The Benefits of Cross Training for Pole with BootyBarre

Hey there Pole Fam, 

As I sit here with a heat pack on my thighs, I can’t help but think about something that Studio Chic instructor Heather said in class the other day; “BootyBarre is a great way to cross train for pole.”

Clearly she's right! My workout was a few days ago already and I can still feel that wonderful burn in my leg muscles. But what exactly makes Barre so efficient for cross training for pole fitness?


It’s the total package

The hour long class consists of a warm up and upper body work with free weights followed by approximately 30 minutes at the barre with cardio blasts to keep the heart rate elevated. The class concludes with abdominal and back work, followed by a wonderful stretch. If you attend Barre on a regular basis you’ll see physical improvements in everything from flexibility, to endurance, core, balance and coordination. The combination of strength, cardio, and stretching means you can pack in a full body workout in only an hour.

As you move on in your pole journey, there is less of a focus during class time on strength foundation training and Barre is a fantastic way to supplement this (Combine it with TRX classes and you won’t know what to do with all that strength!). This is especially true for building core and lower body muscles which is something we often miss in pole classes as we tend to focus on upper body strength development.


Shoulders DOWN and BACK

Have you been having shoulder or back problems during your pole classes? As the foundations of Barre are rooted in Pilates, Yoga, Fitness, Ballet, and Dance, regular attendance can have a significant impact on your overall posture and the elongation of your muscles. This will help you with everything from spirals to inverts and making sure you are bringing your shoulders down and back. Say it with me, DOWN and BACK. Another benefit for polers is that Barre helps you with lines and extension which are some of the more technical aspects of dance. "Long lines" will help you take your spins and poses to the next level.

"The class starts by using one-inch incremental movements called isometric movements. Isometric movements can help strengthen muscles without straining tendons or ligaments, so there is less risk of injury in comparison to traditional strength training methods, such as heavy weight lifting. The class then moves into compound movements that help in increasing flexibility, such as long, sweeping Grande Battements (kicks). They are put in right after all the tight squeezing of the iso's to help lengthen and stretch the muscles out. If you’re prone to injury, this may be the perfect class for you."


Barre is for everyone

Anyone—no matter their age, weight, or fitness level—can get results and there is ZERO dance experience required. One of my favourite parts about Barre is the ability to customize your workout. Increasing the weight of your hand weights, going into relevé or tree pose, or simply squeezing your muscles harder allows you to create and control your own resistance. This will help keep you from plateauing during your Barre workouts and encourages you to listen to your own body. Not feeling strong today? No problem, stay flat footed. Do you feel like superman today? Awesome, use the 3lb weights instead and squeeze like crazy. And of course, you can always further challenge yourself by focussing on your form and posture, there is always room for improvement in this category.

Other Benefits:
  • It will force you to practice “pointing your f***ing toes!”
  • You. Will. Sweat. (There’s a reason that Studio Chic provides all its barre students with sweat towels!)
  • Your legs will shake too.
  • The high-energy music will help you get through your workout and put you in a happy mood for the rest of your day.
  • Another opportunity to work on your splits
  • Endurance building
  • No dance experience required
  • Anyone—no matter their age, weight, or fitness level—can hit the bar and get results

Bottom line: If you’re seriously in love with pole you should sign up for a Barre class right now, I promise you’ll love it!

- Emily 

NYE Resolutions vs. Goals

Hey there Pole Fam!

Along with being the warmest holiday since 1957, it was probably one of the busiest in my life. I made it through, though, with a little help from some cake and wine. (But that is totally okay, remember?)

Today I want to talk about our next hurdle in the obstacle course we call the holidays - New Year's Eve. While the same suggestions apply in regards to eating habits from my previous post (which you can find here), I want to explore the idea of the New Years Resolutions

However, I don't want you to look at the subject in the stereotypical "resolutions-will-change-my-life-forever" lens because in my opinion, resolutions are kind of useless. Instead, I want you to think of them as New Years Goals.

Here's why:

1) "Resolutions" suggest that you should CHANGE something about yourself, whereas;

2) A "goal" is something that you WORK towards. (see what I did there?)

Resolutions get a bad rep, that's for sure. There is a lot of negativity surrounding the concept because most efforts at resolutions end up bearing zero results. There is a lot of pressure when you say "resolutions " and in my opinion, this is because many people commit to  "resolutions" are very vague - for example, I want to "lose weight" or "read more" or "be happier."

These statements are a great start, but they don’t outline the desired result that the individual will be working to accomplish – thus creating more room for disappointment.. Once again the aforementioned “resolutions” all suggest that you need to change something about yourself, which you shouldn’t- I promise. (No matter what others say, for what it's worth, I truly think you're fabulous just the way you are!). Instead, you should be setting realistic and specific goals. For example, "I want to make it to the studio at least twice per week, and stretch at home once a week." By doing this you are keeping your expectations for yourself in check, and you are more likely to be successful. Try to be as consistent as possible and these goals could become great healthy habits. By setting specific and realistic goals, you will be able to hold yourself accountable for completing your goals, you will be able to assess your progress throughout the upcoming year, and you are more likely to be successful.

You should also aim to set both short term and long-term goals. Short-term goals are wonderful ego boosts and can help you to better tackle your bigger, long-term goals by breaking them down into more manageable pieces and tasks.

Another great tool to help you reach your goals is to get your friends involved. You’d be surprised at how many of us share similar desires for the future and we can be more successful by working together! Friends can help motivate, solve problems, and assist in completing your desired tasks and in return, you can reciprocate and help them to achieve their goal! There is strength in numbers!

Most importantly, don't forget to reward yourself. Positive reinforcement is an effective method for creating healthy habits and it doesn't have to be anything crazy or expensive. Consider taking a walk in the park, taking a special workshop at the studio, a night at the movie theatre, buy a new nail polish or even a hot bubble bath. But also keep in mind healthy eating when choosing food as your reward. Healthy eating promotes a healthy mind and body!

Whatever your goals are, always remember to believe in yourself and work hard. I believe in you! I wish you luck and the best in the New Year.


 - Emily


What are your goals for 2016? Is there any way we can help? Do you have any other suggestions? Let us know what you think in the comments!



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