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Breaking Down the Barre Craze: Which Ballet-Inspired Workout is On Pointe for You?

Ballet dancers have flexible bodies conditioned from hours of training. Their specialized workouts create long and lean frames — think Natalie Portman in Black Swan. Their shapely legs, abs, thighs and buttocks come through hybrid weight training, Pilates and cardio workouts with some straight-up ballet pole (barre) stretching.

Their moves are spreading like wildfire, and barre-style workouts are popping up throughout the world with a variety of applications. From sweat-inducing cardio sessions that are hardly a dainty ballet class, to classes that stay true to their ballerina roots, there is a barre workout for you!

If you don’t want to dance in Swan Lake, but do want to get a more toned ballet-ready body, read on as we break down the different methods and tell you which celebrities are on pointe for this craze.

It doesn’t matter which class you choose — you are gonna WORK! 

beyond barre

BEYONDBARRE

Feel the burn and see the results in your core, arms and legs, and the glutes.

You’ll need a ballet barre, a handrail (or a counter top), and a super cool GlideBoard.

Inspired by ballet, ice skating, and intense cardio classes.

Differs from others because of an intense approach that incorporates cardio for fat burning and endurance.

Attend a class at one of a dozen studios in the U.S.

 

barre3

BARRE3

Described as ”ballet meets yoga and Pilates”

Utilizes a 3-step method where poses are held for longer periods with focus on small muscle movements. Session ends with a cardio blast.

Celebrity fans include Madonna, who may be striking a pose beside you at your next Barre3 class.

Required accessories include a yoga mat, small “prop” ball, ballet barre or sturdy chair.

Classes popping up in over 30 US cities, Canada and even the Philippines with more coming soon. DVDs: Seven different workouts sold on the Barre3.com website.


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The Fitness Gadgets and Gear Your Workout Can’t Live Without

If there’s one thing I love more than working out, it’s all of the fun gadgets and gear that go along with an active lifestyle. But there are so many different products out there that it can be tough to figure out what’s worth your money. That’s why I’m here…to share with you four of my favorite, can’t-live-without fitness gadgets and gear that will get you motivated and help you take your workouts to the next level!

garmin watches

Garmin Forerunner Running Watches

My number one favorite fitness gadget is my Garmin GPS running watch. When I first started running, I used the Garmin Forerunner 110 and then eventually upgraded to the Garmin 910XT, which is a multi-sport GPS watch (great for triathlon training!). Why do I love Garmins? They are user-friendly and super motivating. All watches track time, distance, and pace. If you purchase a heart-rate monitor with your watch, you’ll also get an accurate read on calories burned! For the casual runner, I recommend either the Garmin Forerunner 10 or the Garmin Forerunner 15. They will help take your running to the next level!
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Susan Hanks Lost 118 Pounds with the Help of a Caring Personal Trainer and Flat-Out Determination!

Susan Hanks is the reason this True Weight Loss segment makes my heart happy. At one point, her weight exceeded 500 pounds. Instead of turning to fad diets or pills, she just dug deep and swapped bad habits for good ones. She admits it’s been a mental struggle, and she couldn’t have done it without the help of her fabulous personal trainer.

susan hanks collage crop

Now, 118 pounds down, this courageous woman knows how to lose weight and stay healthy, she just has to stay the course. “I take it one meal at a time,” she said.

Food was my comfort.

It’s a sentiment we hear so many times at DIR. People turn to food for celebration, comfort, boredom, and it’s rarely bell peppers that they’re mindlessly munching.  ”I ate all the time, bad food was better, and I never ate healthy,” Susan admitted. “I was miserable. I had no friends and low self esteem. I knew I was eating myself to death. Finally I realized I wanted more out of life. I was tired of just existing.”


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The Essential Oils Trend Stinks! See What Really Works and When This New Health Coup Gets Dangerous

lavender essential oil

If you haven’t heard by now, then shame on you for not knowing that all aches, pains, and discomfort can be instantly cured by essential oils…at least that’s what ALL of your friends are probably telling you on social media. So what’s the deal on this newest trend anyway? As with most overnight miracle cures, you can should try to punch out the holes in the claims before literally buying in to it.

Where Can I Buy Essential Oils?

Communities are popping up everywhere filled with “distributors” of various essential oil brands promoting the extremely exaggerated claims that these oils remedy everything from menstrual cramps to split ends. Did you just get stabbed in the stomach with a sword? A little dab of elderberry oil will heal that up by dinnertime!

Keep in mind, many of these “distributors” have signed up to sell these concentrated liquids simply because they can now purchase God’s gift to humanity for a tiny bit less than a small fortune per bottle. But it’s OK, because the moment any friend posts a status regarding a minor ailment (“My appendix burst! What should I do?”), they are now self-appointed natural healing masters here to bestow their wisdom upon us all (“Oh sweet child, massage myrrh and lavender oils on your temples while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Your appendix will sew itself back together!”).

Now I will go mix up a blend of ginger, tea tree, and lemon oil to cure my sarcasm and bad attitude…

Try This: Oil Pulling: Is It Legit?


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The One Thing Women Are Doing All Wrong at the Gym

women wrist weights

When you think weight lifting, you think big muscle groups: quads, biceps, abs. When you think this way, you’re already on your way to injury. So many of us step up to the weight bar thinking we are ready to rock our reps without properly focusing on key joints and smaller muscle groups. A major area that most women don’t think about is their hands and wrists. It’s these very areas that cause a ton of post-lifting pain, especially for beginners who are just starting a strength training routine.

You should absolutely continue to warm up big muscle groups and major joints, but don’t forget the small stuff either! Weight lifting, when done improperly, can be dangerous, and women especially should take extra care to maintain the health of their hands and wrists. Proper hand and wrist care is important whether you are a regular gym fanatic or simply use your hands for daily tasks like working at a computer.

Try This: Yoga Poses for Computer Wrists

Experts from the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center recommend the following: 
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