Harmony in Health, 2215 Cleveland Road, is proud to be one of the few local fitness facilities to offer a class in this overall body exercise called “barre”
“People like it because it helps your muscles and it is not hard on your body. You can do it at any level and really increase your ability of movement and flexibility” said Barb Anderson, business partner.
•Harmony in Health, 2215 Cleveland Road, Sandusky
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The exercises include arm movements, demi-pliés, bottom squeezes and a lot of leg lifts. The 45-minute workout focuses on toning, balance and posture.
“Nothing is done fast, and you don’t have to have rhythm” Anderson said.
Jenn Kolar teaches the basic barre at Harmony in Health at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays. Every participant gets a bar in the class, so no one should worry about falling.
“It isn’t easy or hard; it is what you make of it,” Kolar said. “It isn’t so much a cardio class as it is a stretching and strengthening class”
Kolar said she likes how barre takes ballet movements and turns them into a fitness benefit by adding resistance. The repetitive movements of ballet that some find boring are actually great for working your muscles.
“I have had a few people who took the class say, ‘I am not going to be a prima ballerina,’ and the next day, they can feel they worked those muscles” she said.
Some muscles never get a workout unless you do a movement like an arabesque, Kolar said.
“This will help with toning. I am noticing a difference since I started. I think I am fit and then I am working muscles that I haven’t worked since teaching ballet” she said.
While barre isn’t a calorie-burning exercise, Kolar said you could sweat. Anderson said participants wear regular workout clothes. Some wear tennis shoes; others just wear socks.
Kolar said barre helps participants find their center. She found that after having kids, her center was off.
Kim Jenkins, of Milan, has taken other classes at Harmony in Health, which is a pay-as-you-go facility. She likes barre because with or without dance skills you can enjoy it.
“It gives you a good stretch. It tones your muscles. It gives you a good workout,” Jenkins said. “I have no dance background at all. I am not at all saying that I am excellent, but Jenn makes you feel very comfortable in the class. She is very encouraging”
April Davis, of Port Clinton, said barre is a stress reliever for her. She has no dance background either.
“You feel it the next day, which is good. All the muscles you didn’t think you had. I don’t feel selfconscious because you are so concentrated on following Jenn that you don’t have time”