HomeBody Balance for Socially Distanced Fitness
Nikki Roenicke had the opportunity to take over the Barre3 studio on Lakewood Ranch’s Main Street just last year. Having been an instructor for the previous owners, she’d already mastered the moves, knew the members and loved the company philosophy. Based out of Portland, Oregon, the Barre3 method is a mixture of strength conditioning, cardio and mindfulness meant to leave participants feeling balanced in body and empowered from within.
The studio has a warm, inviting and stylish atmosphere and even has child care, which is a rarity to find in boutique fitness venues. Having four young children to keep up with and now managing a business through a pandemic, the balancing act has been real for Nikki. She attributes her sanity to sneaking in quick workouts and keeping self-care at the top of her list.
She recommends trying these signature Barre3 moves when you need to find your center, remembering to listen to your body and make modifications if you feel guided.
This move is for the movers and shakers—a Barre3 staple you’ll love to hate. It’s an all-over leg toner that will have your quads quivering. Place your feet just hip width apart, hold the back of a chair or a countertop, lift your heels, and gently bend and straighten knees, working to whatever level suits you. If you have knee discomfort, work higher and slower. If you have ankle pain, lower the heels so they just hover over the floor or take a flat-footed posture. Options: Take a small ball about 6”–8”, on the firmer side, and place it between your thighs to enhance inner-thigh muscle recruitment and stabilize the knees. To increase difficulty, don’t hold on to anything, and work the balance with hands in prayer position at your heart center.
Flat Back Core with Alternating Marches
Being a fan of any ab exercise that can accomplish without doing a crunch or a sit-up, this is an effective core move I actually enjoy doing. Lie down on the floor face up, preferably on a softer surface (yoga mat or towel) with your arms in a low V by your sides.
Bring your feet off the floor, so your legs are bent in a tabletop position. Slowly lower the right toes down to the floor and lightly tap them, then return to start. Alternate legs, and try for 20 on each side. Take your time, and keep your breathing steady.
If you’ve ever taken a barre class, you’ll know: they squat … a lot! The Sumo is a wide-legged squat with toes slightly turned out. Sit your butt back, and think about dropping your seat rather than bending your knees.
Push through the heels, engage your core and return to standing as you push your arms down by your sides with palms facing behind you. Be careful not to send hips forward upon standing; just lightly squeeze glutes at the top, and repeat squat. Goal: 25
Incline Crescent Slide
Get either a paper plate or a towel, and place underneath your right foot. Holding a chair back or counter, slide the right foot back as your upper body tilts forward so you’re in an angled lunge.
Keeping a long, straight back, contract your core and push predominately through your front heel, allowing the glute to turn on as you push back up to a standing posture. Try for 25 reps on the right and then 25 on the left.
Seated Belly Breath
Barre3 classes always end with a few moments of stillness and breath work. By placing one hand on your belly and one on your heart, you can feel the connection of your breath filling the belly while the other hand feels the beating of your heart.
It’s a calming technique, allowing you to feel gratitude for the work you just achieved and appreciation for your body’s efforts. Intentional breath work is also a subtle toning exercise for the abdominal walls, so you can feel good about taking big, long, deep breaths.
Like these moves? Head over to Lakewood Ranch’s Main Street bright and early this Sunday for an alfresco 45-minute workout for only $10. Also, through the end of the year, you can try Barre3 for free at their outdoor community classes every other Sunday at Bob Gardner Park in Lakewood Ranch. Check the website for details, or call/text the studio for more information: 941-800-1333.
Stay Calm. Squat On.