Xtend Barre at Heartcore: my new favourite workout

As a child and teenager, I practiced ballet for over fifteen years and developed a love of ballet performances together with a slightly obsessed dedication to classical barre, plies, arabesques, battements etc... So as the years went by, no workout really measured up, it was never as perfect or complete as barre, until one of my girlfriends told me to check out the Xtend Barre class at Heartcore.

I promptly booked myself and after my first trial class, I'm totally hooked! Here is what happened... 

I had booked at Heartcore Chelsea, just off Kings Road. On Saturday morning I walked up to the studio where a crowd of beautiful people were waiting for their next class clad in designer workout clothes. The waiting area overlooks a room filled with Pilates reformers where people were finishing what looked like a pretty hard-core class. I was directed to the smaller room next door, all bare wood floors and a couple of barres, for my class with Katie. 

After a short and easy-enough warm-up which got my heart pumping, we moved to the barres where my self-induced torture started. Xtend is all about ballet and pilates inspired movements which are meant to exercise all the muscles in my body in ways that they aren't normally worked-out, avoiding building unsightly bulk and aiming for that long and lean silhouette that looks so much better... 

First up, legs, from calves to inner-thighs and bottoms, all at the barre, a series of exercises which leaves me shaking and wondering why I am putting myself through this! And that, to be honest, was nothing, compared to what came next. 

Next, we move to the mat work, focusing on core strength, from press-ups with a ballet twist to abs that almost made me cry for my mamma... I began understanding how the long-standing students had the chiseled arms and amazing lythe bodies. 

After some more work on the bum and abs, it's time to stretch, finished with a demi-pointe raise. It all took  a mere 55 minutes, and, just like my old ballet classes, it felt like a couple of minutes. It is a hard as hell workout, but it looks like it will be well worth it in a few weeks... I'm booked for a weekly session until March! These cardio-filled fun sessions will be the perfect counterpart to my Jelly Belly Pilates classes.

Xtend Barre classes at Heartcore cost £25, packages are available. 

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1 comment:

ballet barres said...

I love doing exercises on ballet barres. I regret not having started to dance before, I could have been a great ballerina! :)