Local gym offers ballet barre class for innovative exercise
DOWNTOWN JACKSON — It is an old workout but a new trend making its way to cities around the country — using a ballet barre to strengthen muscles. The LIFT Wellness Center in downtown Jackson offers a class that combines dance, pilates and yoga. “There’s lots of different techniques that are used,” instructor Abbie Allen said. Allen teaches LIFT Barre. Students use a barre for balance while making movements that work muscles. “You can expect to hurt the next day,” Allen said. “You’re gonna be sore. You’re gonna develop the length to your muscles, no bulk.” Allen said they use the barre mostly for legs, abs and some for stretching. Loni Harris, a student, said the workout is hard but worth it. “You’re not moving fast,” she said. “You’re not running, but it really elevates your heart rate.” The goal of the class is to fatigue your muscles. Allen said students should feel it in the classroom and when they go home. “You’ll be surprised at the results you get and what a good workout it is, total body,” Harris said. Allen said students do not need dance or pilates experience to participate. “We have 60-year-olds and all the way down to 20-year-olds,” she said. You do not need a barre to do the exercises at home. Allen said you can use a chair or nothing at all if you have enough balance. The LIFT offers several barre classes throughout the week. Barre classes are free for members. Non-members can purchase a day pass at the LIFT for $10. Click here for a class schedule at the LIFT: www.liftjackson.com/calendar.asp.