#5YearsBarreStrong

Five years ago today, owners Rachel and Paula opened the doors to Minnesota’s first ever barre studio.  Five years later, Rachel and Paula have created the most amazing studio, community and workout around.  Here’s why we ❤ the barre and couldn’t imagine pulsing anywhere else:

 

1. It is the best total body workout in town.

2. The studio is warm, welcoming, and full of truly awesome women.

3. I am inspired every class by every instructor, and client, to push harder and get lower!

4. I NEVER regret taking class, even when I don’t feel 100%.

5. I have gained strength I never knew I had mentally, and physically (it takes as much strength mentally as it does physically)!

-Kristen S.

 

1. It is a judgement free zone.

2. It is a strong community of strong women.

3. AWESOME jams!

4.Instructors are motivating, supportive and FUN!

5. I always leave class feeling accomplished, and more confident in my body.

-Allie K.

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1. Exercise in no longer a chore, but a craving!

2. I walked into the studio not knowing one single person, and now have friendships that go way beyond the barre! 😉

3. The instructors are so well chosen and put work into each and every class delivery.

4. The barre has taught me so much about mental strength and has pushed me to levels I’ve never experience before!

5. It’s such a gift to have a private studio that welcomes children to a place they love: Monkey Barre!

-Kim D.

 

1. The barre provides an incredibly encouraging environment.

2. I always leave with such sense of empowerment after an amazing head-to-toe workout.

3. My little  monkey loves coming with me so he can play with all the other little monkeys. You can’t beat a studio like ours that offers childcare!

4. I am always amazed by our incredible clients and instructors.  Such mental and physical toughness in one room!

5. After years of trying to find a workout regimen I actually enjoy, I can definitely say I have found “the one!”

-Jill J.

 

1. The barre is more than just about exercise – it’s empowerment, strength and positive encouragement for women.

2. The instructors – you are guaranteed a burn regardless if you walk into the studio at 6am or 6pm.

3. Location, location, location! You cannot beat the Lake Minnetonka view in Wayzata!

4. The friendships I have made since joining the studio.

5. Monkey barre! My daughter begs me to take her to class with me and doesn’t understand why there isn’t a 6am Monkey Barre!

-Katie O.

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1. The class is accessible to people of all ages and levels of fitness.

2. The studio locations are amazing!

3. The barre community is so motivating, supportive and welcoming!

4. I always leave class in a  better mood than I arrived!

5. Last but not least, the results surpass any other method of exercise!

-Jaclyn H.

 

1. ANYONE of any age/fitness level can absolutely do barre – each class has clients of all different levels who are encouraging to each other!

2. The instructors bring so much passion and stand out from all others… amazing!

3. You absolutely can’t beat the location of the studios.

4. The workout itself is addicting in the best way and has given me strength (mental + physical) I never knew I could gain.

5. Hands down best stress reliever and I leave in a great mood EVERY time 🙂

-Julia K.

 

1. You don’t have to put on a swimsuit to waterski, although you’ll be swimsuit ready if you take class regularly.

2. You have sore muscles you didn’t even know you had.

3. You leave class feeling like you can conquer the world.

4. Class never gets easier, if anything it gets more challenging.

5. The barre community of instructors and clients are lifelong friends.

-Cindy H.

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1. Such a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere suitable for everyone!

2. I am inspired to pursue a healthier lifestyle with each class!

3. I have never been happier with my fitness and I have gained strength and focus I didn’t know I was capable of.

4. So nice for moms to be able to drop off their monkeys and enjoy their workout without a worry!

5. Such an AMAZING group of women! I am always so encouraged by the instructors and look up to them so much! I wouldn’t want to be a part of any other team!

-Maya M.

 

1. There is no better place to start my day… sunrises at the barre are pretty great!

2. I no longer fear push-ups… no matter how many are thrown my way.

3. When I moved back to MN, I came to the barre looking for a great workout and now leave feeling empowered, strong and grateful for so many friends.

4. It is the place where Ke$ha and Pitbull come together to make musical magic.

5. Teaching at the barre has brought be out of my shell and has made me the confident and strong women that I am both at the studio and in my everyday life!

-Kalli L.

 

1. The instructors are amazing and inspiring!

2. The workout is seriously addicting and incredibly physically and mentally challenging  – I have gotten so much stronger.

3. There is definitely a “post-barre high” after class.  It truly starts my day in the best way.

4. The 6am Edina crew!

5. After years of short term relationships with other gyms or fitness studios, I finally found THE ONE that works for me!

-Toni S.

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1. The welcoming community it provides and amazing friendships.

2. The peace of mind and mental release post-class.

3. The mental and physical challenge presented by every class.

4. For helping me to become my strongest self in all aspects.

5. For introducing me to the joys of group fitness and just getting me hooked on barre in every way.

-Mary C.

 

1. Barre is my happy place, if I have a frown it is immediately turned upside down the  minute I walk in the door.

2. Britney on the playlists (and all of the other great songs)!

3. Barre arms – people always say, “I want your arms!” and I always respond with, “Come to the barre!”

4.  The AMAZING people! I am surrounded by strong, positive, beautiful people inside and out which is such a positive influence on my life!

5. Not only does barre give me physical strength but it gives me mental strength – Yes, I can!!!

-Jenny H.

 

1. Having a back injury, barre has changed my life!  I am a true believer that our barre technique has helped me build a strong core to help stabilize my back injury, and live a daily life with little or no back pain!  It is truly amazing, and I have tried everything – yoga, pilates reformer, but barre has been the magic I have been needing in my life!

2. I can’t imagine my life without our barre, I can’t imagine not being an instructor! I am so thankful to have the barre in my life.

3. I love our loyal barre clients, I love our 1st time clients, and I love seeing our old barre clients, that may have taken a break but come back because they know the barre is a solid workout and loving environment!

4. I love our barre instructors!  I learn so much from all of you.  I always take away something new about barre, which helps me push my own barre technique.

5. I love our no-judgement amongst all our beautiful barre women! We are all in different places with our own barre strength.  I never feel judged, but encouraged and inspired to work when I am at the barre!

-Teresa G.

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1. Finally a workout that I LOVE going to do!

2. Our clients are the BEST!  And they inspire me each time I teach!

3. I am stronger, both mentally and physically, thanks to the barre.

4. The view – need I say more?! How can’t you enjoy a waterski with the sun sparkling on the water?

5. The friendships I’ve made while getting my butt kicked during a killer thigh series!

-Heather A.

 

1. The amazing clients and instructors I have had the pleasure of getting to know!

2. The encouraging, energizing, welcoming, inspiring and positive atmosphere that our clients and instructors create each and every class!

3. It is my go-to workout that I truly crave! I love that there are methods to modify or push yourself harder in every part of class.

4. The physical and mental strength I have achieved from both taking and teaching class!

5. It has become a part of my life! I can’t imagine life without the barre!

-Kristin G.

 

1. It never gets easy and you will never plateau.  This is a lifelong workout!

2. No other workout has transformed my body like barre has.

3. I never thought I would enjoy working out, let alone LOVE working out! The barre instilled a lifestyle change in me that I am so thankful for.

4. This community isn’t found anywhere else.  Walk in the studio a stranger and leave with a family of goal-crushing, hard-working women.

5. The instructors are fabulous and am lucky to call them my co-workers!  They inspire me during and after every class and are always challenging me to be better than I was last time.

-Jenna C.086 - Version 2.jpg

 

instructor takeover: jenna’s favorite healthy dessert

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve got the biggest sweet tooth!  I’ll take sweet over salty any day.  I strive to eat as healthy and clean as I can to keep myself strong and energized to get through Paula’s killer thigh series, but I also know that I should treat myself in moderation.  I came across a healthy dessert blogger a year or two ago who goes by Chocolate Covered Katie.  I tried out a few of her recipes and I fell in love!  She has so many yummy, modified sweets recipes that won’t cost you a quarter of your daily calories like so many desserts do.

One of my favorites that I find myself making over and over is her oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  These cookies don’t have any butter in them, so they will have a consistency more like a soft granola bar.  Bonus: They also have walnuts and coconut in them, adding in omega-3s & potassium!  Healthier dessert with benefits — who says you can’t have the best of both worlds?!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of spelt or whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 3 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp vegetable oil (coconut oil can be substituted)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • pinch of stevia, or 1 extra tbsp pure maple syrup
  • if using stevia option, add 1tbsp milk of choice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees & grease a muffin pan or cookie tray.  I find the muffin pan works best so the cookies don’t roll around.  Since there is no butter in the recipe, they won’t melt like a normal cookie.

In a mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, stir together the wet ingredients.  Combine the two bowls to form a dough.  Chill for at least an hour in the fridge.  After the dough has chilled, roll the dough into cookie-sized balls and place in the muffin pan or on the cookie tray.  Place in the oven and bake for 7 minutes.  Once you remove these yummy bites from the oven, let sit in pan for about ten minutes to cool before moving to the cooling rack or plate.  Dig in!  I know you’ll love them as much as I do!

xoxo,  Jenna C.

Question of the Week

DSC_6282Question: Is there a benefit to using a ball behind your back during curls even if you don’t have lower back issues?

Answer: (From Jaclyn H.) Curl is such a great part of class, I mean who doesn’t want to work towards a flat stomach or 6 pack?  However, during curl it is essential to focus on your form.  You have probably heard your instructor say, “Your muscles will form and shape the way that you work them.”  Meaning, if you are pulling your naval towards your spine while you curl, you are helping to flatten out your stomach.  On the flip side, if you are pushing your stomach outward when you curl you could be building your abdominals out.

Keeping your naval pulled towards your spine, while remaining low and releasing your hands from your thighs is very hard work!  That is where the ball comes into play.  If you take the ball and place it about mid-spine, then you have some support.  The key is to focus on trying to lift off of the ball.  You want to keep the ball as round as possible, so you can really target your abdominals.  Once you have the ball in place you will probably notice that you can remain in that low curl position longer.  You may notice you can release your hands for longer periods of time and that you can focus on your breath and keeping everything pulled in.  This is the bonus of using the ball!  Additionally, the reason that no class is ever the same is so your muscles don’t get used to a particular exercise.  If you change things up frequently, then you are likely to see better results.  Using the ball under your back is one way you can change up curl on your own.

Unfortunately, many times people think of modifications as a weakness.  However, modifications can help you get your best workout because they are tailored to where you are at on any given day.  Your strength changes day to day as a result of your energy level, what you have eaten, how much you have slept, etc.  Therefore, what you can do during a workout will also change day to day.  It is a sign of strength to be able to read your body and know what will give you your best workout.

Next time you are in class, grab a ball during curl and notice the difference yourself!

Focus on Form: Flatback Chair

Ah, the thigh section of class. Glorious, yes? One of our favorite things about thigh work is not simply that it inevitably seems to be the most challenging part of class, but that it truly is each individual person’s “Everest” that you never will really summit (you can always challenge yourself more, coming lower or releve higher to find those shakes – never, ever truly conquering!). Sounds painful…and it is, but we keep coming back for more!! Why? It works: there is definitely nothing that brings about such tangible and clear results (as in, newly and clearly defined thigh muscles) as the barre’s thigh section. We happen to like seeing the results of our hard work, and using that as a reminder to dig deeper and keep the mental strength next time.  That is why we love the barre more every day…some of us have been doing this for almost 10 years and still feel proud when not taking a break from chair or giddy with newfound definition!!

The bonus (and we’ll often remind you of this, to help mentally push yourself harder) is that we are also increasing your resting and working metabolic rate. Our thighs are one of the largest muscle groups in our body, which means we have opportunity to create a lot of lean, strong muscle. The more muscle we create in our body (and conversely, the more fat we melt away in the process), the more calories you will burn both in class and through the rest of your day – the fact is simple: a pound of muscle is much more efficient at burning calories than a pound of fat (and takes up a lot less space, not to mention looks better!), so the more muscle we can build, the more calories we’ll burn morning until night. How awesome is that? Stick it out and grit your teeth to hold on through thighs in class…and burn calories more efficiently while you sleep or relax on the couch? Worth it!!

DSC_6228This week’s focus on form series moves to one our favorite thigh positions – the flatback chair. This series is usually in contention for one of the most-dreaded thigh series at the barre (often neck-in-neck with waterskiing or thigh dancing), and for good reason! It’s nearly impossible to “cheat” in this position (not that you ever would…), completely engages and challenges your upper body strength while relying on your thighs’ and even your glutes’ strength to completely defy gravity. It’s a beautiful thing!

Key points to this position:

  • make sure your body is always in all right angles – shoulders over hips, knees over ankles (especially watch those knees as we take movements…they might have a tendency to push forward, toward your toes, and you won’t want to spend long with that angle for your knees’ health)
  • your seat should always be at knee level, not above and not below (a modification is to let the seat be up higher as you work on your thigh strength, but it is not a modification OR a challenge to have your seat below knee level – only lower your seat if your teacher instructs you for a specific action we are taking)
  • keep your arms straight – otherwise your form is compromised and your arms take some of the work away from your thighs…your arms have their time iDSC01118n class and this time is intended for your thighs!
  • think of your abs and torso – you are tucking under, engaging your abs and seat, and opening your chest to keep your spine straight
  • releve onto your tiptoes for a challenge – whether your instructor has given you the option yet or not! At this point, very little of your body’s surface area is supporting you on the ground…calling on your muscles to work harder to hold your position!
  • feel free to take challenges, like releve-ing or releasing one leg as on the right – or just maintain your initial posture to focus on YOU and building your strength at your pace!

Once again, please ask us any questions and your instructors are always more than thrilled to help an individual student with specific questions or concerns.

xoxo!

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