It's already hard enough to get the man in your life to go with you to SoulCycle...but barre class?
Xtend Barre, the mega-barre-brand with hundreds of locations worldwide, just launched Xtend Barre Circuit 7 in studios across the country—a new class with no plie-ing or tucking—that the company swears is man-friendly. Starting with the fact that it was created by Adam Nable, the co-owner of two Xtend Barre studios in Sydney, Australia, and it fuses barre and HIIT, he explains.
"It's basically a lot more manly, with more squatting and push ups, but we try to keep it in line with strict form and Pilates no matter what exercise we do," Nable says. "It consists of seven minutes of HIIT intervals, which include some of the moves from Xtend Barre. But, we don't use the barre at all. You're on the mat."
Nable admits that despite the format, most men, especially Australians, have a problem with entering the barre studio for reasons other than to wait for their girlfriends.
More reading: Why your boyfriend should come with you to yoga
"The men's fitness culture here is big into bench presses and squats, and there's the perception that this is like ballet," he explains. "Some are slowly coming around to trying Circuit 7, because they're enjoying it and finding the benefits." (For instance: variety in their workouts and targeting new muscles.)
Nable shares a few more reasons you should begin your mission (not-so-impossible!) to get your boo to barre class:
1. It hits small muscle groups that men don't normally work. Like most women after their first barre class, many of the men who take Circuit 7 are shocked about how sore they are afterwards, since barre works small muscle groups you're not used to targeting, Nable explains. "You learn how to make movements with the right muscles and how to engage those muscles correctly, not just grabbing the heaviest weight you can find and throwing it around."
2. It instills balance and coordination. Nable says men usually struggle with balance, coordination, and flexibility, which are all major tenants of barre and can be an asset to them in their workouts outside of the barre studio. "Balance and body awareness are particularly important," he says. "Mastering this technique in a barre class translates perfectly back in a big gym environment when guys are lifting heavy weights."
3. It teaches flexibility. "The emphasis is on reaching long into each exercise, using length not height in our reps, less momentum, more control," he says. "This encourages increased flexibility over time and combined with stretching at the end of class to cool down, it’s a great and often unexpected benefit to guys giving a barre workout a go."
So, tell that to your man the next time he rolls his eyes at you when you're heading to barre class. In the meantime, try finding a pair of grippy socks larger than a size 10. —Jamie McKillop
For more information, visit xtendbarre.com
(Photo: Xtend Barre Mosman)
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