequivocally, a liar.
Barre workouts are tough. And I mean that in the best way possible. I’ve tested a couple of barre-style workouts in my life, once on holiday in Chicago (yes, I’m that person who loves working out on holiday), another time at home with a DVD. But until I tried a class at Barretoned in Notting Hill, I didn’t realise that those were run of the mill ballet-fusion workouts rather than proper, hold-it-until-your-muscles-shake-and-seize-up ballet barre workouts.
Again, I mean that in the best way possible. Very rarely do you come across a workout that challenges your muscles in a totally new way, a workout that you can feel is changing your body for the better by the second. I loved it. My triceps? Not so much.
So what did we do? A lot of tiny isometric movements to challenge our muscles at the deepest of deep levels. And I mean tiny. Like anyone watching would have had no idea we were actually working out, tiny. Also, we did a lot of hip tilting to get our abs involved, which I found surprisingly difficult. Really, I found the whole workout really difficult, but so good because I love a really good, tough workout.
After the first exercise – where we hinged our bodies forward and held our arms straight back behind us and pulsed inward slightly – my arms literally, literally seized up and I almost had to leave class with my head bowed in shame. I actually thought I wasn’t going to be able to continue, my arms were already so sore, five minutes in. And I’m considerably fit. I lift weights, run, do yoga, Pilates, TRX, you name it I do it. Except for Zumba. I hate Zumba.
Add to this the fact that the studio was faultless – free lockers in the changing room for anyone to use, plush carpet in the studio to protect our knees and elbows during floor work, and clean, stocked showers to freshen up in after. If you’re looking for a seriously good new workout studio in town, you simply must try Barretoned.