The Method

10 Ways to Venture Out of Your Comfort Zone in Barre Class

We all have a comfort zone, and while it can look different for each person, it typically implies familiarity, safety, and security. Without our comfort zones, we wouldn’t be able to recognize our challenges or how to step out of that safe haven to change, grow, and transform.
Barre classes teach you how to take those initial, progressive, and in some cases, final steps out of your comfort zone. You are given “the option” for more challenge in almost every exercise and stretch. But how do you know if you’re ready for it? Bar Method instructors are well-trained to guide you through class with insight and encouragement, however the decision to make real change in your body and your life is up to you.

Whether you’re new to The Bar Method or have been taking barre class for years, these 10 challenge options will help you venture out of your comfort zone, push yourself physically and mentally, and create new boundaries:

1. Shoulder Walks:

Take the option to raise your weights above your shoulder height if you’ve established stability in your core. This works your pectoralis muscles as well as your anterior deltoids.

2. Pushups:

Take the option to do pushups on the balls of your feet if you’re able to keep your shoulders blades fixed in place and your lower body stable. You will spike your heart rate and burn more calories.

3. Reverse Pushups:

Take the option to raise one leg up over your hip if your shoulders are properly aligned above your wrists and you’re able to maintain a bend at your waist. This will activate your abdominal and spike your heart rate for more of a caloric burn.

4. Kneeling Thigh Stretch:

Take the option to go to runner’s lunge if you’re feeling balanced and want a deeper stretch in your quads and hamstrings. It will help you feel accomplished and strong.

5. Arabesque:

Take the option to raise your standing heel during the last sequence if you’re still working in good form by the end of the exercise. This option will challenge your balance and increase stamina and endurance.

6. Pretzel:

Take one of the arm options (prayer or L-shape arms) during the last sequence if your core muscles are stabilizing you and your working leg is at least in line with your hip, or one inch behind it. It will work your back and waist muscles more deeply and improve your balance.

7. Round-Back:

Take the L-shape option if you’re able to keep your working leg straight and vertical. This puts the work deeper into your abdominals and makes the exercise more aerobic.

8. Flat-Back:

Take the option to lift your heels off of the floor when you’re able to keep your shoulders down and your abdominals pulled in. This tones and flattens your abs, builds stamina and spikes your heart rate to burn more fat.

9. Kickstand Curl:

Take the option to lift your elbows off of the floor when you’re able to keep your shoulders down and your abdominals pulled in. This tones and flattens your abs, builds stamina and spikes your heart rate to burn more fat.

10. Low Curl:

Take the option to lift your elbows if your low back is planted to your mat for stability, and you’re able to hold a deep bend at your waist. Itwill allow you to contract your six-pack abs more deeply and work aerobically.

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