Today, we asked one of our friends, Jess Hadley, to share about barre. She is an instructor for Pure Barre and has found the workout to greatly benefit her running.
What is Pure Barre?
Pure Barre is a total body workout that is low impact with high intensity movements that improve your strength and flexibility. It has a range of benefits and it is not a workout for only one type of person. Pure Barre is for all ages, body types, male or female. When Pure Barre opened in my town I bought an introductory package because I knew one of the instructors through running and I thought I would try it out and then be done with it. Group fitness, at that time, did not interest me because of my schedule with work, kids, and already running. I was on a break from running after the Chicago marathon so I had more time to fit it in so I decided to go to a class. I had this theory in my head that you had to be a former dancer or very flexible to do Pure Barre both of which I am not.
I was hooked after my first class. Pure Barre uses musically driven choreography that starts with a dynamic warm-up, followed by weight work, thighs, seat (which is the base and side seat), followed by core and abdominal work to finish. The workout warms up the muscles and gets the heart rate moving but then always ends a section with a powerful stretch which is one of my favorite parts of the workout.
I have since taken close to 600 classes in a studio with countless more of training and practicing as I became a Pure Barre instructor in 2019.
Many people ask how Pure Barre benefits a runner…
In Pure Barre most of the movements are small or isometric holds. The focus is on building strength through your back, glutes, hamstring, and core while also lengthening the muscles in your body. One of the major benefits for runners is improved mobility in their hip flexors which is where many runners have issues or injuries can begin. With every exercise in a Pure Barre class, you are reminded to keep your core engaged and your hips “tucked” under. Improving your core strength can be vital for a runner, especially a distance runner. Pure Barre improves stability as well- in most of my runs I feel stronger and more stable and I feel this strength comes from Pure Barre.
How to fit Pure Barre in your schedule as a runner? I would suggest taking 3-4 classes a week if possible. You will see the most benefit and you will not have tired legs from Pure Barre at that level.
There are modifications for every move in Pure Barre so if you feel that you have a small injury you can still do Pure Barre and modify the movements. I have worked through quite a few injuries by doing Pure Barre and increasing my strength in those areas gradually.
Pure Barre can be addicting but it is so much fun. The community of a Pure Barre class helps encourage you and want to keep going to reach milestones and drive you to your best you.
Have you taken a Pure Barre or any Barre class and if so what did you find beneficial?
Please feel free to reach out to me on Instagram at @Jessbug1122 for any questions.
Pure Barre is offering classes in person if you have a studio in your area - but they also have an online platform to practice at home.