Health Team

Popular Barre Pilates makes muscles scream

Barre Pilates is a fusion of ballet and Pilates in which students hold ballet positions to strengthen core and leg muscles.

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Lauren Rosella's exercise class at Rex Wellness Center in Garner looks like many other fitness routines that incorporate light hand weights and floor work on mats.

Her students focus on controlled breathing, keeping their bodies steady while they contract core muscles in the pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen. They're also holding ballet positions to strengthen their legs.

It's called Barre Pilates.

“Basically, it's a fusion of ballet - basic ballet fundamentals and Pilates,” Rosella said. “But it's a full-body workout. It's very low impact. There's no bouncing, no jumping."

Patricia Hill, 64, a Barre Pilates student, has had both knees replaced and suffered a fractured ankle last year.

“The fact that it was low impact, but high intensity, was a major draw for me,” she said of the exercise class. “I needed something that I could do without further injuring myself.”

A ballet bar is an essential part of the routine. It helps students balance, often on their toes, just as ballet dancers do.

“You don't have to have a dance background to do it,” Rosella said.

It might not look like a big workout, but it makes muscles scream.

“They're definitely sore a couple of days afterward,” Rosella said.

Hill said she can tell it's getting easier for her, which means she's is getting stronger and healthier.

“Lauren is a fantastic instructor,” she said. “She pushes me to the point where I just don't think I can do anymore, but I can.”


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