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Q: I noticed a lot of Total Barre™ classes being offered in my area. I am very interested but would like to know what to expect from the class? How are these classes different than Mat or Reformer classes?

A: The majority of the exercises in a Total Barre™ class are done standing which emphasizes balance, stability, strength and proprioception. Standing primarily strengthens hip, knee, ankle and core stabilizer and mobilizer muscles which are not only very important for daily activity but also for sport.

Total Barre Framework
Based on an 11-segment template, a full Total Barre class will go through 7 to 9 individual segments that focus on different areas of the body. For example, Segment 4 emphasizes anterior arm muscles while Segment 8 focuses on abdominals. Each one-hour workout incorporates dance and sport-specific movements involving the whole body. 

Move to Music
The classes move to the beat of the music which keeps clients motivated and working at an optimal level. In addition, having the barre there for support is key for those who are working on improving their balance.

Total Barre & Pilates
Total Barre classes cater to everyone from novices to elite exercisers, including special populations like the active aging and pre/post-natal client. It is always important to vary workouts in a week to keep challenging the body, so Mat & Reformer classes should still be part of a complete workout routine.  Mat classes help develop core strength and stability while heightening mind-body awareness. Traditional Mat classes are taught using the mat for support in different positions. Total Barre & Mat classes mainly use your body weight with the addition of Mini Handweights, Flex-Band® Exercisers, Strength Tubing and Toning Balls™. Reformer classes use specialized equipment that incorporate spring tension so it’s very important to have good initial core strength to be able to control the carriage.  The Reformer also provides a full-body workout for any level exerciser. In the end, variety is key.

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Rie Sakamoto

Rie Sakamoto

Program Coordinator, Education and Lead Instructor Trainer