I recently went to a local Barre studio to get a workout in and check out what other area studios offer. The experience was wonderful in some ways and painful in others.
I loved the studio! The atmosphere was quaint and inviting. The instructor was motivating and encouraging with some great music. I definitely “felt the muscles working”!
While I enjoyed the atmosphere and the instructor, the exercises, themselves were a bit concerning. Now keep in mind, I am a physical therapist, so I often look at every workout with a microscope. Many times, I experience workouts at local studios that are not always the safest and unfortunately, it seemed the same at this place.
Most Barre classes in the area (not just at this studio) spend the hour “pelvic thrusting” with every single exercise, whether you are working arms, legs or core. Pelvic thrusting is a move where the participant tucks the tailbone under repeatedly to engage the abdominals. Now don’t get me wrong, I could definitely feel the abdominals working as I was thrusting away for an hour. My concern with this move is the significant stress an hour of this movement can place on the ligaments and discs of the lower back. Anatomically, the thrusting movement places the spine in a constantly flexed position. This over stretches the ligaments of the lower back and the annular wall of the discs, putting the spine at risk for injury.
Look around at the individuals next to you, most of us spend the majority of our day in a flexed position….we sit to work, to drive, to text. So I question why we spend our workout in that same flexed position….it is just a back problem waiting to happen.
Mix it up
When you are planning your workouts, you should try to take most of your workouts out of the body position you are in throughout your day. For example, if you sit behind a computer for 8 hours each day, it may not be the best choice to go to a spinning class or a traditional Barre class for your workout. Or if you do, add other, more upright exercises to mix it up like walking, running or taking a step class.
The Barre classes at ABS Pilates include the following components:
A fun, energetic class set to fun music.
Exercises to work the legs, arms and core.
Most all exercises are taught in a way that places the spine in a neutral, safe position.
The classes include exercises to promote proper standing, sitting and squatting posture.
The classes are designed to improve posture, strength, flexibility and balance.
The instructor offers different levels of the exercises to meet the needs of each participant.
The classes are taught by myself, a licensed physical therapist, certified Pilates instructor and nationally certified group exercise instructor with more than 25 years of experience.
So if you are looking for a fun workout that doesn’t spend the hour working on you “twerking” skills, checkout ABS Pilates of Columbus, Ohio.