You’ve seen them. About 30 or 40 ladies (and a couple of men) in brightly colored workout tops on yoga mats, doing sit-ups to the beat of a catchy pop song. Everyone looks like they are having the best time. Well, now you can join them.
When they say all levels are welcome, they aren’t kidding. The sessions are challenging, but you can go at your own pace and tweak the exercises to fit your fitness background. That being said, the instructors definitely want you to sweat and encourage you to “feel the burn.”
As Lauren Price, co-founder of Lava Barre, says, “We like to always make it harder, so you’re getting options…But we’re not a huge fan of saying, there’s an easy class… we want to challenge them. They [beginners] take the class that’s just the same as everybody else takes, but we’ll just give them modifications [if they need it].”
A typical outdoor barre class works like this:
First, the warm-up:
“We always do the same format. We’ll always do a warm-up to get you ready for what we’re going to do going forward. So we’re going to warm-up your core, most importantly. And then that would be a series of planks mostly and that would be getting your arms ready as well. And then we would work on your thighs,” explains Lauren.
And then the real fun begins:
Every section of the session aims to work a different part of the body, whether that be your glutes, arms, thighs, or abs. It’s all about micro-movements. Little exercises that exert just your inner thighs or triceps or upper back.
Many of the movements are done in time with the music and then pumped up to double tempo. The instructor calls out the beats and then does the exercises right along with you, making sure no one gets left behind.
Interspersed with a few, much-needed water breaks, the workout move from one part of your body to the next with a heavy focus on your working your abs. As Lauren said, “One thing that’s very important to our studio, in general, is that we are very core-focused, so every single exercise that we do here is your own body weight, you’re using your core…When we take it out to the streets, we can design a whole course where you’re using your core to support yourself, so it fits nicely into our curriculum.”
And after 55 minutes of butt-tucking and leg raising and “swan arms” (go to the class to find out what these are):
“Then we’ll do a cool down and…back-dancing, where you squeeze your bum in and “dance” – it’s really fun, we just turn the music up loud,” laughs Lauren.
After the workout, you have a chance to mingle with some of the other barre-goers and talk with the instructors. Everyone, no matter her age or fitness level, really enjoys herself (or himself) and gets a great hour of exercise out of it.
When your instructors are not in the park, they are teaching TRX, barre, yoga, and spin classes at their home studio on 1528 Clarendon Blvd in Arlington. Complete with a full locker room, showers, and an ever-growing supply of the best post-workout essentials: artisan lotions, deodorants, body wash, etc.
The new LavaBarre space is beautifully designed and definitely a great place to meet other locals in the area. So try a class in the park and, if you love it (which you will), go check out the studio! Sign up here.