WESTPORT, Conn. – There’s a new fitness studio in Westport where getting a full-body workout doesn’t require machines or enduring high-impact exercises that leave you dripping in sweat.
Pure Barre — which opened Tuesday at 291 Post Road E., in the Playhouse Square Plaza — instead combines elements of ballet, yoga, Pilates and strength training into a low-impact, 55-minute workout that benefits both body and mind, said owner Laura Laboissonniere.
“Pure Barre is a total-body workout made for absolutely everyone, regardless of age, body type, experience or athletic ability”, said Laboissonniere, who moved from Florida to open the studio. “If you can hold a ballet barre, you can transform your body.”
The Pure Barre technique uses isometric movements centered around a ballet barre to create lean, long muscles that are lifted and toned, Laboissonniere said. Workouts focus on the hips, thighs, abs, arms and seat. Hand weights, balls and resistance bands are the only equipment used during classes.
Set to motivating music, classes begin on the floor with warm-up exercises. From there, weights are used to work the arms. Next, participants go to the barre where they work the thighs and seat through various movements, like leg lifts and the chair position. The class then goes back to the floor for abdominal work and concludes with a cool down consisting of stretches.
Although Pure Barre is a low-impact workout — meaning there is no running or jumping, which can stress the joints — Laboissonniere said it’s a fast and effective way to get in shape because it works the muscles to fatigue and burns calories.
“You will see results within 10 classes,” Laboissonniere said. “I’ve always been very active. I used to run and take intense step classes, but I didn’t see the kind of results I have through Pure Barre. It’s addicting and fun.”
As the program incorporates elements of yoga and Pilates, Laboissonniere said Pure Barre workouts also leave you feeling centered.
Because classes are limited to 25 people, Laboissonniere said instructors can work one-on-one with participants to make sure everyone is doing the exercises correctly. And unlike many other workout programs, each Pure Barre class is different than the last, she added.
“The structure and flow of every class is the same, but you won’t do the exact same moves from class to class,” Laboissonniere said. “We like to mix it up so you don’t get bored.”
There are more than 100 Pure Barre studios nationwide, Laboissonniere said. The Westport studio is the second in the state, joining one in Greenwich.
For more information about the Pure Barre technique, or to sign up for classes, visit the Pure Barre website.