barre3_stretch.jpgSo you’re not a dancer or an athlete or even a gym buff—but you’d like to tone up, nonetheless. We’ve got good news: the barre3 workout, a hybrid of yoga, Pilates, and ballet, should be right up your alley. Named after the “barre,” the French term for the ballet bar used in dance studios, and the number “3,” a symbol of balance, this fusion regime is guaranteed to give your body more power, flexibility, and overall equilibrium.

Now, we know what you’re thinking: your body doesn’t bend quite like a ballerina’s or a yogini’s—and the combination of posing and stretching hardly seems like much of a workout. But here’s the thing: you don’t need a dance background or naturally flexible limbs to take barre3 (the class itself should help you out in that department)—plus, the routine is more intense than it seems, since it works out your entire body.

The April 2010 issue of Women’s Health gives you a comprehensive look on barre3’s body-sculpting benefits. Here are the basics:


WHAT IT IS

Barre3 combines the disciplines of ballet, yoga, and Pilates in an hour-long session, in which the ballet bar is used to support certain areas of the body at a time. The goal of the routine is to create “length and strength,” which improves body shape, carriage, and flexibility. Certain postures are held for a specific amount of time in order to develop muscles all over your frame, as well as build your core. Other exercise equipment such as weights, straps, and balls are also included in the workout to maximize the number of moves you can execute.


WHAT YOU CAN GET OUT OF IT


With barre3, improvements will manifest in muscle power and elasticity, as well as your body’s endurance or stamina. Your figure is literally sculpted, building muscle and shedding fat at the waist, arms, and legs. Barre3 also leaves you feeling rejuvenated, which is great if you plan on exercising before heading to the office or after a long stressful day at work.


barre3_kneel.jpg“QUAKING”

“Quaking” refers to the shaking or trembling sensation your muscles go through when they are completely exhausted, usually after they have been specifically and repeatedly targeted through exercise. Barre3 lets you get to this point, where your muscles start to quake because they are developing through fatigue, and then it stretches you out to release the tension.


“HONORING YOUR BODY”

As opposed to competitive sports, which have you focused on winning rather than just working out, barre3 supports the idea of “honoring your body”exercising for your own benefit, rather than a prize. This is why there is a considerable amount of mental work involved in the barre3 regimen: you must condition your mind to push your body to the next level (without hurting yourself) for your own good, and not because you are in competition with others.


WHERE YOU CAN TAKE IT

There are barre3 studios located all over the metro; specifically, in Eastwood, Rockwell, Bonifacio High Street, and Alabang Town Center. For more information, visit www.barre3.com or check out the Facebook fanpage for barre3philippines.

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anne_curtis_womens_health_mag.jpg(Photos by Kai Huang. Find out more about barre3 in the April 2010 issue of Women’s Health, out now.)


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