Monday, December 22, 2014

Exhale Core Fusion Barre Basic Class Review: It Never Gets Easier

Exhale Core Fusion Classes,
Image via exhale spa
After an indulgent trip to Paris where, as usual, I lost weight living on cheese, chocolate and wine (granted I did walk about eight miles a day and eat small portions) it was time to return to the gym. I had done some light weightlifting on my own but nothing too regimented. This past Saturday I took one of exhale's Core Fusion Barre Basic classes, my 56th of the year but first in a few weeks. I felt like I was taking it for the very first time.

Core Fusion Barre Basic may sound like an easier version of an Open class. That couldn't be further from the truth. The movements are targeted, tiny and effective. Each time I take one of these classes, it is challenging. I was sore the next day, in a good way. In fact after Saturday's class, I am still sore on Monday.

Core Fusion Barre Basic Movements
In Core Fusion Barre Basic, you will do movements for both the upper and lower body with an emphasis on glutes and thighs. You will use a combination of light weights as well as your own body weight.

After a three to five minute warmup, you will spend about seven to 10 minutes doing a variety of weighted movements for your arms, shoulders and back with a quick set of pushups thrown in. The movements are rapid and deliver a good burn, despite the light weight.

Exhale Core Fusion Basic Review, exhale core fusion basic class
Lower body movements for Core Fusion Basic

You will focus on your lower body for the next 30 minutes. You will spend roughly 15 minutes on your thighs and 15 minutes on your bootie. You will do pliƩ squats, leg lefts and circles on a ballet bar and, sometimes, on a floor mat. The movements are tough and ALWAYS make my legs shake.

For the last 15 minutes, you will focus on your abs after a quick set of bar pullups. The ab work combines rollups, planks, leg lifts and extensions. For me, the ab work rarely burns in class but I usually feel it the next day.

You always finish with a good stretch, something I love. I could spend an extra 15 minutes stretching at the end of class. I feel like that's something I always need.

There is not a heart-pumping cardiovascular component to this 60-minute class like there is in exhale's Core Fusion Cardio Barre class (read my review HERE). Taking that into account, I rarely feel like I need to do cardio on days when I do a Core Fusion Barre Basic class. I consider it "enough" of a workout.

The Gear
You can wear pretty much anything to Core Fusion classes. I recommend yoga pants/leggings simply because shorts tend you leave you a little, um, exposed. Grip socks are mandatory to keep you from slipping on the wooden floor.

The Takeaway
exhale's Core Fusion classes are never routine. The class size is small enough that the instructor can deliver individual attention to you. Sometimes you love it because it helps you perform a movement properly. Most times, candidly, I hate it because it makes the movement infinitely more difficult. That's what you want, though, because these classes deliver results. The movements target those tiny muscles which truly give your body a lift in the areas that need it.

Core Fusion classes are always a challenge, no matter how experienced you are with this type of exercise. That's a good thing.

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