I’ve heard my girlfriends rave about Pure Barre for years, so I finally decided to experience it for myself. I’ve always been an athletic person, but due to a badly herniated lower lumbar disc (L5), the past six months have been harrowing to say the least.
Thanks to time, patience and physical therapy, I’m finally working out again. So I connected with Pure Barre owner, Denyse Kroll, who is the happy face behind the bar at the Lakeway studio located at 2300 Lohman’s Spur.
“It moves very quickly, so don’t feel overwhelmed at the pace of the class,” she explained. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect because when I think Barre, I think slow-paced movement like ballet. Kroll laughed and said when she took her first class in 2010, she thought the same thing. “It’s a great cardio workout too,” she said. “You’ll see.”
The first order of business was buying a pair of sticky socks. You can wear normal socks for Pure Barre, but sticky socks provide traction making it much easier to keep yourself steady. At $12 a pair, it’s a no-brainer.
The class started with upbeat music and some stretching. Then we immediately went into a pretty intense arm workout using light weights with concise form. The isometric movements really help target specific muscles and tone the body, resulting in a lean, strong physique.
In Pure Barre classes you use (squeeze!) a small ball measures 5″ in diameter during leg, “seat” and ab exercises to enhance your workout and promote targeted muscle toning. Let’s just say when she says, “Put the ball down,” the whole class breathes a sigh of relief! We also used various bands for resistance.
Despite my back injury, I was able to do all of the exercises except one. Kroll checked in with me and another first-time Pure Barre student frequently to assist us with our form. When we did exercises that could’ve caused me back pain, she was quick to ask me if I was okay. She provided me with alternate positions, so I could do a variation of the exercise without aggravating my back.
I think Pure Barre is a fun combination of Pilates and dance. It is definitely an intense workout, but it’s also fun and motivating. Kroll’s enthusiasm is evident and the studio’s upbeat vibe makes the experience even more enjoyable. If you’re seeking your own transformation and a healthy addition to your active lifestyle, you’ll find yourself smiling under the bar too.