Get Your Body On Point: Morgan’s Take On Xtend Barre

With spring break just a few weeks away and summer finally on the horizon, I thought it would be a perfect time to talk the dreaded "f" word with you...fitness. You've still got a few months to prep for bikinis, crop tops and cutoffs so let me share with you what has been working for me.

Over the years, I've joined various gyms and gone sporadically, then subsequently cancelled my memberships. I've tried the couch to 5K app, bought the Jillian Michaels 30 day shred video and taken hot yoga {twice}. I could never get "hooked" on anything.

When I moved to Charlotte and the big 3-0 loomed, I knew I needed to make some life changes. I'll be the first to admit that the demands of running the 'tique keep my stress level high--just ask my boyfriend. So not only was I looking for a way to burn some unwanted calories, but I also needed a place to release my negative energy. Enter: Xtend Barre
Xtend Barre combines elements of dance, ballet and Pilates to create a workout that strengthens and lengthens the body. Unlike other barre methods, Xtend integrates a lot of cardio to make sure your heart rate stays up the entire time you're in the studio.

If you've ever taken a barre class before you know it's not for the faint of heart. Caroline and I went to our first class together and were definitely not prepared for the sweating, shaking and soreness that would ensue. Despite all of that, we were hooked and joined on the spot. I completed my 100th class just a couple of days ago. 

Here's a rundown of a typical Xtend Barre class:

The class starts with a short, cardio-focused warm up, then moves into an arm workout with weights. After that, we hit the mats for push-ups, tricep dips and planks. 
When we finish our arm segment, we move to the barre to focus on legs and stabilizing muscles. While at the barre, we do plyometrics (jump training) and a cardio series to elevate our heart rates.
Not gonna lie to you, the barre segment will make your legs shake uncontrollably and your quads will feel like they are literally on fire. During this portion of class, you will probably question the instructor's sanity and your own for doing this to your body voluntarily.
Once we're off the barre, we're in the home stretch! Core. It's hard. Really hard. BUT, as my body gets stronger, the ab exercises get easier. I want a six pack--think I'll have to give up the wine first though (no chance). After core, we stretch and perform a balance exercise then we're done!
My hour a day at Xtend, albeit TOUGH, is my time to release and not think about a darn thing besides the height of my batma and keeping my toes pointed! You'll be amazed at how much better you feel once you get those endorphins flowing.
If you're looking for an exercise that'll kick your butt, work muscles you didn't know you had and get results, try Xtend Barre.

*Disclaimer: If you don't want to sweat, this is NOT the workout for you. Lots of people do other barre methods on their lunch breaks or before work, but it's virtually impossible to leave Xtend without sweating so allow yourself some time to shower up after class.   

Meet me at the barre?
xoxo
Morgan

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