If you haven't heard of Pure Barre, you must be living under an exercise rock. The workout, which mixes ballet, pilates and yoga, is growing rapidly across the country. Each 55-minute class moves quickly through the muscle groups, offering a low-impact way to sculpt a lean and strong body. Locally, Heidi Hogrefe owns two franchises. She and her team of instructors offer up to six classes a day at the Jackson location (4500 Interstate N., Suite 235A, 769-251-0486) and between one and three classes each day in Ridgeland (201 Northlake Ave., 601-707-7410). They demonstrated five moves that you can try at home to get your muscles trembling. If you like the burn, sign up at purebarre.com.
The Move: Wide Second
Targets: Inner and outer thighs
What to do: Rest your hand on a counter or the back of a chair. Place your feet more than shoulder-width apart and bend your knees into a deep squat. Hold your other arm straight up in the air.
Keep in mind: Watch your posture and keep your knees bent at 90 degree angles, if possible.
The Move: High V
Targets: Inner and outer thighs
What to do: Rest your hand on a counter or the back of a chair. Place your heels together, raise up on your tiptoes and bend your knees into a plie move. Hold your other arm straight up in the air.
Keep in mind: Watch your posture.
The Move: Pretzel
Targets: Hip and outer seat
What to do: Sitting, put one leg in front of you and the other behind you, bending each knee at a 90-degree angle. Hold one arm (on the same side as your front leg) straight out in front of your torso and the other straight out beside you. Throw your seat forward and squeeze your hip and glute.
Keep in mind: Keep the working leg inline or behind your hip for maximum effort, and fight through the "pinch"—that means the move is working.
The Move: Seated Ab
What to do: Sit on the floor with your legs in front, bent at the knee. Lean back, holding onto your legs behind your knees. Tightening your abdominal muscles, move your torso up and down an inch at a time.
Keep in mind: Don't grip your legs too tightly--your abs should be doing the work of the move, not your arms.
The Move: Standing Tricep
What to do: Stand with both feet on the floor, toes pointed frontward. Bend slightly at the knees and lean forward at the waist, keeping your back straight. Put your arms straight out behind you and clench your fists. Move your arms in small circles or up and down an inch at a time.
Keep in mind: You can hold weights in each hand for a more challenging move.
A Faster, Stronger, Healthier 2013
Locals 'fessed up on Facebook about their wellness resolutions for 2013, and how they have fared so far.
Georgia Casey Purvis I wanted to really stick with my yoga practice and take it to the next level. I can now go into a headstand from a wide-legged forward fold and do a side crow pose. Woo-hoo!
Caroline Crawford I started training with Terry Sullivan, liveRIGHTnow, LLC, in December to lose weight and be a better runner. I thought running and boxing was enough of a workout. I was so wrong. I've lost five pounds in a much more gradual and healthier way than constantly battling the weight by starving myself/working out obsessively and then failing. I'm eating a mostly vegetarian diet. I'm much stronger. I even have cool little muscle ripples on my shoulders. It's been frustrating at times, and I've had setbacks, like right now because I hurt my leg, I've been sick, and it's hard to eat light around a holiday, especially when you love food and cooking as much as I do. The bonus: I've been challenged emotionally as well as physically, and it has made me deal with things that needed dealing with. Now I have got to do something about my aversion to drinking water.
Joan Blanton Move to vegetarianism. (I've done) pretty well, if you consider the year has a long way to go.
Kathleen M. Mitchell One of my goals was to run at least a mile every day in January. I ran 29 times in 31 days, which I'm calling a big success. I took photos on my daily runs and shared them on Instagram using the hashtag #mileaday (it's a very popular hashtag!), which added a fun motivational aspect to the resolution.
Sital Sanjanwala My goal is to "eat clean, train dirty." I've cut out most dairy, processed foods and added sugars from my diet in exchange for real foods like vegetables, beans, fruits, whole grains and fish. And the train dirty: working out five to six times a week, with more intensity so my time at the gym is quality over quantity. That doesn't mean I haven't had a cheat apple-pie slice or a delicious bottomless brunch in the past month. :)