Roasted Chicken Salad with Tarragon and Almond Recipe Courtesy of Chef Chris Baittinger
Plus, new lean-muscle building method Skinny Barre and a gluten-free diet—are they for you? We’ve got the answers.
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Belly up to the Barre—Skinny Barre, That Is
I think I found the yin-yang in today’s fitness trends. While many people flock toward the big, body-pumping and CrossFit workouts, there are those who prefer the smaller, concentrated movement workouts like Pilates and the new kid in town, Skinny Barre. I am not sure where I fall in this spectrum, but I do like workouts that have the word “skinny” in them.
Skinny Barre is a lean-muscle building method derived from the world of ballet. OK, wait, keep reading: You do not have to be a ballet dancer to do this workout.
Participants use the ballet barre as a prop for getting into position for the movements. By using one’s own resistance, plus 2- or 3-pound weights, the isometric holds and one-inch movements shape and define the muscles in the thighs, seat, abs, waistline and arms. Some of you may think this sounds just like a Pilates mat class, but nay, nay. Skinny Barre ups the intensity due to use of weights, time to hold the positions, and variety in each class.
This workout, ranging 45 minutes to an hour, requires you to use your core to ensure you efficiently do the small-movement lifting that will sculpt the lean muscle. Between the core strength and the stretching, Skinny Barre also helps increase flexibility, which is extremely useful for those who choose running for their cardio workout. The workout might show its benefits on the outside, but it’s good for you on the inside, as well.
“A great benefit to this workout is that it helps your heart,” says Danielle Waugh, a certified Barre and Pilates instructor. “Research states that by building more lean muscle, you can lower risk for heart disease.”
Waugh saw the trend growing in bigger cities before deciding to bring it to Delaware in 2011. Now she teaches around New Castle County.
“Skinny Barre is really for everyone,” she says. “I have a couple of guys in my classes and many new to exercise. I encourage people to come twice a week and after six to eight weeks, they see incredible differences.”
I never saw myself as the ballet type, but I may have just discovered a new favorite barre.