Last January your sole focus was hot yoga. The year prior was marathon running. The year before that you had a basic gym membership that barely got swiped. Your last three workout resolutions, for a lack of a better word, failed miserably — not because you didn’t try, but because you simply chose the wrong one for you.
This year, try an unconventional exercise that’s fun, motivating and will test your limits when it comes to body and mind strength. Without a doubt, you’ve got to try barre and Pilates.
Barre workouts are all the rage. Drive anywhere within a six mile radius and you’re bound to stumble across a studio or two that promises to sculpt your core and tone your rear. Unlike other exercise classes (yes, I’m looking at you CrossFit), you won’t be required to use a dozen different types of equipment. In fact, all you’ll use here is, you guessed it, a ballet bar.
Barre’s short yet impactful history is credited back to 1959 when Lotte Berk, a German ballerina who injured her back, came up with the idea to combine her dance conditioning routine with rehabilitative therapy. Berk’s understudy, Lydia Bach, brought the workout to the U.S. in 1971, and its influence has expanded ever since.
As opposed to other trendy workouts, barre’s core-focused movements are performed and held in tiny, one-inch increments. Similar to a dancer, you’ll oftentimes find yourself leaning and holding posture on your toes and heels. Although some studios are OK with you going barefoot, sticky grip shoes are definitely encouraged, such as the ones featured below.
Bloch footwear is an industry leader in the realm of dance and athletic footwear. For three generations, the brand has received high praise for its dependability, innovation and style.
Take the Bloch Contour Barre, for example. Designed with optimal performance and stability, its patented Dynamic Resistance Technology® provides reinforced support and shock absorption that you can feel between movements. And with its no-slip sole, you’ll be able to focus more on the workout at hand while achieving better results.
Similar in design to the Contour Barre is the Bloch Balance Pilates. Both shoes are made of a hardwearing, long-lasting fabric upper that won’t deteriorate after months of practice. However, despite both having similar construction and a sleek profile, the most notable difference between the two is its toe-less look for added airflow.
Unlike barre, Pilates is a mix ‘n’ match hybrid of several exercise programs, integrating key components to help increase flexibility, core strength, posture and more. With that being said, between the sweat dripping off of you and the dude to your right, the Balance Pilates is a worthwhile investment for the sake of maximizing grip and cleanliness.
So this year, take a chance on a new form of exercise. And who knows, maybe barre or Pilates is what you were looking for all along.