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..

Parallel Side

“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

Head Barre-2

Modified Abs Twist Green Band-2

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!

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

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.

IMG_4340

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!

IMG_4335
 

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.

IMG_4338

 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.

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.

blog3

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.

blog5

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 6.00.22 PM

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

How I Lost One Inch In One Week

Image

My basic formula for a quick change goes a little something like this….

Water + Sleep – Gluten = Change

Now, I am not saying this formula is going to work for everyone, or that you will all of the sudden shed inches from your waist like some miracle concoction; but I am saying that for me, making these dietary and lifestyle changes produces faster and more noticeable results than exercise and ‘eating right’ do on their own.

Miss Parks says it best with her “water, water, water” chant after every class. She’s right. Increasing your water intake does so much for your body from reducing soreness after a workout, to giving you more energy, and even reducing belly bloat – resulting in a flatter stomach. I bet you thought the belly bloat was going to relate to the less gluten portion of the equation didn’t you? Not so for me. Drinking more water aids digestion and actually causes you to retain less (water retention can have a visible effect on your midsection). I’ve upped my water intake to at least a 1/2 gallon (a.k.a. 4 Bkr’s) with my goal being to consume twice that on a daily basis.

New chant for you, “sleep, sleep, sleep.” Think about it. What do you do when you’re sleepy and trying to stay awake? Eat, maybe? I do, and I don’t always make the best choices, because I crave either sugar or ‘comfort food.’ Being well rested helps your body crave the types of food you need, not the types of food that are quick and easy. Like Chick-fil-a. And pizza. And Coke Zero. Anyway….

That being said, I am not an advocate for completely cutting something out of your diet unless there is a necessary purpose, like allergies or intolerance. However, I have found that significantly reducing the amount of gluten I eat directly results in less ‘fluff’ around my midsection. Why is this? It makes me think about everything I eat. For some, the consumption of processed wheat, rye, or barley can cause bloat due to a food allergy or intolerance to gluten. However, for the majority of the public, who do not have a sensitivity or allergy to gluten (me), it simply means you are consuming fewer empty calories, and rather, replacing snacks and side dishes with well thought out choices like fruits and vegetables. Things to remember? Less gluten does not mean less calories. In fact, often times foods that are labeled ‘gluten free’ are higher in calories than those that are not. Be mindful of snacks containing more sugar and fat as a result of less gluten.

Snack of choice these days? Larabar Roasted Nut Roll (which has less sugar than some other gluten free snacks) and one whole Bkr.

Image

Final tip… Don’t concentrate on the numbers on the scale. They can be deceiving. I weigh the same now as I did a week ago, but I look better in a bikini 🙂

5 Ways To Wear Your Leggings

0001Q6

If you are barre or yoga obsessed, chances are you find yourself  spending all of your money on crazy expensive leggings only to realize later that you do not actually own any ‘real’ pants. Well, we’re here to help you turn those Wunder Unders and Beyond Yoga Leggings into street chic apparel. Here are 5 ways to wear your leggings in public without being embarrassed (a shirt long enough to cover your rear helps too).

1. Flats.

How about we jazz it up with a print?

Image

Or more specifically a smoking slipper with print…

Image

Leopard pairs great with color – especially those jewel tones that we are loving this season. Throw on a chambray shirt over your tank or your favorite slouchy sweater, and voila! You are casually chic and ready to hit the town.

2 & 3. Boots and booties. We might as well combine these into one even though they can give you two totally different looks.

Tall boots, short boots, low boots – they all look great with a legging. Add interest with a leg warmer or tall sock. Think layers for your legs.

Image

Toms makes a great affordable lace-up bootie. Also check Urban Outfitters.

Image

You don’t have to have a sock to be cute. Laces and buckles add enough to this look making layers unnecessary.

Image

Yessssssssss. We love a tall boot with a tall boot sock and leggings. This look can take you many places.

Great boots usually come at a steep price. You can keep it middle of the road with Frye. They make boots of all shapes and heights and with a varying price range. Most are a more casual look, which pair well with leggings.

4. Moccasins.

I’m a sucker for a good moccasin. Just don’t get too crazy. Keep the fringe to a minimum and buy a boot that is suitable for your height. This short boot looks great on most people. It still has the fringe and some detail without taking all of the attention.

Image

Where to find these and other great moccs? MINNETONKA. The mother of all things moccasin.

5. Platforms.

My personal favorite. Platforms can take your legging look from day to night especially if you keep it simple with black. Pair with a tunic or long sweater and you are ready, set, go.

Image

Above is a very affordable Steve Madden platform. The black on black keeps it simple and chic.