She Runs by the Seashore Tries Sea Barre

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Here I am after taking my first barre class at Sea Barre Fitness. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

With all the running I do, I would consider myself athletic. But today, I struggled with lifting two two-pound weights.

Yep, that’s only four pounds. Actually, I couldn’t even finish the exercise we were doing with the weights, and after seeing a couple other people put theirs down and just use their arms, I decided to do that, too. And even that was tough!

Today, Oct. 24, I took my first barre class, at Sea Barre Fitness in Lewes, Delaware. I had a short day at work, so this afternoon, I drove to Lewes, did a run and took the 4:45 p.m. class with several other people. My run beforehand was leisurely and I’m very used to running, so I don’t think that had an impact on how hard the barre class felt like it was working my body. (It’s not often that I’m in other areas to run, so I had to take advantage of the opportunity even though I knew I was going to work out more. Look for more on the run in my next post!)

My Aunt Julie won a 10-pack of classes to Sea Barre Fitness in a silent auction at a recent fundraiser brunch that we attended in nearby Dewey Beach, and gave them to me. I had been wanting to try barre, and this was a perfect way to get into it.

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In addition to the barre, the items used in this afternoon’s class included the weights (they only look light!), a ball and a resistance band, which I didn’t actually use. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

I’d heard barre fitness was tough, but I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I had called earlier in the day and found out I would need special “sticky socks.” These are sold at the studio and a credit for the amount spent on the socks (for me it was $11) was put onto my account. These are socks that have grips on the bottom for the floor.

I didn’t think to bring a yoga mat (although that is on the website), but there were extras at the studio. We started off with exercises where we brought our knees up high and then went onto arm exercises. I hadn’t thought much about arm exercises, since I figured we would be holding onto the barre. However, we actually didn’t hold onto the barre for a decent amount of the class.

First we did some exercises with two three-pound weights, and then we moved onto the two-pound weights. After doing some exercises with the two-pound weights, this was where I just had to put the weights down. I had no problem picking the weights up and bringing them over to my mat, so this clearly must have been working a certain muscle in a certain way that made the weights feel so heavy.

Although I wasn’t always doing each exercise perfectly, I thought the instructor and Sea Barre Fitness owner, Ellen Spell, made the class easy to follow. She knew it was my first class and also made personalized suggestions when my form wasn’t correct, which I appreciated.

Each type of exercise and related variations went for the length of a song, and it was nice to have the upbeat music.

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Here are the sticky socks I bought. Each had some sort of uplifting message like these. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

We used the barre to do some exercises working on the leg and butt muscles, and I will probably find out which specific muscles I worked tomorrow, as I wouldn’t be surprised if I wake up a little sore.

Some people used a resistance band for a couple exercises, but I opted not to. I actually couldn’t easily fit the one I picked around my legs correctly, but I also figured the exercises would be tough enough without the added challenge — and they were! We also did some exercises involving a ball, and there were also some stretching sessions worked in during the hour-long class.

The ab workouts I have been doing on Wednesdays didn’t seem to help me out during this class. But despite the difficulty, I am actually looking forward to the next one. I can tell that this workout worked different muscles, and it was a good challenge. I also look forward to it hopefully becoming easier as I do more classes, and maybe strengthening other parts of my body will even help with my running.

If you want to learn more about Sea Barre Fitness, here’s the studio’s website. Sea Barre Fitness is currently offering a free first class.

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