Head over to MyScoop to read the rest of my story.
Down on 18th Street in Homewood, taut legging-ed bodies trot in to a new workout studio. An hour later, they emerge smiling, maybe a little sweaty for the wear. The Pure Barre craze is taking over Birmingham, and owners Danielle Davis and Lindsay Lancaster couldn't be happier. "It's easy to back up something that works," Lindsay says. "The response from Birmingham has been insane." The nation-wide franchise's barre-based routine with ballet fundamentals welcomes all ages and backgrounds. The 18th street Homewood studio sees women and men from ages 14 to 74, triathalon experts to those just breaking into a workout habit.
Since something's in the water, I decide to give it a go. The challenge? For two weeks, I attend one Pure Barre class a day, with 2 days of rest in the mix. Here's the play-by-play of my experience!
Day 1: Aight, I'm an ex-ballerina. Hair flip, hair flip--this shouldn't be too hard, right? Uh, wrong. One 55-minute class later, four muscle groups have quivered faster at speeds to rival a hummingbird's wings. This is better than ballet conditioning class! Lindsay tells me that small, isometric movements encourage muscle--"the smaller the better," she says.
Day 2: Not so sore I can't move, I throw on my leggings for another class. Pure Barre quickly lilts from workout to stretch to workout to stretch, but the fast paced rhythm isn't so foreign this time. I head it said that Pure Barre instructors should be able to teach in a cocktail dress, and class members should be able to take class blindfolded--so true. Pure Barre technique is mental as much as it is physical. I have to concentrate so dilligently, but that's my kind of workout: linking my mind to my body, a relic of ballet days.
Day 4: I come to adore the stretching periods with low lighting as much as the encouragement from the instructors. "Come on girls! The higher the toes, the thinner the thighs" is all they need to say. Sweat dancing on my determined brow, I'll raise you two inches. Done.
Day 6: Okay, I'll be the one to say it. The Pure Barre mats smell awesome. Like, better-than-new-tires awesome.