What Is It: BarreWorks Studio, a boutique barre fitness studio that offers traditional barre sculpting classes as well as cardio sculpt and HIIT classes
Who Tried It: Gabrielle Olya, PEOPLE writer and reporter
Level of Difficulty: 7 (on a scale of 1 to 10). I tried the traditional barre sculpting class which is moderate to advanced in difficulty. If you’ve never taken a barre class before, you may find it more difficult, but people of all fitness levels will definitely leave the class sore!
I have tried out several different barre studios so was interested to see what makes BarreWorks studio unique, especially knowing that Diane Kruger (who looks incredible in a swimsuit) and Katherine Schwarzenegger are both fans.
The class began with squatting to work the legs, followed by planks (some of which utilized gliders for added difficulty) and push-ups to work the core and arms. Next, we did an arm series using light weights to tone biceps, shoulders and triceps.
Then we moved to the barre to work the thighs and seat — we did lots of small, isometric movements, like squatting up and down an inch very slowly while squeezing a ball between our inner thighs, that really worked all the muscles in those body parts.
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What I liked about this class, as opposed to other barre classes I’ve taken, is that instead of completely fatiguing the thighs and then fatiguing the seat, we switched back and forth between moves to tone each muscle group, so that I was actually able to get through all of the exercises instead of dying three-quarters of the way through a set and having to stop.
The class concluded with ab work (crunches, side twists, etc.) on the mat and stretching to lengthen everything out.
“We do a combination of Pilates, yoga and barre that focuses on small, isometric movements, and then also some larger, functional movements in between,” founder and owner Renay Compere explains. “The class tones muscles that you can’t get to with traditional exercise. It’s so well-rounded — it hits and isolates every single muscle group that we want, and it shows!”
The Verdict: I really felt like I got a full-body workout, and was especially sore in my butt and arms the next day! I would recommend the workout to anyone who wants to really tone their muscles while getting in a bit of cardio too (Compere says you can burn up to 500 calories in the class!).