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!

The Skinny on Snacking

Keeping your diet on track during the colder winter months can be a daunting task. A cold salad isn’t quite as tempting in 20 degree temps as it is on a summer afternoon, BUT one of the best tricks to keep you from derailing and grabbing Chick-fil-a is…snacking! It is so important to keep your blood sugar levels constant in order to keep you from getting too hungry and rationalizing a not-so-healthy food option because you are quote-on-quote ‘starving’ or ‘hangry’. Through trial and error (and multiple last minute Fresh Market runs) we have found quick, on the go snack options that are satisfying and flavorful. See below to get the skinny on snacking….

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-Bars: Admittedly, it can be really tricky to find a bar that is actually good for you. Sugars can be disguised as ‘sugar alcohols’ and many bars have a not so desirable calorie and fat content. Our favs are the Chia Warrior bars (only 110 calories), because these bars are super easy to throw in your purse or gym bag and eat on the run. We feel the same about Lara Bars..undoubtedly the most desirable ingredients of any bar. The sugar content is higher then some, but its derived from dates so its all natural and easier for your body to digest. Plus, with all of the yummy flavors they offer you really can never get bored. Personal Fav: coconut cream pie!RAU_1045

-La Croix: Pretty sure our obsession with these drinks are obvious, but you really can’t beat a zero calorie carbonated beverage. We realize chugging water all day can be boring and sometimes you just want a little fizz. These are a great soda fix and they actually hydrate you, double bonus.RAU_1050

-Nut Butters: While there is nothing wrong with peanut butter, we are partial to almond butter. We LOVE Justin’s brand because not only do they taste great, but they come in size portioned packages that help you not get out of control, but are also convenient to throw in a bag.RAU_1065

-Other mentionables include: apples (a great pairing for the almond butter), clementines, raw nuts and seeds (pumpkin seeds are SO good for you), eggs (think protein), guac (pre-portioned packages are the best), green tea, avocado (cut in half,add salsa, sprinkle sunflower seeds,drizzle balsamic, viola!)

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Happy snacking barre-bies!

Comment below with your favorite healthful snacks!

The Bottomless Pit || a.k.a. Katy’s ‘Gym’ Bag

You most likely will not see Katy toting around a gym bag; you will, however, probably find her with an oversized purse on her shoulder, holding all of her essentials. Amongst the crumpled Post-Its, half eaten granola bars, mail, and bobby pins (hello, Monday Bunday) you will find a few items you’ll want to grab on your next run to the store..see below:

katys bag

Aveda aircontrol hairspray: perfect for a quick fluff in between classes, plus..its lightweight and smells great.

Dr. Jart Highlighter & Concealer: “I put it under my eyes to brighten me up after a long day…I should probably put some on now”- Quotes from Katy

NARS blush/bronzer combo: We can’t all have time to contour between classes, but this double duty will put the color back to your cheeks after a tired day of typing, tucking, and talking.

Daily Juice Kickstarter: made with lemon, agave and cayenne, it truly is the ‘kickstart’ you need to start your day on the right foot. Not only will it suppress your appetite and speed up your metabolism, it tastes delicious and is the original to it’s pseudo drink, “beyonce-aid”.

Macbook Air/iPhone: the Macbook’s light and portableI design makes it uber easy to set up shop on the go . You will also never see Katy without her other trusty work device – her phone! Actually, if you do, she is probably lost or been robbed, so help her.

Hermes bangle: “because everyone needs a chic accessory” – Katy

Meet Amber // Meet Amber’s Gym Bag

Meet Amber// 

Resident Neighborhood Barre extraordinaire and co-star of Barre Skinny Vol. 1 & 2.
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Meet Amber’s ‘Gym Bag’//use this one

Curious to see what this long-time barre-bie carries in her super chic Milly bag? Us, too..so we took a peek inside to find out!

Here are the essentials…

1. Batiste Dry Shampoo: This stuff is perfect if your locks need a refresher but you’re in a time crunch (i.e. you have dinner plans at 7:00 but you HAD to go to 5:30 barre because your sanity depends on it).

2. Chia Bar: These bars are small and mighty (only 100 calories with 4 grams of protein!). The chocolate peanut butter flavor is delicious, and the chia seeds keep you feeling fuller for longer than most 100 calorie bars.

3. Lilly Pulitzer planner: This planner is a great way to keep up with everything from work to play. *Side note- I only write in mechanical pencil…life is always changing and it’s nice to be able to erase a mistake every once in a while 😉

4. Mineral Fusion Powder SPF 30: My skin has never reacted well to facial sunscreens, so this product has been a game-changer for me. The mineral powder controls oily skin and provides protection from the sun.

5. Almay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover Pads: There’s nothing cute about eye makeup running down your face during/after a sweaty workout. These pads are great at removing makeup without adding more oil to the surface of your skin.

6. Clean and Clear Hydrating Gel Moisturizer: This stuff is like a drink of water for your face. It’s a perfect way to wake my skin up before teaching a 6 a.m. class

Fighting the Headache Battle With Neighborhood Barre

hallie 2 With Summer allergies rearing their ugly head, it’s not uncommon to be feeling a little more achy this time of year. For those of you who suffer from headaches, this one’s for you. Resident instructor Hallie Wallen shares how exercise has helped her to better cope and manage chronic migraines via NEIGHBORHOOD barre classes and their combination of:

  • getting my heart rate up in the always stellar warmups
  • forward folds and downward movements to increase blood flow
  • the unique workout that, in general, lowered my blood pressure through the constricting/contracting of my blood vessels

Read more about Hallie’s story here: “Living in East Tennessee you are likely to either suffer from migraines or know someone who does. East Tennessee ranks as one of the highest concentration of migraine sufferers in the country. I myself have been diagnosed with chronic migraines….. BUT I discovered Neighborhood barre and it has helped tremendously with my migraine “hygiene”. Low impact exercises (you should avoid jarring exercises such as running) that still maintain a cardio element are proven to reduce migraines. When I started coming to NB I noticed a significant decrease in my number of migraine days. Even on days when I had a migraine I still pushed myself to go to help reduce the pain. It works!hallie blog 2 I have tried other low-impact exercises and barre-based classes, but I did not get the same benefit due to the imbalance of cardio vs. strength training. Neighborhood Barre classes seem to balance this perfectly to maximize the benefits of both. Still doubtful? When I began NB I was taking more than a handful of medicine everyday, referred to as prophylactics. Exercise stimulates your body to release natural pain controlling chemicals called endorphins and natural anti-depressant chemicals called enkephalins. NB allowed me to embark on a well planned exercise program that enabled me to reduce my drug intake, particularly those drugs taken daily to prevent migraines (prophylactic medicine). Now I take only ONE pill a day! I encourage you to come try the health benefits of NB for yourself.” -Hallie

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 🙂

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

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

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.