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Friday, January 16, 2015

FITNESS FRIDAY // Barre Amped Workout

Today we're kicking off a new series on the blog...FITNESS FRIDAYS! Every other Friday, we'll be reviewing a new workout - a DVD, subscription service or something else you can do from home. We figured it was good timing, as "losing weight" is one of the top resolutions people make in the New Year.

This week, we're starting it off with BARRE AMPED, an at-home barre workout by Suzanne Bowen. Her motto is "Shake to Change"'s a killer. I tested this workout DVD with one of my sisters, who has taken several barre classes at studios. I, on the other hand, have never taken a barre class, so this way you can get a seasoned opinion and a newb opinion.

 My sister and I did this workout two days after Christmas. We had both just enjoyed several days of gluttony and laziness for the holidays and we felt like it was time to do SOMETHING active. To be honest, my muscles were killing me for the next three days after...I was feeling muscles I didn't even know I have. But, it had been QUITE awhile since I had done a workout of any kind, so that could have contributed to the pain. My sister was a little sore two days after the workout, but nothing like me. Or I'm just more whiny.

I thought it was an intense workout - I often felt like I wasn't going to be able to complete the sets but I managed to power through [while whining like a baby and cursing up a storm]. Whenever I felt like giving up, I would follow the girl who was doing modified moves for beginners. There was also a girl doing more advanced moves for those who needed more of a challenge. It was nice to have options. I definitely think it would be a great workout to incorporate with some additional cardio, because it focuses much more on strength-training. My heart was pumping at certain points and I was definitely sweating but extra cardio would create a more well-rounded workout.

 I really liked Suzanne's emphasis on form, like one would expect from a yoga workout. There is a great and detailed tutorial at the end that teaches you the proper forms for each move, which is especially great if you're a barre newb like me. She is a fan of a "neutral" or untucked spine and soft knees. It's so important to get the posture and form down correctly so you can make sure you're working out the appropriate muscles and not straining things too much.

My sister, who has taken barre classes with an instructor before, liked the workout okay. She did feel like there wasn't enough of a focus on the arms and abs. In the classes she had taken, they did strenuous ab and arm work so she was looking forward to that in the DVD but it wasn't there. In truth, the only muscles that really hurt me after the workout were my legs and butt. So maybe try supplementing the workout with more ab and arm workouts on alternating days.

All in all I think it was a decent workout DVD...very intense on the legs and butt. I feel like if you did this DVD regularly for a few weeks you would DEFINITELY notice some toning in your butt and thighs. If those are problem areas for you, then you have met your match!

I hope you enjoyed the first installment of our new FITNESS FRIDAYS series. What'd you think? Does this seem like a workout you would want to try? Let us know in the comments! XOXO.

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