Barre-d out yet? As I continue to write Dori’s Quest, it’s becoming a little clear that I need to venture out of my comfort zone – which just so happens to be the barre. Funny, since I was never a very good dancer in my 11 years of dance class growing up.
Luckily for me, these classes don’t require much grace. But stick with them long enough, and you’ll find your movements a whole lot smoother and a lot less awkward.
While the barre might be my comfort zone, I still find myself out of my element in some classes. Which brings me to my barre-class du jour: FlyBarre at FlyWheel Sports. FlyWheel Sports is an indoor cycling studio founded in February 2010, uniquely equipped with stadium seating and TorqBoard – a performance-tracking screen that displays each student’s results against the rest of the class in real time.
Now there's one more feature separating FlyWheel Sports from its major competitor SoulCycle: the addition of an in-house barre class, which turns FlyWheel Sports into the perfect spot for people who want their barre class and spinning all in one place. This marriage eliminates the need to buy memberships or class packages at multiple studios – something many people I know do.
Kate Bohner developed FlyBarre earlier this year. She calls it the “barre class for athletes” and I completely see why. This class totally kicked my butt.
As soon as FlyBarre started, I was plucked right out of my comfort zone. The abdominal section at the beginning of class involved laying on my back with my feet lifted underneath the barre. I was instructed to perform a full sit up, twisting to the right and the left, and pausing in the center before laying back down and starting over again. I was barely able to get up into the position! This exercise, along with even more abdominal sets at the end of class, is the most intense ab workout I have ever done.
The thighs section dragged on a bit too long, but I enjoyed the intensity of the glutes portion, which focused on the “muffin top” area. Kate incorporates a dynamic arms section, with dance-like movements and leg exercises mixed in for added work and a bit more fun. Because this class requires Kate’s constant visible instruction, she wasn’t able to assist with form as much as I’d like in a class where alignment is the key to preventing injury.
Each exercise was timed perfectly to a song, each section ending exactly as its corresponding song came to a close. Kate has great taste in music, ranging from pop to classic rock to my favorite -- Citizen Cope, playing as we stretched at the end.
For hardcore Spinners, FlyBarre is the perfect complement to your routine. The convenience of only having to visit – and pay for – one studio is a serious advantage. While the class isn’t as zen as I like, it left every muscle in my body quivering and I felt beat at the end: the sign of an excellent workout. If you’re new to barre classes, you might feel overwhelmed at the intensity of FlyBarre. Remember, this class took me – a self-proclaimed barre-class aficionado – straight out of my comfort zone. So stick with it. I have no doubt you will see results.
FlyBarre at FlyWheell Sports
39 W. 21st. St., NYC 10010