Seeded In The South Spills Her Gym Bag!

Natalie Bell - Image from SeededInTheSouth.com

Natalie Bell – Image from SeededInTheSouth.com

Seeded In The South – you might already be following her down-to-earth and super chic fashion blog (if not, you should) – has spilled out her Gym Bag to show us how she stays fab throughout her busy day. Whether attending her Neighborhood Barre class at 12:00 or 5:30, she’s always prepared for work or happy hour with a few essentials that keep her fresh, clean, and STYLISH (duh).

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Natalie Spills her Rebecca Minkoff (dying) gym bag Just for us!

Blue Print Juice & Kind Bars (Whole Foods): I’m always on the road for work and popping into barre at 12, so lunch or snacks are key!
favorite juice– pineapple, apple, mint
favorite bars – peanut butter dark chocolate & blueberry pecan

Sports Bra (Lululemon $48)– black leopard print with crisscross back

Black Crops (Lululemon $96) – current favorite are the ones with mesh inserts because I throw on a tshirt and flats for lunch or happy hour

Hair brush & dry shampoo – MUST – love treseme (Walgreens $4.99) – cheap and effective

Ear phones – always run to music

Sunnies (Ray-Ban $150) – blue Ray-Ban aviators (slight obsession with aviators of all kind).

Tory Burch make up bag (Saks) – sometimes I go from barre or gym to work, dinner, etc – always have the basics: Dior foundation, Nars bronzer and blush, Laura Mercier pressed powder (best for covering up oily spots and t zone), Chanel mascara

Kate Spade GLASS water bottle (Kate Spade $30)

Ponds Cleansing Towelettes (Walgreens $4.99) to remove any sweat or dirt before reapplying or touching up my make up (cheap and soothing!)

Be sure to follow Natalie on Instagram @seededinthesouth

Long & Strong: Stretching Makes A Difference

Thigh Stretch

Instructor: “… finish strong! last, 3, 2, and 1… great job, face the barre, let’s get a stretch…” You: “uhhh. owwww…. omg hurry up… whew oh thank God, I think I got a snap chat…” {immediately grabs phone}. If this … Continue reading

Now Open: NEIGHBORHOOD barre Nashville!

This week Katy and I had the chance to work remotely from Neighborhood barre’s newest studio in Nashville…and it’s pretty fab, if we do say so ourselves. The studio was the first business to open its doors in Brentwood’s most recent development, CityPark. With dining, retail and, of course, a fitness studio, the center has the perfect influx of shoppers. Kelly serves as head barrebie at the studio and is doing a wonderful job. Leaving her corporate career to pursue her passion, Kelly truly embodies the heart of NB.

From a design standpoint, the studio has influences of both Birmingham and Knoxville, while creating is own rustic chic flair. The refurbished finishes seen in the recycled barn wood, corrugated metal, and cork flooring exude an element of ‘green’ throughout the studio.

Corrugated Metal Check-In Desk and Galvanized Pipe Retail Display

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Lobby Ceiling

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Reclaimed Barn Wood Wall and Cork Flooring

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Left: Kelly Phillips, Owner, Neighborhood Barre Nashville Right: Katy Richardson, Founder, Neighborhood Barre

Seeing Kelly in her element makes us excited to see what the future holds for Neighborhood Barre! Interested in bringing NB to your home town? Our Franchising program could be the right fit in helping you turn what you love into what you do. For more information, contact info@neighborhoodbarre.com or visit our website.

ROLL OUT! Foam Rolling: The Down And Dirty

This week’s post is brought to you by transplanted barre-bie, Bethany Stearns! She relies on her foam roller to get the max benefit from her barre workouts and is laying down what you need to know about this newly rising trend for peak muscle performance!

Do you ever have those days you feel like you could join the American Ballet Company or maybe even the Rockettes and other days you hope no one sees that your leg is barely hovering the ground in leg extension? More times than not, it has nothing to do with how strongyour muscles are, but how healthy and efficient they are working.

What is Foam Rolling? 

Foam rolling is a secret weapon used by elite athletes, physical therapists, and athletic trainers (like me) to help muscle recovery for those overworked muscles. When muscles are overused, microspasms or “trigger points” form in the muscle and leads to dysfunction in the surrounding fascia. Fascia is a thin, elastic connective tissue that covers muscles and when it becomes constrained it results in tension and pain. Foam rolling irons out that fascia and releases the muscles knots, like the sports massage you love except with a foam roller, you have all the control and its FREE.

How does it work? 

Foam rolling utilizes your own body weight to work out muscle tightness, trigger points and tension. Foam rolling relaxes and stretches your muscles as it improves inefficient muscle patterns, muscle imbalances, and decreased blood flow restoring optimal length and tension to the muscle and restoring fascial elasticity. As you work your muscles without properly working out the trigger points your muscles continue to tighten which can cause joint dysfunction, leading to muscle strains or other injury.

 Why should I foam roll?

  • Reduce muscle soreness
  • Increase circulation
  • Increase range of motion
  • Increase speed of muscle recovery

All of this means that using the foam roller can help you #werkit harder and stay in that pesky pretzel longer so you can burn it up at the barre. What are the Ground Rules? Warning: Foam Rolling won’t give you the warm and fuzzies. It can be uncomfortable, but working out your trigger points will make your muscles and fascia more elastic and ready for the next barre sesh.

  • Roll towards your heart when you are rolling out your arms or legs.
  • First time foam rolling? Follow up with plenty of water (I know you already drink half your body weight in ounces, right?), keep an eye out for any bruising or discoloration, and give your muscles a couple days recovery time. Your muscles will become accustomed to the discomfort over time.
  • Stop for 30-90 seconds when you find a place of tension in your muscle and hold it until you feel the tension release.
  • Keep your muscles as relaxed as possible as you roll it out.
  • Breathe through the uncomfortable parts. Trust me, my dog looks at me funny when I’m whimpering through the pain.
  • You shouldn’t have any pain once you take your body weight off of the foam roller. Just like when you get a sports massage it is uncomfortable during the massage but you feel so much better afterwards.
  • You can foam roll before or after your workout. I personally like it as a part of my stretching/cool down routine. It is most effective when it is immediately followed up by stretching.

What should I foam roll?  

IT Band: Its the muscular band that runs from your hip all the way down to the outside of your knee. Start at the outside of your thigh near your knee, prop your upper body on your elbow and roll up towards your hip. You can use your opposite leg to help propel your body along the foam roller. When you reach a trigger point (trust me, you’ll feel the zing) pause there for 20-30 seconds….this part isn’t fun. Breathe through it. In through your nose, out through your mouth. Continue moving, stopping at each trigger point. Move slowly. If you need a little more, bend your working leg’s knee towards your seat.

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Ouch! Repeat 1-2 more times

   Piriformis: It’s that small muscle that does most of the work during outside seat. I think it’s the key to releasing your low back and hip flexors, your whole barre practice (it is a part of your core). You will definitely feel every bit of work you did during seat while your roll it out. Sit on your foam roller with your feet firmly planted on the ground, prop your upper body with hands behind the foam roller and cross your ankle over your thigh to make the number four. Lean towards the leg that is crossed and roll over your outside seat. Same as before, stop at any trigger points you come across and hold for 20-30 seconds. Need a little more? Use a smaller piece of equipment – like a tennis ball!

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Hamstrings: Depending on how tight you’re holding your “heal to seat” you may have a more than a few trigger points to roll out. Sitting on the ground, place the back of both knees on the foam roller and place your hands on the ground at your sides to prop yourself up. Roll towards your seat, stopping at each trigger point for 20-30 seconds. Need a little more? Cross your legs at the ankle to put more pressure on the leg you are rolling out.

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 Mid-Back: Sitting on the ground with foam roller at lower back, lean backwards holding in your core, raise your hips off the ground and place hands behind your head and shoulder blades pinching that penny. Use your feet to push your body along the foam roller towards your shoulders. Make sure the foam roller is centered at your midline, you want it to do equal work on both sides of your spine. This will help with your posture at the barre and away from it, too.IMG_4328

Which one should I buy?

If you are “in it to win it” The Grid is my favorite. I suggest it to my athletes, bought several for the athletic training room, as a gift for my marathon running father-in-law, and have one sitting in my living room as we speak. It is covered in foam, but it is hollow which gives it more rigidity to work out those pesky trigger points. This one runs you about $40 for the 13-inch or $60 for the 26-inch on amazon or your local running store. Worth the investment, I promise. foam roller 2 When you barre so hard to get those long, lean muscles….let the foam roller do some work to help your stems reach their budding potential. Hurts sooooo good.

Confessions of a Barre Mom

Recently, I was able to pick the brains of our resident instructors Angela and Kim (aka supermoms) to see how they manage to balance the roles of being a wife, mom and instructor…

Added bonus: Angela shared some of her favorite tips for staying fit!

Tell us why you LOVE Neighborhood Barre and more importantly, how it has helped you both pre and post baby.  

A: It’s challenging but also fun. I’m not looking at the clock the whole time wishing it to be over which makes me want to keep doing the workouts versus getting burned out. Also, being low impact I get to burn a good amount of calories but still have enough energy to chase and haul 25lbs around for the next 12 hrs of the day!  

K: I love Neighborhood Barre and have been taking class and teaching for over two years. There are multiple things I love about this place: the intense workout, the fun music, the friendly instructors and most importantly the results. While pregnant, I came to class at least 3-4 times per week. It is low impact, so it was easy on my joints while carrying the extra weight. Now, one year post baby, I attend or teach class at least 4-5 times per week. I am, by far, in the best shape of my life! I also really love the community element at Neighborhood Barre. I see old friends and have made many new friends, including other new moms! It is my much needed escape in this new busy life with a toddler!

We know having little ones can keep you busy – how do you find time during the day to workout and teach classes and Neighborhood Barre?  

A: For me, I can sometimes squeeze a childcare or evening class in, but my personality and busy schedule has to have consistency if I’m going to make my workouts a priority. That means 6ams! I have actually come to enjoy it as my own “me” time before anyone else in the house wakes! I actually get ready for the day, make up and all, before the 6am because it’s the only uninterrupted time I have to focus on myself all day- and it’s really nice!  

K: I make my workout a priority. It’s that simple. I can always find an excuse to not workout: too busy, too tired, too much laundry…whatever! The commitment to health and fitness must be a priority! Even if your goals seem too big, start small and commit to two classes per week. I make sure I can get in my weekly workouts by utilizing the free childcare, getting a class in when my husband comes home for lunch or heading out when he gets home for the day.

What advice would you give a new mom looking to start classes at Neighborhood Barre?

A: Don’t be too hard on yourself- your body has just been through a lot. Commit to a plan, be consistent, listen to your body- push when you need it and rest when you need it- but don’t be lazy… You know the difference, just show up and do your best and over time you’ll get back to where you want to be strength and size wise. Don’t compare yourself to other post-partum mommies either- everyone’s body and story is different… Just love yourself and do your best!

What tips would give a mom who is trying to bounce-back after pregnancy?

A: You’ll be a better mommy and wife if you find a “me” thing that is unrelated to those two roles. For me, that thing is barre. It’s doubly awesome that my “me” thing makes me happy, stronger and more energized. I recommend bouncing back in a healthy way (both physically and emotionally) Drink lots of water, eat healthy food and good sized portions, don’t skip meals or binge, make a fitness plan that includes days and times for working out and stick to it by talking to your family about your goals and asking them to help you achieve them by running the house/kids during those times, get a good nights rest (hah- when you can and take a nap during the day when you can), love yourself and show yourself some grace… Perfection every day isn’t realistic but trajectory towards your goals is! Stick it out – you got this!

K: Put on your yoga pants and give NB a try! No matter where you are post baby, now is the time to try something new…And come take my class, I’ll have you back in those skinny jeans in no time:)

And now, advice from Angela…..

  • Try to do one active thing every day, even if it’s just going on a short walk. If you feel tired and lack energy, just commit to 10 minutes. Most times after the initial 10 minutes you won’t want to stop!
  • Don’t skip meals, ever. It messes with your metabolism and just isn’t healthy. It will keep you from reaching your long term goals.
  • If you’ll be eating out, make a plan. Don’t skip meals that day as it will only make you over indulge when you’re out. Try to order a normal sized portion… an appetizer as your meal or ask the waiter to pre-bag half of your meal before bringing it out to overcome the enormous portion sizes offered when out to eat. Don’t be scared to order “a la carte” as you can keep cleaner options that way and won’t be tempted with extra sides you didn’t even want in the first place.
  • Keep your non-stretchy (aka non-workout) pants close by and throw them on often. Yoga pants are comfy and practical, but they sometimes can also allow us to gain in size without realizing it.
  • Try not to use a scale as your measuring tool. Muscle is healthy and improves your metabolism. Muscle also weighs more than fat so weighing yourself too often can be disappointing or wrongly insightful. Instead, measure your focus areas with measuring tape, use your form fitting clothes to measure (they will get looser as you gain muscle and tone up), or get your muscle and fat mass measured doing a bod pod test.
  • Don’t reward yourself with food for your workouts. Eating an unhealthy, high calorie diet will make you bulk and prevent you from reaching the long lean healthy muscle results you’re reaching for. Working out is only part of the recipe- you have to eat right too.
  • Drink lots of water. I drink at least 130 ounces a day.
  • If you eat one bad meal or snack, don’t let it derail the entire day. Get back on track and stay positive.
  • Never go to the grocery store without a list- you will end up with unhealthy things in your kitchen and you’ll be destined to fall off the wagon.
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Angela – 8 mos pregnant, still killing it.

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Kim and barre baby, Colin.

The Bounce Back After The Binge.

Are you a weekend binge-eater? A late-night-pig-outer? Or a fall-off-the-wagon-all-week kind of person? With Spring Break upon us and summer looming in the near future, we decided to round up a few of our favorite tips and tricks from the NB team so you’ll be reaching for your bikini instead of that baggy white tee.

Hallie: “Drink as much water as you can handle! Divide your weight in half and you should be drinking that number in ounces a day. Also, add lemon to your water. Lemon breaks down the lactic acid in your muscles. I’ve found that not adding ice to my water allows for me to drink much more.”

Madison: “Chia seeds are my vice, I add them to my breakfast and lunch. They really keep me feeling satisfied. Also, I love using pasta substitutes like spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles using my Veggetti

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Ann Holland: “Drink lots of water. Limit sugars, grains, and dairy. Eat lots of fruits, veggies, and protein.”

Julia: “I love walking my dog first thing in the morning, well after 6 am barre of course ;), it’s become part of my daily routine and getting fresh air every day makes me feel so happy and healthy. I need a lot of protein in the morning to keep full after a hard morning workout at Nb, so I like to make smoothies – greek yogurt, a banana, peanut butter, and lots of spinach is my favorite. I think having a big protein filled breakfast and smaller meals throughout the day makes me feel my best!”

Katy: “Brags apple cider vinegar – good for skin, lowers blood sugar, and is a natural diuretic. Take a shot or mix with water. Anytime I’ve overindulged on the weekend, my ACV makes me feel so much better and gets me back on track.”

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Erin: “Replace one meal a day with a green smoothie (almond milk, spinach or kale and frozen fruit)!”

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Krista replaces unhealthy snacks with healthful homemade treats! Check out her recipe for Oatmeal Energy Bites (they are delicious).

Meanwhile in Mexico….. Kelly advises us to “steer clear of all-inclusive vacations”….

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Take A Peek Inside Madison’s Closet….

Our resident fashionista, Madison Ford, always looks so put together! From her oversized sweaters to street sneaks, we love her look at Neighborhood Barre. Below she has put together 3 looks – including accessories – to help keep us studio to street chic whether heading to brunch, errands, or happy hour, after class.

If I could choose one word to describe my closet (besides color coordinated) it would be practical. Since I spend the majority of my day in ‘barre attire’ I have really tried to fill my closet with staple pieces that can easily be dressed up or down depending on my plans post-barre. The key in adding versatility to your workout wear is accessorizing.  By grabbing a pair of sunnies, throwing on a cute sneaker, stacking bracelets or wrapping up in a scarf, you gain the ability to tailor your assemble to channel your personal style and, better yet, transition from class to post-class plans. I’ve put together a few outfits (from the studio) as well as my own closet below:

Brunch: This outfit is perfect for a weekend class when you plan on treating yourself to a mimosa after. Navy is such a strong color for Spring and these pieces from Beyond Yoga are far too chic and comfortable to only be seen in the studio. I grabbed a lightweight scarf, my favorite Tkees flops, and Ray Bans to complete the look.blog1  blog4

 Ray Ban aviators, Tkees flip-flops, Beyond Yoga top and leggings – available at Nb (duh).

Shopping: We all know shopping and errands equal walking (and lots of it) so I chose a neutral outfit that I could make pop with some cute sneakers.  NB plug: I am obsessed with the mesh detail of this pocket tank and a bright sports bra would add some edge to the look.

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Nike Air sneakers, Beyond Yoga top and leggings, BKR water bottle

Happy Hour: My mantra when choosing an outfit to take from barre to the bar is to stick to neutrals, and by neutrals I mean black.  I chose these specific items because of the detailing. The quilted texture in these Beyond Yoga leggings and the strappy Alo bra add an element of edge to the pairing. I left off a top because while keeping on your workout tank is totally fine (and recommended), I would bring my favorite cashmere to throw on after class.

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Sublte Luxury cashmere, Alo sports bra, Beyond Yoga leggings, BKR water bottle

What’s your must-have studio to street piece? Comment below!

Follow us on Instagram for more #ootd @neighborhoodbarreknox

All Hail Hallie’s Gym Bag

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As we all know, Hallie Wallen is THE queen of all things fitness so naturally we were dying to see what she keeps stashed in her gym bag. The water, tennies, keys and cough drops came as no surprise, but there were a few items in particular that caught our eye….

1. Lilly Pulitzer planner: this is essential in helping Hallie plan her busy day and keep her classes straight. Besides the fact that the cover is super chic, Lilly planners have the best stickers for tracking important dates and great by-day and week tabs to help keep even the busiest girl organized. Want one? Go visit our one of our Nb staples, Deedee, at Palm Village Knoxville to get yours!

2. Karen Walker sunnies: Not only are these super stylish, but the updated wayfarer gives Hallie the ability to take her shades from barre class to brunch and we are all about the ease in which we transition workout wear to the streets.

3. Alo sports bra: Its no secret we are crazy about Alo at NB.  We love both the support and trendy mesh detail this bra offers..and isn’t everything better in black?! We think so. #allblackeverything (available at Neighborhood barre studios for only $48).

4. Evian Facial Spray and Ibuprofen: Super affordable and super essential when it comes to feeling refreshed after or in-between classes. As a headache sufferer, it’s important for Hallie to always be prepared to feel her best and both of these products help her to stay ahead of her symptoms.

5. Tiger Balm heat rub: Hallie soothes her soreness with this amazing topical pain reliever. Have you ever stood next Hallie and secretly thought to yourself  “what in the world is that SMELL!??” well, folks here it is.

 

What’s in your gym bag? Comment below with your essentials gear suggestions!

Barre Skinny ™

So you’ve started barre and now your body is changing… for the better? Often times the changes you will see in your body after starting a highly regimented barre program aren’t what you would expect. It isn’t uncommon for your jeans to feel tighter and the number on the scale to rise… Why? Because you are changing from the inside out. 

An athletic barre program will result in the gain of muscle – not bulking of the legs and seat – but long lean muscle mass, which is still adding muscle. Since muscle weighs more than fat, it is not uncommon for the number on the scale to rise or stay relatively the same once you begin your barre program. Don’t judge yourself by the number, let your eyes and those of others be the judge. Our NEIGHBORHOOD barre program refers to this phenomenon as Barre Skinny ™.  Why would you want to be skinny, when you could be Barre Skinny ™? Our barre-bies have muscles, not the bulky body-building muscles, but lean beautiful muscles that define the shape of the arms, back, abs, hips, glutes, thighs, calfs… did I miss anything? Just check out these changes: Image 

So why do your clothes feel tighter than before? Think of a marshmallow vs. an almond.  When your thighs consist of more fat (marshmallow) than muscle (almond) they are going to stuff nicely into your tightest jeans, thus molding themselves to the shape of the pants. Once you have replaced that fat with muscle (almond), the pants have to form to your shape instead. The answer? Give it time. Although we see results quickly in a classical or athletic barre studio, there are layers of change that need to happen in order to reach your ultimate goal. Keep working! The muscles often start to form before the fat has melted away, which is why you think you are ‘bulking’ or getting bigger. You will get smaller. We promise. Keep pulsing, drink LOTS of water, and don’t stop just because it burns :)

If you have any other questions about weight gain/loss in barre, post them below. Questions about burning calories? Visit our Facebook page and see the burn.

What The Tuck?

While perusing the social media world last week I saw someone answer the question “What is barre?” like this… “Barre is combination of yoga and pilates with a ballet barre that you use for balance…”. Ummmm, what?

Because barre fitness is still a relatively new phenomenon in the Southeast, we often hear the above-mentioned question “what is barre”? While many see it as a combination of workouts – pilates, yoga, dance – in a classical barre studio, this is not the case. Barre is its own workout, its own moves, its own identity.

So what is it? Barre is a full body workout that incorporate ELEMENTS of dance, pilates, and yoga with isometric movements to carve and shape key muscle groups in the arms, legs, abs, and glutes. It is not a fusion workout. At least not at our studio. Classical barre is based off of its own method – the Lotte Berk Method – which was created by a woman named Lydia Bach. It has been around for MANY years and is just now gaining popularity nationwide. The techniques differ from studio to studio and brand to brand, but a true barre workout (the classical style) is based from Lotte Berk and not a fusion or combination of anything. No warriors or balancing trees here, only tucking, lifting, pulsing, and holding.

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Another key component to a classical studio is the hip tuck. I said ‘tuck’, not ‘thrust’. Tucking of the hips is a classic dance posture that aligns the spine and engages the core. While some might say that the hip tuck is unsafe and outdated, we are confident from our research with local chiropractors, physicians, and physical therapists, that the hip tuck is safe and effective. Think of pressing your tail bone towards the floor. It keeps your body stacked in a position that is safer for the lower back and allows more muscle groups to be engaged during the workout, thus burning more calories and providing an overall strength benefit. 

What’s more comfortable to you? Standing like this..

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Or like this…

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While no studio is really right or wrong, it is up to you to find the workout that is right for your body and strength level and delivers the results you want and need. If a fusion studio that calls itself a ‘combination of yoga and pilates’ is your thing, then go for it; but if you want barre, then make sure you find  a classical studio that uses only elements of other methods, rather than fusing different workouts together. Barre fitness can provide amazing results if done consistently and correctly. At NEIGHBORHOOD barre we make it our goal to ensure that our clients get the best experience possible, with proper coaching to ensure safety and effectiveness during class. If you ever have any questions about a move or a posture, then ask! As we all know, barre can often get harder before it gets easier because we learn the technique over time. Stick to it and keep tucking! Don’t forget, your first class at NEIGHBORHOOD barre is FREE! Come see the difference.