The Frame Fitzrovia studio is the brand’s biggest studio to date and we were lucky* enough to go to the preview before it opened to the public.
*(My legs disagree.)
Barre is misleadingly tough. If you sign up for a HIIT class you can predict your fate (sweaty, exhausted, thirsty, red-faced), but with barre your brain tricks you into thinking “you’ll be fine…you have something to lean on…just remember to point your toes…”
One of our favourite Frame instructors, dancing queen Gede Foster (pronounced ‘Geddy’ and definitely not ‘Jeedee’) effortlessly took us through our paces in a 45 minute Frame Barre class, where resistance bands, ankle weights and squishy balls aided us in one of the most gruelling workouts I’ve experienced.
If you’ve never incorporated resistance bands into a workout, you need to start! They look harmless and like they wouldn’t do more than give you a bit of a stretch, but Gede took us through some exercises that really tested our triceps, chests and shoulders and I’ve taken these exercises away to do them at home in my lounge! No other equipment is needed, other than a device to blast some music to muffle your whimpers.
We then took the bands to the barres, and here’s where things got gnarly. With the use of the bands, the barre and one ankle weight, our legs, arms and bums were on fire, and even with a barre to lean on, all you have is your reflection in the studio mirrors to critique how low your pain threshold is and temporarily take the edge off what felt like the slowest countdowns…“..3…2…1… and now the other side….”
The mat workout required the use of the squishy balls to be held between your thighs (your legs really do get the brunt of these classes) and the continued use of the ankle weights. Just when your legs have had enough, it’s time to wake up your ab muscles, (or lack of) to give them their fair share of of annihilation.
Overall, despite the comedy walking that occurred the next few days after the class, Frame Barre is one of the best classes to really wake up those micro-muscles that you never knew you had (or in my case, still haven’t got…), and even though there’s no exertive jumping around, you will feel that your body has been through an effective workout which will help with your posture, balance, stamina and strength – everything you need to be a ballerina, (or to get through daily life…).
What is it? A barefoot, low intensity* class which works your entire body by targeting the micro-muscles. These classes increase strength and flexibility and get you a few more demi-pointes closer to getting a dancer’s physique.
Who is it for? Anyone looking for a decent strength and stamina workout without the jumping around or the use of heavy weights. These classes can be adapted for pregnant attendees.
Where and when? Frame Barre takes place at various times of the week depending on the studio locations
How much: Drop in rate is £14
*Don’t let that fool you…