Barrecore has swept both coasts of America, famed for producing ballerina beautiful bodies, toned to perfection. Initially popular with American ex-pats in London, Niki Rein has a studio tucked off of the King’s Road and has swiftly become a firm favourite with Chelsea fitness fanatics. The iso-metric ballet classes amalgamate ballet poses with the routine squats and lunges resulting in a fast paced, all-round body workout that aims to systematically exhaust each muscle group.
Think ballet meets passive aggressive bootcamp. Entering the class I was feeling pretty confident; having trained with the Royal Ballet School for five years as a teenager I thought I was the ideal candidate and would breeze through the experience with my three times a week gym habit.
Before entering the class I was warned that it would be gruelling and had to fill out an ominous form with my emergency contact details – I sniggered at the health and safety red tape – little did I know, I was about to be put through the most humbling hour of my life.
The class began with a ten minute floor warm up routine which consisted of a lot of pulsing movements using a soft rubber ball clasped between the thighs. We worked through the body using light weights to exercise the arms and worked through variations on press ups, lunges and squats that used the rubber ball to increase the impact.
Then straight to working out the seat area: legs, glutes, quads, waist, thighs – you name it. The moves in themselves are easy to achieve, what makes the class challenging is the fast pace and constant repetition, using muscles until you are reduced to a jelly-like state. There is no pause to catch your breath let alone rest your screaming muscles. I must admit that I had a few cheeky rests when the instructor had her back turned.
The class progressed to focus on the core using a rope tied around the barre to provide resistance. I found the core section particularly creative, with lots of moves I hadn’t seen before and will definitely be trying to recreate in the gym. To wrap up, calming music was played for a five minute stretch and relaxation session aimed at balancing the mind – this was by far the most pleasant part of the class, but I felt that the stretches weren’t held long enough to avoid complete immobility the next day.
By far the most thorough workout I have ever attended. Make sure you eat something beforehand. Not one for the faint hearted, I would recommend only for those who would stick with it long enough to see the results. For those with the determination (and the cash flow), this class is a sure-fire way to attain the perfect body.