Hey all,

After mentioning my new obsession with barre style classes from time to time over the last few weeks, I figured it was time to devote a post to these workouts.

In New York City Bar Method, Physique 57, and Core Fusion at Exhale Spa, are the major studios offering this style of workout which includes a combination of strength, yoga, pilates, and ballet barre stretching. Of the 3 studios in the city I’ve visited Physique and Core Fusion, in part because they have multiple locations, with at least one within walking distance from my apartment. I did however visit a Bar Method studio in Boston last month.

Classes at all 3 studios follow a very similar routine with constant movement with brief stretching.  Generally there is a brief warmup, followed by planks and pushups, arms with light weights, then it’s to the bar for thigh and butt action -ie lots of toe raised squats and leg lifts (this is the killer for me each time),  and then finished off with additional core work.

Physique 57 breaks these movements up a bit with some dance-like moves, and I think overall the Physique classes move a bit faster, but that might be because I’ve only taken their mixed level classes.  I assume their beginner classes move slower with more assistance or focus on proper form.

As for the studios, Core Fusion’s Central Park South is the winner hands down!!  First off, any excuse to walk by Central Park and I’m there, but I also love the huge skylight in the room and in general its a large space.

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I’ve only been to Physique’s location on 57th street in the penthouse on the 8th floor, and unfortunately due to water damage only their small studio has been available, so I shouldn’t judge them too harshly.  I can however say that I was disappointed by their locker rooms.  Given that Physique has a higher price tag I was expecting better amenities, including locks for the locker room, lavender soaps and lotions, etc. All of these items I’ve come to love at Core Fusion.  Plus it makes me a bit more willing to pay for a class, I find it a full pampering experience, something that I can’t get at Crunch (though I do love Crunch and will miss it when I eventually move from New York).

In the end I think Physique’s routine might be slightly better and I enjoy the fun dance aspects, but for the price and location I’ll like keep barre classes to Core Fusion (they have a student discount as well!).

Now time to shower and rest my achy muscles,

Nicole

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