This is a sponsored post. I have to disclaim that as if somehow that lessens the veracity of the feedback I’m about to give. Let me assure you, it doesn’t.
Three weeks ago, I started taking classes at FreeRide Studio in Bentonville; spin and barre classes to be precise. I’ve taken spin classes before and loved them and though I’d never taken a barre class, I have heard they’re all the rage and only require you to use your body weight, so I figured I could manage. In addition, FreeRide currently has a challenge at hand: take 21 classes in 28 days to prepare your body for summer. Sign me up; I’m all in.
Here’s where my honest to goodness veracity kicks in—Barre kicks your butt.
Though it “only” uses your body weight, barre uses muscles you’re unaccustomed to using and sculpts you in ways that you have never seen. It’s nothing short of amazing. I, quite transparently, am horrible at it, but I always leave feeling so glad I went, and despite my less than stellar toe points and the need to pause 12 pulses into a 37 count move, I’ve never been made to feel like that gym newbie who’d rather give up trying than attend again. At FreeRide no two classes are the same. I’ve attended 4 barre classes with two different instructors and 4 spin classes with 3 different instructors. Every class has been different. Each teacher is their own brand of hard without sacrificing the fun. If I had two pieces of advice to offer, they would be these:
1) Don’t take power hour barre for your first ever barre class–they take it up a notch even more than regular barre. Start normal.
2) Take any spin class offered by Lisa. She was a Soul Cycle trainer and she brought chocolate to class at 5:30am on a Tuesday morning; she’s legitimate AND she brings chocolate.
But what do you do, if you can’t make it to a spin or barre class?
If you’re FreeRide Studio, you create 4 mom moves that sculpt your seat region the same way a barre or spin class might. The owner, Betsy Soos, is a mom. She gets it. She understands that life happens–which is why she came up with these dynamic moves to accompany tasks you’re already doing everyday, anyway.
1. Picking Up Toys (or Laundry)
Stand with feet parallel, right under hips. Inhale your breath as you reach the right leg behind you and stretch arms outwards, hugging biceps to ears coming to a parallel position. Lower arms slowly to the floor as you reach the right toes a little higher. Exhale your breath and tighten up your core as you carefully lower right leg back down, balancing on the left leg. Repeat the move 20 times and then switch sides.
Sitting on the floor, take your left leg in front of you and right leg behind you. The left leg should form a 90 degree angle with your knee in front of your hip. Your right knee should be behind the right hip. Place your hands on the floor in front of you and keep your shoulders square to your shin. Shift your weight forward, tighten up your core, and lift your rear leg leading with the knee 20 times. For added challenge, keep your leg lifted and “poke” your toes behind you! Switch sides.
3. Cooking Dinner
Stand arms distance away from your bar or countertop and rest your hands on the surface. Soften the right knee while pulling the left knee up towards your chest. Exhaling your breath, slowly drive your left toes out behind you as you hinge your chest towards the countertop. Holding the hinge, bend your left knee taking your heel as close to your seat as possible while taking a deep bend in your standing leg. Exhale again as you press through the right foot while extending the left leg again. Pull the left knee up towards your chest and repeat 20 times before switching to the other side.
Start with your hands under your shoulders and knees bent under your hips. Contract your core and make sure to flatten your tailbone creating a “table top”. Lift your left knee from the floor until it’s parallel with your hip and your heel is stacked above your knee facing the ceiling. Pretend there is a magnet attached to your glute and heel bringing it as close to your seat as possible. Start pulsing it up, flexing the toes towards your shins. Do this 20 times. Then cross your left knee behind the right knee squeezing inner thighs together, and lift knee towards your left elbow. Try not to rock your hips side to side as much as possible. Do this 20 times and then switch to the right.
You’re going to think this is too easy. You might even disregard it thinking how can you possibly sculpt your seat while picking up laundry? I promise you, you’ll be surprised. In the Tuesday evening barre class we actually did “playtime” and I had to pause halfway through. These are real moves, created by a real instructor, that really target your seat.
Also, when you’re ready to take it up a notch, come die with join us at FreeRide Studio. Your first class is free. Just don’t take my spot.