I’ve slowly jumped on the barre bandwagon because I’m realizing that it supplements running very well; barre classes focus on core as well as strengthening the muscle groups in the legs and arms, and there’s a heavy emphasis on form throughout the class. In fact, many of the exercises are similar to those you might find in a physical therapy routine to rehab running injuries (e.g. hamstring, knee), so I think of barre as an investment in continuing to run healthy (and an investment it is – $$$ haha).
Lately, I’ve been trying out various barre studios to explore different teaching styles and studios – in the past, I’ve taken classes at the ever-popular Pure Barre, B. Fit, and Biker Barre. So when a package of 5 LavaBarre classes popped up on Gilt City earlier this year, I grabbed the chance to try the new-to-me studio in Arlington! You guys, I’m in love.
The studio is really easy to get to, just a few blocks from the Rosslyn metro stop. When I walked in, I was struck by the beautiful space with its hardwood floors, lofty industrial ceilings and tons of natural light. The bathrooms have lockers with built-in locks, showers with premium shampoo/ conditioner/ bodywash/ lotion, hair dryers, towels, disposable slippers, and other amenities to help you get ready for the rest of your day.
The studio offers four types of classes – barre, TRX, cycle, and yoga. I took four barre classes and one TRX class and really enjoyed every one!
I took most of my barre classes with the lovely and talented Melanie Reza on Tuesdays at 6:30 AM. Each class worked all the major muscles – the flow was typically a quick warmup, followed by legwork (glutes, quads), then arms/back, then more legwork (hamstrings, adductors, abductors, calves), core and stretching. Some of the elements I loved:
– Great music/playlists – songs were upbeat and paced for the movements we were doing and the volume was never blaring
– Small and intimate classes – the largest class I went to was 8 (vs. purebarre, where there were ~40 people in the class and I had a hard time following/seeing the instructor)
– Plenty of form cues – the class is fast-paced but the instructor always emphasized proper form over speed, and often came by to provide hands on guidance
– The lavender cold towel! – haha, just read a few of their Yelp reviews and you’ll see everyone loves these. They are provided at the end of class to help you cool down and wipe off mats
I took one TRX class at 7 AM on a Tuesday morning, and was surprised at how quickly the class went by. We did 5-10 min sets focusing on arms, legs, cardio and core and I was quickly sweating!
– Similar pros to the barre classes – great music, form cues and demonstration by the instructor. I did feel the TRX class was a little more crowded, but we still have room to move around
– Variety of exercises – I’ve used the TRX before during solo training sessions at the gym, but I still learned a few new awesome moves for squats and lunges! My new favorite – the suspended side lunge (one leg in the strap, other leg on the floor)
My only con was that I wished the intructor provided more modifications for the movements – to me, the great thing about the TRX is that you can easily make a move harder or easier by changing the length of the straps or the angle of your body, and a quick explanation and demo of that in the beginning of class would have made this class more beginner friendly :)
So, would I go back to this studio? In a heartbeat. Lavabarre classes made it easy and fun for me to get some cross-training in! I’d love to go back to try their cycle class and of course, more #barre.