Though barre3 founder Sadie Lincoln won’t comment on her famous client, she says the workout focuses on balance, strength and flexibility to create long, lean muscles. “The barre is a wonderful prop to lengthen and balance the body,” she says. “At barre3, we use the barre in unconventional ways and just about every month come up with a new barre3 innovation to deepen our practice and break plateaus.” Lincoln has 20 years of experience in teaching group exercise, including a 10-year role as an executive for 24 Hour Fitness
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The importance of posture, alignment, and a neutral spine comes full circle in barre3 as we began and ended class in Tadasana, or Standing pose. Unlike other Lotte Berk inspired methods, socks are not worn during class so we can re-train how we stand by engaging the core and balancing weight on both feet. Are you putting too much pressure on your heels or toes? Are you spreading weight evenly throughout your feet? Have you developed any unhealthy habits from kitten heels or stilettos? If you’ve got to wear socks, at least make them Toe Sox, so that your toes touch and interact with the ground. This foot philosophy, focused on re-training how we stand and move after developing unhealthy habits, reminds me of the barefoot runners in Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run. It’s all about getting back to the basics.
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“Sadie has developed her own exercise all of which we explored in the class. We did a series of modified crunches and push-ups, with optional small hand-weights to increase the level of difficulty. Reassuringly, like in yoga, she reiterated that the best students aren’t the ones who can do the highest level of work; rather, they’re the ones who know when to stop. She also shared that she’s only allowed twelve students to practice at an advanced level, after about two years each of doing Barre3. Amy, meanwhile, said that after her own study of Barre3, she actually measures taller! A veritable bragging point for this exercise method.”
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