Getting back into shape post-baby is something I thought about – but thinking was mostly what I did. Walking, being busy with work and baby, and life in general, got me 85% of the way there, from a mental and physical standpoint. But I could tell something was missing; I needed some time to focus on me, and while it sounds somewhat vain, my C-section scar bothered me. Around the same time I started to think about getting back into fitness (to be real, this was a solid 7 months after August was born), Kayla O’Rourke from the Minneapolis Bar Method reached out to see if I wanted to come in for a class. I’d been interested in trying barre classes for some time and thought this was a perfect avenue to start working on my fitness again.
I started with an initial class with Kayla and explained my goals for beginning to work out again. She was so incredibly kind, helpful and excited to help me achieve my goals. While I have a dancing background, it’s mostly focused on Irish dancing – not ballet. So many of the positions and moves that Kayla showed me in my first class were new to me. The purpose of the barre workouts is to develop long, lean muscles by focusing on small movements. You move through the class by focusing on different muscle groups – all the while, keeping your core and pelvic floor engaged. Because your core is engaged throughout the entire class, you are working muscles that frankly, I didn’t even know I had, for an hour straight.
Bar Method focuses on targeting specific muscle groups – they also place the exercises in a specific order to maximize results. Exercises alternate from the front and back sides of the body, allowing you to tone one side of the body while elongating the side that was already worked. It was crazy to me that only after a few classes, I started to feel stronger (August suddenly felt lighter when I was lifting him!) and my C-section scar started to move a little closer to the muscles below it.
After my first few classes with Kayla, I wanted to get the rest of the Wit & Delight team in on the action. We were able to take a private class and walk thoroughly through each movement and position to understand the muscles we were engaging and how each movement improved our overall strength and flexibility. The great part about Bar Method instructors is their focus on each individual – every body is different, and while one person might be able to rest their leg on the barre, that may not work for another. The classes are small, allowing instructors to provide individual attention and modifications as necessary. The small class size and individual attention is great for beginners – I don’t know about you, but going by myself and trying a new exercise feels a little scary – often being the reason I hadn’t done it. I found that the instructors knew my name, were helpful with providing modifications when I needed them and made me feel really comfortable within the space and classes.
I found that barre was a great post-baby exercise for me – I felt stronger, healthier and full of endorphins. Not only did barre help me focus on getting my body stronger, but it also gave me that hour back for some me time – something that I didn’t even realize I needed post-baby. And it was so fun to bring the team in for a little morning exercise bonding session.
Bar Method offers franchises across the country – for Minneapolis locals, Bar Method is located in the heart of North Loop at a beautiful studio. In regards to other Minnesota locations, the company also plans to expand their services into Edina very soon! In addition to a great workout, you can enjoy relaxing in their calming space before and after class. We cannot thank the Bar Method team enough – so looking forward to our next group workout!
BY Kate Arends - September 14, 2017
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.