Tucking For Two: Barre With Baby

Who better to to ask for mommy and mommy-to-be tips than NB Nashville’s Kelly Phillips? See her thoughts on tucking for two below..

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“Barre is one of the best methods of exercise during pregnancy. You can exercise safely right up until delivery (seriously)! It is low-impact and easy on the joints and the class can still be taken ‘in-full’ with a few minor modifications to ensure both you and your baby’s comfort and safety. Plus you’re using your own body weight primarily to create resistance so you can control the intensity of each exercise.

Listen to your body and remind yourself to slow down and take the modifications in class. Always talk to your instructor pre/post class about exercise modifications. Most any exercise that is done at the barre can be done on the mat and vice-versa. Try it both ways and see where you’re most comfortable as your body grows.

Eat a small snack before exercising, such as a banana or chia bar so you’re not exercising on an empty stomach, this will also aid in reducing light-headedness and potential nausea. And make sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated!

Barre exercise will keep you toned, healthy and fit pre-and-post pregnancy, as well as benefit labor and delivery. You’re strengthening not only your core and pelvic floor, but also increasing endurance, flexibility and even breath control in class.

We offer complimentary child care when you are cleared to return to exercise post-baby! Exercising releases necessary endorphins and provides that much needed energy boost when you’re exhausted and overwhelmed with a newborn. You need to take a little time for yourself daily and barre class is a perfect way to get some ‘me’ time in while also rebuilding your strength and toning your body post-baby. Plus there’s plenty of mama’s who have been there in class and it’s nice to have reassurance and advice from other clients and instructors who become fast friends at the barre!”

-Kelly Phillips

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Questions on tucking for two? Post below or email to info@neighborhoodbarre.com

Don’t forget that we offer specials on packages for new moms and those who are expecting. We also provide pregnancy modifications in our DVD workouts!

Job Requirements: Top Knot

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Just in time for Monday Bunday, we bring you…. the 10 second top knot. Do you ever see the girls with the ‘effortless buns’ that you know good and damn well took them 1/2 an hour to create?! Us too, and let’s be honest, ain’t nobody got time for that. Truth be told, the perfect top knot is one that is quick, easy, and STAYS PUT while you work out.

Here we go…

Workout’s newest trend, The Half Bun. You either love it, or think it resembles your six-year old self, but here it is. (By the way, we love it and often wear it beyond the studio).

  1. You MUST have the proper supplies. Lucky for you the only item that is slightly pricey, but also the MOST IMPORTANT is the hairspray. Aveda Air Control is by far the best light-hold spray – it adds texture, isn’t sticky, and smells delicious. As a hairspray connoisseur, I have tried too many to count, and always go back to this one. Tip for thick hair: Double up on pony tail holders on both the 1/2 and full bun so that your pony tail stays tight!
  2. Create the 1/2 pony. You want the side parts of the 1/2 pony to hit at about the 1/2 way point of your eyebrows to prevent from grabbing too much, or too little hair. When in doubt, less is more.

3. Back-comb the pony to create texture. Split the pony in 1/2, SLOWLY back comb to create texture. This is what helps prevent the little spriggly wiggly hair from sticking out and also helps keep the bun secure.

4. Wrap and pin.  The wrap might take a hot minute to master, but the key is to not wrap too tightly. Press your left hand down on the bun as you wrap with the right, simply secure with a bobby pin or two in the back, then place one pin in the very front to keep the bun flat to your head and secure.

5. SPRAY with your Aveda Air Control and voila! For added volume hold out the hair around the part and add a few sprays so that it’s not flat to your head.

And now for the main event…. THE TOP KNOT.

Don’t worry, we actually saved the easiest for last. Keys to ensuring a perfect top knot – double up the pony tail holders and make sure that your pony tail placement is on point.

  1. Once securing the ponytail, when looking straight into the mirror, you should be able to see the pony tail holder and approximately 1 inch of volume.
  2. Back comb the pony starting on the inside. Split the pony into two sections, SLOWLY back comb the inside of the pony, then repeat with the other half
  3. Wrap slowly, pressing down on the hair with your opposite hand, being careful not to wrap too tightly.

  4. Place one to two pins in the back (do not cross the pins), and wrap the tail end around placing one to two pins in the front.
  5. SPRAY with your Aveda Air Control, and bam. You’re ready to hit the barre.

How’d you do?! Tag @neighborhood_barre and #mondaybunday to show us your effortless barre style!

 

photos by Sarah Rau, Social Media Specialist

Meet Your Bikini’s Newest Friend: Beyonc-Aid

Post-Fourth cookout (pig-out), we felt it appropriate to introduce you to our favorite summer vice, Beyonc-aid. The name is, of course, an ode to the Master Cleanse Diet Queen, Bey, who used this method to drop over 20lbs for Dreamgirls. However, instead of completely cutting solid foods out of the equation, we choose to be mindful of our choices throughout the day and use the drink to keep our appetite at bay.

Why we love it? It’s tasty, refreshing, and a natural diuretic to keep you from bloating in your swimmie. It also suppresses the appetite and boots the metabolism, which makes it extra useful as a morning juice. Try to drink a full serving before eating breakfast, then sip on it throughout the day to keep the puffiness away.

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What you need: Lemons, a lemon press, stevia in the raw, cayenne pepper

For one Bkr bottle:

Press 2 Lemons, add 1-2 packs of Stevia, and a pinch of cayenne pepper (don’t be shy, the spicier the better).

For a full 1/2 gallon pitcher (pictured):

7 lemons, 6-7 packs of Stevia, 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Mix, chill, and enjoy 🙂

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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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.

Modify. It Doesn’t Hurt To Take A Lower Option In Barre Class.

Hot shaky muscles are a staple in our Neighborhood Barre classes, but actual pain can be another issue going beyond the barre burn to another level. While we do offer modifications throughout the workout, some pain issues require you to rework a position entirely in order to avoid discomfort in class. Common issues relate to knees, lower back strain, and strain to the neck and shoulders. While most of these issues will dissipate over time – as you build strength in class – it is important to use modifications to avoid unnecessary strain on your body. Here we will outline and demonstrate our most common modification needs.

Plank – During plank you want to think about pulling your belly button to your spine, allowing your core to do the work, and keeping a straight line down your body. We often see swayed backs and distended necks like this:  DSC00129

If you feel the sway, use this modification – drop to your knees and then pull your belly button back to your spine to shift the work into your core. If holding this position is still too much, then take little breaks by pressing back into Child’s Pose.

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DiamondThe most common complaint here is knee or hip pain. Often this type of pain can be caused by your knee to hip alignment, not anything you are actually doing in the pose. Here we demonstrate a typical diamond pose: DSC00146

To readjust, move your feet into a more narrow V taking pressure off the knees and putting more work in your thighs. You can also eliminate the ‘knee press’ portion of the exercise, choosing to hold a still position instead.

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Chair – Lower back strain can be an issue in chair. Core strength and proper alignment play a big role here. Make sure that your shoulders are stacked over your hips, your hips are tucked under, and that your knees are stacked over your ankles. We often see swayed backs, hunched shoulders, or improper alignment as demonstrated below:

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If you feel the back strain, walk your feet under the barre and use the baseboard for support. Pull your upper body closer and think about pressing your feet into the floor. This will properly align the body and put the work back into your thighs.

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Ab Work – Neck and shoulder strain and lower back pain can often be associated with Pilates-style ab work. Luckily there are MANY modifications for abs, but here are a few basics that work in most positions to alleviate strain.

There is always an option to use 2 balls. This works great for a pre/post natal modification, or for anyone who has a sensitive lower back, by allowing support to the spine throughout the portion of abs where we work high.

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The twist – our favorite modification on our twisting oblique work is to keep the ‘floating leg’ bent, thereby pressing the foot into the floor. You will feel your lower back press into the mat. This will shift the work back to your core and allow you to relax your neck and shoulders, as this is often where we feel the strain in this exercise.

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The pump is another exercise that can cause the shoulder and neck pain that we so often feel during Pilates.  Rather than setting your head down, try lowering your feet from table-top to the ground. Like the previous example, this will allow you to reengage your core rather than straining through your neck.

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Keep in mind that a lot of the pain – especially lower back, neck, and shoulder strain – will subside as you get stronger, as we often compensate for lack of core strength with other muscle groups. ALWAYS take the lower options if you feel pain. It is better to have proper form while performing a more simple exercise, than to strain your body towards an advanced position. By listening to our bodies, we will know when the time is right to take it to the next level. Start slow. It is always OK to perform part of a set in an advanced position and then move to your modification. The more you push yourself, the longer you will be able to hold the advanced poses, using the modifications less and less!

Resolution Schmesolution… Make It Your LIFE.

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The average New Year’s Resolution lasts for 17 days, with the number one resolution being to lose weight (statisticbrain.com). Unfortunately many of the pounds that are lost (if any) are very soon put back on due to lack of commitment, workout and diet burnout, or giving up because you’re not seeing the results fast enough.

There’s a saying that we try to live by here at Neighborhood Barre: “make what you love into what you do.” This saying can apply in a lot different capacities, but let’s try this. What do YOU love? …I love feeling good. I love feeling healthy, being comfortable in my skin, and not sweating the small stuff. How do I live it? I watch what I eat and I exercise almost daily. It’s what I do, so I can live the way I love to live.  Neighborhood Barre gets me there. I get a full-body workout in 55 minutes, it clears my mind of small-life stresses, it give me the ability to feel comfortable in my skin, and I leave feeling strong and healthy.  This year don’t make a resolution. Make a new life. Turn what you love into what you do.

See below for inspiring stories of real clients who have made Neighborhood Barre a part of their life. Living and chasing the shake for over a year! No resolutions here, only happy, healthful lifestyles.

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As someone who has tried every workout in the book, I can honestly say that I have never felt stronger since I began taking Neighborhood Barre classes. It has been a year now, and I am STILL seeing changes in my body!

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Since becoming pregnant, barre has been helping me maintain steady weight gain. I’ve had a big increase in my appetite and I don’t make the “right” choices every time I need a snack. Even though I’ve had to modify some of the work outs, Neighborhood Barre is still kicking my butt and definitely keeping me fit!

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The first time I noticed a change in my body was when my mom and I were moving a mattress up a hill. My mom lifts weights and always brags about how strong she is (and she really is pretty strong) but this time, I was the stronger one and I kept on going when my mom needed to take a break. After that, I noticed that my normal jog around Lakeshore didn’t take as long!! I was feeling better during my runs and so I was running much quicker! My muscles and core are much stronger!!! All this strength and NO BULK!!!

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I had sustained a low back injury from work and had been going to physical therapy for several months prior to coming to Neighborhood Barre. I also had my third flare up of plantar fasciitis that steroid injections and sleeping a rigid boot had not cured. My foot is 100% and my back is 90% better from the overall strengthening of my core. Both things I am thrilled about, but I have to admit my biggest testimonial is that in the past year I have gone down almost two full sizes in my jeans.

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My exercise goals are focused on getting in shape and toning my body; Nb has done that and more for me. It truly is an entire body work-out, and I can tell a difference in the way my clothing fits now. I can see new toned definition in my arms, abs/waist and legs that I didn’t have before. I overall feel much stronger and healthier, and going to the morning classes make me feel more energized to take on the rest of the day!

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After more than a decade of my childhood spent at the gymnastics studio, my body quickly gains muscle mass in the form of bulk. Nb is the first workout that allowed my body to regain its strength and flexibility without the bulk. After only a few weeks, my arms and legs were visibly leaner. I recently took a brief hiatus due to second-pregnancy exhaustion. It only took two classes before the tone returned. The workouts also greatly increase my energy level.

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I have truly enjoyed being a client of Nb over the last year. Not only have I experienced changes to my body, I have had a blast doing it! From my arms to my seat and calves it is like a total body transformation. I really like all of the instructors who push me to feel the burn and shake each and every time I take class. It definitely never gets any easier!

I love how every class is just as challenging as the first. I love how after every class my muscles are fatigued (sometimes still shaking) and I'm relaxed, but energized all at the same time - it's the perfect combo! And of course, RESULTS! I am amazed by the changes I have achieved over the past year. My muscles are longer, leaner, and stronger than ever before. I am a much stronger runner because of the strength I have built at Nb. I love it!

I love how every class is just as challenging as the first. I love how after every class my muscles are fatigued (sometimes still shaking) and I’m relaxed, but energized all at the same time – it’s the perfect combo! And of course, RESULTS! I am amazed by the changes I have achieved over the past year. My muscles are longer, leaner, and stronger than ever before. I am a much stronger runner because of the strength I have built at Nb. I love it!