Class Action: Barre X at Pilates ProWorks

What happens when you use a TRX in barre class? We found out.
barre class with TRX in New York
You actually wear running shoes in this class, but you might look this graceful with the support of the TRX helping you. (Photo: Pilates ProWorks)

This is a class for barre bad-asses (or those who want to be).

It starts like the regular Barre Pro class offered at Pilates ProWorks, and you’ll quickly encounter quad-quaking moves with a ball pinched between your thighs. But then the TRX is pulled out, and things really get tough with destabilization and strength-training moves that the marines who devised this suspension system never even intended.

One of the toughest moves: “Barre burpees” with your feet in the TRX.

This is not your barely-break-a-sweat barre session.

And yet, the TRX isn’t always a tool for torture. It actually supports you in some exercises that would be incredibly challenging (for non-ballerinas), so your form is much better, says Ella Kay, Pilates ProWorks director of barre, a former Cirque du Solei performer, and Barre X’s creator.

She was referring to single-leg squats on tippy-toe, which are a totally different proposition when the weight of your raised leg is (mercifully) supported by the TRX. During this move, rather than wilt, the class looked like the audition room for “Swan Lake.”

For Kay, the TRX is less about the “marine-style workout connotations and more like using aerial silks” that support and strengthen you gracefully.

Arrive early for cues on how to stay in the TRX, and how to adjust it quickly. The class (and Kay) moves quickly to the music, and you can miss out on a whole set of exercises if you don’t know what you’re doing. —Melisse Gelula

Who’s it for: Those who want an amped-up barre class; if you love TRX or strength-training

Book it or skip it: Book it.

Pilates ProWorks, 47 W. 14th St, btwn Fifth and Sixth Aves., Union Square,

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