About a month ago, I started taking Pure Barre classes to compliment my training for the half marathon. I started at my local studio with a Breaking Down the Barre introductory class (which I highly recommend), and have taken 8 classes thus far.
In just a month of taking Pure Barre classes (roughly twice a week), I can definitely see improvements to my body and mind- especially as I was training for running the half marathon. That said, here’s 5 ways Pure Barre helps runners:
1) Increased flexibility.
I can’t tell you how much more “elastic” my muscles feel. At the end of class, we do a series of stretches and I find myself going a little farther each time. I love when the instructor comes around and helps you stretch and get just a little farther too- ahh feels so good! All of the movements really lengthen and stretch my muscles, and my movements, even when running, feel more fluid.
2) Overall toning.
Pure Barre’s mantra is “life, tone, burn.” And you will definitely do plenty of all three in a class. As a runner, I would think my legs would be the most toned part of my body with all the running, but after Pure Barre, I’ve noticed even more definition. My legs look longer and leaner…more “ballerina-like” if you will. And not just my legs. Pure Barre is a total body workout. I see more definition in my arms, back muscles, abs, etc. WIN!
3) Core strength.
Holy abs. I never realized how important your core is in running until I became more aware of all the tucking and crunches I did in Pure Barre classes. Each class, we hit the abs from every angle in multiple ways, and I am starting to notice some definition! I feel like I’ve lost some inches around my waist, which is great for my clothes fitting better, but also helps in my running by having a strong center/core.
4) Improved posture.
One of my goals for the half marathon was to avoid getting a tense neck/shoulders like I did at the Fort2Base race. I was in so much pain afterwards, and I vowed to be more self-aware and release that tension while running. Pure Barre classes really helped improve my posture (and you are constantly checking yourself in the mirror, which helps a lot.) I am proud to report that I had no neck/shoulder pain whatsoever after the half! My improved posture also helps day-to-day, since I have a desk job where I would usually slump over in front of my computer. Bad bad bad!
5) Mental toughness.
When you are in a Pure Barre class, you are doing series of movements, albeit small, but they make your entire body shake and burn…in a good way. You need a razor sharp focus to get through the exercises, and I’ve really improved my mental toughness as a result, which helped me tackle mile after mile on the course. There are times when you can lift your leg another inch or tuck one more time, but those are the moments when you will get the most results. And learning to be in the workout mentally really helps.
Shout out to my local Pure Barre for their support and partnership! Wonderful, inviting studio with motivating instructors and staff. Thank you!