So you’ve tried an Xtend Barre class or two, or perhaps you’re an addict already and have attended more classes than you care to count! (don’t worry – it happens all the time :))
You’re hearing the word ‘core’ a lot, and while you love the workout – you’re actually not quite sure what your ‘core even’ is – or if you’re using it properly – or at all?
At Xtend Barre, we’ve developed a class that trains the core like no other workout can. Meet our stability sister – Xtend Barre Stick.
What is your core and why is it important?
As women, many of us suffer from lower back pain, poor posture, neck and shoulder tension, and other unnecessary pain that stems from not using our core properly.
But the term ‘core’, is too often one of those trendy fitness words that gets used a lot without any understanding of what it actually means.
A common fitness misconception is that the abs are ALL that make up the core. Specifically, the part of the abs that you can see when you look in the mirror.
Actually, the core is everything except the arms and legs (front and back of the body). In short – relying solely on ab crunches is so passé.
Core training does two really important things — it helps you look thinner, it supports your spine and it helps with anything that involves balance, for example: skiing, snowboarding, surfing, paddle boarding and running to name a few. Name a sport and we can almost guarantee a certain degree of core strength will be required.
More importantly, as we get older, balance is a crucial but often forgotten element of a well-rounded fitness regime. It plays a huge part in your quality of life as you age.
Without getting too technical – your core muscles are connected to your legs, to the way you stand, squat (or plie in our case) and sit. It’s not just about the abdominal muscles, but also training your back, your glutes, and the entire area that connects to your spinal cord and helps your body to support your spine. Having vital core strength ensures the burden of supporting your body weight isn’t just placed on your bones alone.
So what’s a stick got to do with it?
Xtend Barre Stick takes all the best bits of our signature Xtend Barre class and layers in the resistance element of the Pilates stick.
The use of a stick apparatus, attached by a bungee like cord to the barre, adds resistance to your workout to help chisel and sculpt the body. You can’t help but engage those core muscles in order to maintain the resistance of the stick to the barre. No cheating here!
The workout challenges all of your core stabilising muscles (those ones which hold up your spine) and works your core in a functional way.
So, instead of lying on the floor, as you would in a traditional abdominal class at the gym, our Xtend Barre class is upright for most of the workout, using the resistance of the bungee cord attached to the stick to challenge balance, stability, strength and form.
This type of training is also a fantastic way to encourage pelvic floor strength after having a baby, improve your posture overall and have a positive impact on the way you use your body every single day!
Liz Nable is the Founder and Director of Xtend Barre Northern Beaches with studios in Mosman, Manly & Mona Vale. She is a Senior Xtend Barre Instructor and is Pilates certified. Liz is also the Founder and Director of Nable Active.