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Athlete Strength. Dancer Grace. - The Importance of Flexibility & Strength


Build muscle - Evolve resilient bodies - Induce strength
Lengthen muscles – Stretch to capacity - Bend without breaking


These are the goals that drive our barre classes, each with a coinciding theme: strength and flexibility. We find strength in the burn of each small movement and we find flexibility in the release. Strength is the quality of being strong, flexibility is the quality of being limber. While they may sound dissimilar, barre is the art of fusing these two abilities together to encourage the most able bodies. In fact, we highly value the fact that they work best in partnership.

 S T R O N G – Each pulse, plié, and contraction that causes the muscles to shake is pushing muscle fibers to the point of total exertion. By fatiguing not only the large muscle groups but also their supporting accessory muscles, our prime motive is strength. Strength is crucial to a healthy body because it supports life functions, maintains general health, and fosters overall wellness.

 F L E X I B I L E – You most likely recognize this as the stretching component of class – the warm up, the barre stretch after a series, the final stretch on the mats - you certainly are not wrong. After peak exertion, we deliver a stretch to release the muscles that were previously pushed to their limit. However, what you might not know, it that anytime we are working an exercise in extension, this is also promoting flexibility. Flexibility is crucial to a healthy body because it a key player in injury prevention, reducing stress in fatigued muscles, and promoting a greater range of motion to take your workout to the next level.

So how do they work together?


The relationship between strength and flexibility is significant for a variety of reasons. Flexibility affects strength because a limited range of motion is going to hinder your best strength gains. Think about the mobility required in a squat … when you get deeper into the movement, you can push the muscles further. Having the flexibility to put your body in the proper position and alignment for an exercise is a vital part of fitness. But with that said, the stronger you get, the more flexibility you lose. It is crucial to continue to stretch before, after, and during resistance training to keep the body limber but also to maintain this desired flexibility.

Likewise, strength affects flexibility because flexibility without the corresponding strength to support it can result in joint instability. This is when tissues weaken and are no longer able to hold the bones of the joints in proper place. Lets break this down further – Joints allow movement throughout the body. Ligaments hold the bones of the joints in place while your body is at rest; muscles hold the bones of the joints in place while your body while moving. It is absolutely essential that muscle strength is developed to support the body in motion.

In conclusion, the body must be both supple and strong. We consider this these two qualities fundamental in each barre class that we lead. And encourage you to find a balance between the two to cultivate the most functional, healthy, and best body possible! 



Barre Body Studio – Edmonton


Mummy Tummy: Postnatal Barre and Diastasis Recti


If you are searching for a safe and effective workout regime to get you back to that pre-baby bod, we’ve got what you need! As a workout catered specifically to women, barre can be mindfully modified to be the absolute best prenatal and postnatal exercise for all of the hot mommas out there. Because of the low impact nature and small, isolated nature of the movements, barre offers a safe and fun option for expecting mothers and new moms to keep up with their fitness routine.

Today on the blog we are going to focus specifically on barre as both, postnatal fitness and rehabilitation for diastasis rectus. At BBS we value fitness as a lifestyle, which mean ensuring the flexibility to support you through all stages of life, including the creation of new life! Once baby is born, your body has gone through all sorts of structural and hormonal changes and we understand that reintroducing exercise back into your routine can be extremely intimidating. We encourage you to start off slow, always do what you are comfortable with and speak with a professional before working out. (Your doctor and your instructor should be your go to!) Our Barre Body Fit classes can easily be adapted to accommodate any client that is postnatal!

Okay, so all is well and good … but what if I have Diastasis Recti? What effect does this have on my fitness routine?

Diastasis recti, or abdominal separation, is common among postpartum women. This is typically defined as a separation (approximately 2.7cm or greater) between the two sides of the rectus abdominis muscle, less scientifically known as your abs. This is typical in postpartum and pregnant women because as your uterus grows during pregnancy, the rectus abominis stretches (and even more so when you are expecting more than one!) Also note that this condition can be stimulated by pregnancy because it is ultimately a build up of pressure. It is not necessarily caused by pregnancy, diastasis recti can occur in men, children, and women who are not pregnant as well.

Now that you know what it is and how it’s caused, we will get into how to check for it. You can check for ab separation right at home.

1)   Lie on your back on a flat, hard surface and place your feet flat on the floor. Take a few deep breaths to settle your abdominal muscles.
2)   Place your fingers right above your belly button and push deep into the abdomen.
3)   Gently lift your head and shoulders to contract the abdominal muscles.
4)   If you can physically feel a gap, that is your abdominals separated. From there you can test the width of separation based on how many fingers can fit into that gap.
5)   Repeat this process with your fingers just below the belly button, as separation can take place here as well. 

First and foremost, if you do discover any separation between the abdominal muscles consult a doctor. In some cases, minor separation can be resolved simply at home but for more sever cases, physiotherapy may be a better option. However, if your diastasis recti is not surgical, it will typically be repaired through movement and core strengthening. Remember that your abdominal muscles are in a vulnerable state postpartum, so it is important to start slow and take small steps towards recovery. Here are some tips that we have as you begin to repair separation:

· Use breathing techniques to engage and strengthen the transverse abdominals.
· Focus on improving your overall posture, sitting and standing. Always think about lifting tall through the top of your head and maintain a neutral spine and pelvis. Barre does fantastic work for your posture, take the alignment tips from your BBS class and apply those to everyday things!
· Perform all movements in your barre class with deep core activation. Zip up through the lower belly, breath into the side body and back of the rib cage.
· Exercises such as bird-dog, pelvic tucks, cat-cow, glute bridge, and fold overs are all safe and effective ways to brace and strengthen the core.

 With the list of YES exercises, we’ve also got some no-no’s as well! Stay away from crunches and sit-ups to avoid overworking the muscle and worsening the separation. Crunching from flat back or with the ball behind your shoulder blades should be avoided. In a barre class, you can replace any crunch exercises with level 1 abs (the ball underneath the tailbone). Remember that if at anytime you are looking for an alternative exercise to do in class, your instructor will be more than happy to help you out!

(Note: Plank is an exercise that may be okay near the end of your healing process. Listen to your body because it will be a little bit different for everyone in this position.)

In closing, we would like to remind all of our barre mommas, that ab separation is not permanent and it is SO common. Mummy tummy is one of the joys (yup, we called it a joy) that comes along with that sweet little babe! With the glorification and praise of the dad bod, we’re going to let you in on a secret … the real victory here is the mom bod: strong, powerful, and you look damn good too!


Barre Body Studio - Edmonton


Sleep Like a Champ


Okay so ... you love, you need, but you probably just don't get enough … sleep! The average adult requires 7-9 hours of sleep per day (HA, wouldn't that be nice) but they usually only actually get 5-7 hours. But want to know something that is going to blow your mind? You fitties actually require even more sleep than the average adult to promote rest and recovery from your rigorous daily workouts. To put it into perspective, a pro athlete requires 10-12 hours of sleep per day, that's double what the average adult actually gets!

At this point, you probably know the various benefits that come from getting a full night of sleep and you probably also have experience of the negative effects that come with pulling an all-nighter or sleep deprivation. So we are going to skip over the basic benefits and instead talk about what is actually going down during each sleep stage of a full cycle:

Stage 1 is a light sleep. It is that period that you are easy to wake and doesn't necessarily hold much value other than preface for the good stuff that is coming your way.

Stage 2 is the onset of sleep. This is the stage in which your muscles begin to relax, your internal temperature drops, and your heart rate & breathing rate slows down.

Stage 3 is your restorative sleep, this is where the magic happens!
Blood pressure decrease
Your circulatory system repairs and recovers
Blood flows to muscles increase
Growth hormones release and repair muscles, bones, and internal systems
Nervous system repairs and recovers
New memories and information is processed
Energy is restored

Stage 4 is REM sleep. This is where your heart rate picks back up, your brain is very active and you start to dream.

Need help falling asleep? Try controlling and slowing your breathing, scent your bedroom with lavender, or listen to calming/relaxing music right before you begin to doze off. 

As you can tell from the brief description of each stage, a full sleep cycle is absolutely crucial for maintaining good health. Aim for 8-10 hours to help your body recover, keep a fixed sleep schedule, maintain a restorative sleep environment and remember that quick naps throughout the day are always recommended!

Big thanks to Casper Mattress for sharing knowledge and giving us tips to sleep like a champ! Check out their mattress here



Barre Body Studio – Edmonton


The Importance of Rest and Recovery


So when you’re up in the gym (k, or the barre) just working on your fitness, do you know what is actually happening? You are damaging your muscle fibers. We know what you’re thinking, sounds scary … but its not, it is good! When your muscle fibers are damaged, they recover. When they reconstruct, they actually grow back stronger and increase in size. So this means that you are actually making those gains during your periods of rest, not while you are actually working out. This concept especially applies to resistance training, which is exactly what we do at the barre!

Now here is the tricky part: just how much time should I allow my body to recover and rebuild after resistance training? Some experts recommend 24 hours, some recommend two days (we all know optimal soreness hits hard on day 2), and some research says a whole three days. With so many mixed messages, it is hard to give an exact amount of time required for proper restoration. However, there is one thing that we can tell you for sure: some amount of rest and recovery is required within your fitness routine to enhance muscle growth, prevent injury, avoid over training and promote overall health. The research all agrees that 15 minutes is not enough time to recover, 2 hours is not enough time to recover, even 12 hours is not enough time to recover. An extended period of time (24-72 hours) is required to properly restore your muscles after training them. With that said, the extended period of time will vary from person to person.  

So what does this mean for us @ BBS? It actually means that taking multiple classes in one day may not be the most efficient means of exercising. By damaging muscle fibers, not allowing a recovery period, then damaging them again, you are actually causing more harm than good. Our advice to you would be to go as hard as you can in class, push your limits, sink a little deeper, squeeze a little tighter, and then allow your body time after to recover and reset. Plus, we all know that if you’re planning on busting out a double barre sesh … you’re going to pace yourself throughout. It is far more effective to train properly for one hour than it is to cheat and hold back for two!

Now that we have determined that rest days are super important, we want to share with you a few of our favorite things to do on rest days to keep pushing towards fitness goals and promote overall wellness. First off, and probably the most important, STRETCH. Muscle restoration requires stretching! Take a few minutes at home, put on the latest episode of your favourite TV show, and get a good stretch session in to speed up the recovery process. Some other beneficial ways to speed up the recovery process includes foam-rolling, heating/cooling, and massage therapy. If you are a mover and shaker like us, an entire 48 hours without exercise just feels wrong. In this is the case, we really promote active rest days. Take part in light, low impact exercises that do not add any additional strain to the muscles that are currently undergoing recovery. Some ideas for active rest days include going for a light walk, swimming laps, yoga, or low-intensity cycling. In comparison to passive recovery (taking a complete break from exercising), active recovery actually helps prime the body’s metabolic pathways of recovery.


Barre Body Studio - Edmonton


Hey @bbsyegtribe, need more #BBSYEG in your life?

Are you on Instagram? If you are and haven’t yet followed our BBS tribe page, I’m going need you to stop, drop everything for a hot minute and get on it! Here is what you’re going to do: check out @bbsyegtribe on insta aaaaand press follow! BOOM, you can now go back to binge watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix.

We have created a space, through social media, to bring the barrestars of our fierce tribe together to share in all things BBS. How is it different than our Barre Body Studio Instagram? Well this one is all about you! We repost and share everything that is going on in the studio from the perspective of both our instructors and our barrestars. Have a milestone that you want to share? Putting your barre skills to good use half way across the world? Take a selfie with your barre bestie? We want in on it! Tag us or use the hashtag #BBSYEG to stay connected to the tribe and also follow along with what your fellow barre addicts are getting up to! Here are a few of our studio shots that can be found on the BBS tribe page.

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If you want more of these silly studio selfies and even more connection to the incredible community that is the BBS tribe, throw @bbsyegtribe a follow!


Barre Body Studio – Edmonton


What is Isometric Exercise?


If you have been to class, you probably recognize Isometric Exercise as, "... and hold."

Isometric Exercise occurs when the joint angle and muscle length don't change. Basically, hold, don't move and feel the burn! At Barre Body Studio we have developed our classes around the principles of isometric exercise.

Isometrics and "pulses" allow the muscles of our body to contract to their deepest point. Research has shown that because of the reduced blood flow during prolonged muscle tension, numerous growth factors remain in the muscle tissue longer and actually stimulate muscle growth. When you work in isometric motions you not only blast calories but also build strength. By focusing on "teeny-tiny movements," you rev up those smaller muscles, (which act to support the larger muscle groups).

At Barre Body Studio we pulse and hold because it works to exhaust and engage both the accessory muscles as well as the larger muscles. We credit the "Pulse and Hold" for the barre results we love. You know: defining that long, lean and more toned look.

Oh, and the shaking? Well, that's your larger muscles being pushed to their limits! The shake is where change happens; the smaller muscles kick in to help the larger muscles balance. So the next time you hear "... and hold," know that you are sculpting a stronger, leaner you!



What To Do When Summer Running Season Wraps Up

Dr. Jamieson is a Chiropractor located in Edmonton, Alberta. His emphasis is on sports Chiropractic and is a certified Active Release Technique provider.

What to do when running season wraps up and the vast majority of running events have concluded, it’s common for most runners to pull back on their mileage. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as quite often our bodies can use a bit of a break from the past 4-6 months of repetitive beating they take from running. That being said you also don’t want to lose all of the gains that you achieved throughout the running season by just stopping all activity.

I see countless runners in the spring that have emerging aches, pains and injuries from trying to start running at the levels they ended at the year prior. So the question becomes, what can you do to keep the gains that you’ve worked so hard for?


A big part of the offseason should be cross training. It should actually be a big part of the running season as well, but with a finite amount of free time cross training often gets pushed to the back burner in favour of a good run. Cross training consists of strengthening accessory muscle groups to help support the primary muscles you use for your primary activity (in this case running). Running is a very linear sport, which can lead to some significant muscle imbalances. It’s quite common to see knee, ankle and hip issues arise due to lack of strength or even a simple lack of activation, of the muscles that control our lateral/side-to-side movements. As these muscles become more balanced, it can actually improve running performance as you remove the rate limiting step that’s stopping you from going further, faster. A big emphasis of cross training for runners is working the gluteus medius and minimus muscles that are responsible for the lateral control of the hip and leg. These can be achieved with exercises such as glute bridges, single leg squats, side lunges, etc. The problem is a lot of people, especially runners, can find these exercises to be a little boring and monotonous, and not give the same sweat and stress reduction that a good run does.

A great way to still get the benefits of cross training in a more active and fun environment is Barre classes. The small isolated motions that these classes combine with some sweat producing anaerobic cardio can help strengthen the lateral hip muscles while aiding in maintaining some of the cardio gains you’ve achieved during the summer months. A portion of the class is done standing on one leg, which is one of the best ways to train running as you are always supported by only one leg on a run. This helps build endurance and proper joint biomechanics that have a huge benefit on running. I have talked with a number of runners who have simply worked Barre classes into their weekly run schedule and have had improvements in run time with less injury issues. Another benefit of these classes is they work the whole body, including the arms and shoulders, areas that really don’t get any work with running. That being said it is still important to keep up some of the aerobic cardio that you worked on all running season. This typically involves hitting the treadmill, indoor running track, or bundling up and facing the cold outdoor run. Mixing the cross training with some intermittent runs can go a long way towards keeping your fitness up so that come spring it takes no time at all to get back to the levels you’re at right now, and allows you to keep increasing your running performance to new heights.

lanny  Dr Lanny Jamieson D.C
  All Sport Health


BBS Tips & Tricks


It doesn't matter if you are new to the barre or if you are a BBS veteran, we all have one thing in common ... we love that barre burn! So this one is dedicated to YOU. Over the years of pulsing and plie-ing we have picked up a few tips and tricks to get you the most out of our Barre Body classes and today we are sharing them with you. If you are relatively new to to barre, then take these tricks and run with them. By implementing these into each and every class, we guarantee that you will notice a huge difference in your barre practice and the result will be great! If you have been hitting the barre on the regular, you've probably picked up some wisdom on your own, but these tips are also for you. It often becomes easy to slide into bad habits without even realizing it, so be sure to read each tip closely and then apply it as needed into your barre workout. Read more of our BBS tips and tricks to get the very most out of each and every barre class that you take!

1) Breathe. You hear your instructor say this time and time again, some even cue the inhales and exhales with each movement. And while you may think that breathing comes naturally, while you are exercising, that is not always the case. When the movement gets tough and the burn gets real, you actually become more likely to hold your breath. It is incredibly important to keep the muscles oxygenated, so controlled breathing is key.  

Pro tip: breathe on exertion to push through the toughest part of each movement and feed oxygen to those muscles. For example, in abdominal work, exhale on the crunch and inhale on the release.

2) Connect. You probably also hear the phrase 'mind-body connection' quite often, but what does it mean? Studies have shown the validity of promoting strength gain by combining mind and muscle power. Use your focus to connect with each muscle group that you are attempting to isolate.

Pro tip: sometimes if the mind-body connection is hard to find, physically touching the muscle that you would like to engage helps encourage the connection.

3) Squeeze. It is one thing to go through the movement in a barre class, however, it is far more effective to squeeze and release the muscle group that you are attempting to engage during a barre exercise. Adding an extra glute squeeze at the top of every pulse or mindfully squeezing the rhomboids together during each back fly is going to take your barre class that extra mile.

Pro tip: listen closely to your instructors cues, they will tell you which particular muscle to engage in each different exercise.

4) Be present. It is easy to let your mind wander during a fitness class. Thinking about upcoming events or your to do list can be distracting from the booty burn, but this is detrimental to your workout. Staying focused on cues from the instructor, how your body is feeling in the moment and your alignment/form will allow you to get the very most out of each class.

Pro tip: The mirror is a great tool to help you stay focused on your own body, don't be scared to check yourself out every once in awhile!

5) Stretch. We see it so often, you absolutely kill a barre series but then lose focus when it comes time to stretch it out afterwards. We cannot stress enough the importance of a good stretch when it comes to developing those long, lean muscles. Don't skip the stretch!

Pro tip: Use your breath and mind-body connection in each stretch that you do, as well as the exercises. If you are stretching out your hamstrings in a Barre Body stretch, think about sending your breath into the backs of your thighs.

6) Form. FORM FORM FORM. Say it again ... FORM. To get everything out of your hour long barre class, you have to be constantly checking in with your alignment. Be sure to do a mental scan of your body in each different position that you hit: shoulders down, core tight, glutes engages, don't lock the joint, etc.

Pro tip: each position in barre (ie. 1st plie, 2nd plie, waterski, chair) has its own, unique postural elements. If you are unsure of the proper form in an exercise, ask your instructor. We would love to sort through it together!

7) Core. You can almost think of each barre class as a 60 minute core class because that is how long the engagement should be lasting. Regardless if you are in standing fold over or laying glute bridge, your core is always tight.

Pro tip: Your core consists of your abdominals, obliques and back muscles - keep these three areas engaged throughout the entire class.

These are just a few of our favourite BBS tips and tricks to help you get everything out of your favourite barre classes. We know that there are many, many more tips out there, so if you have a special one that you would like to share with the BBS tribe, let us know in the comments section of this blog or on our Facebook: Barre Body Studio Edmonton.


Barre Body Studio - Edmonton


Rise + Shine: The Benefits of Early Morning Barre


Rise and grind barre babes!

I think that every woman at some point has made a futile attempt at becoming a 
“morning person.” Morning productivity sounds great in theory and online articles
suggest that it is an easy habit to develop, but in reality … that morning motivation
quickly falls short as you reach for the snooze button for the 5th time, well
maybe we will try again tomorrow.

Online articles make it sound so simple: open the curtains to wake up to natural
sunlight, set positive intentions for the day, move your alarm clock out of arms
reach. Easy enough, right? WRONG. Granted some people do genuinely love
mornings, some people really thrive in the morning after that double shot of
espresso, but still, a lot of people are walking zombies until at least lunchtime. Today
on the blog, we are sharing ONE single motivation that drives us to hop out of bed in
the morning, bust out the positive attitude and slay the day regardless of which    
“morning person” category you fall into.

Here is how we think about it … mornings are the PRIME TIME to get your workout
in. Multiple studies have proven that those who exercise in the am have a huge
advantage. Here is why:

● Your hormones are flowing just right – In the morning, crucial hormones
that compliment exercise are are naturally circulating at their peak. By
exercising while they are at their high, you are taking full advantage of their
muscle-building/ fat-burning effects. These hormones deplete throughout
the day, so jump on it!

● Your mood will be elevated for the rest of your day – You know that barre
high that has you dancing all the way out of the studio doors, those are
endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals that interact with receptors in the
brain to contribute to an energetic mood boost! Get your endorphins flowing
first thing in the morning and you will be glowing all day long!

● Your metabolism will receive a quick boost – Exercising is proven to
boost your metabolism, so by getting it on first thing in the morning, you will
burn more calories throughout the day!

We know that by recognizing the benefits of an early morning sweat sesh, we may
not convert you all to A.M. fitness junkies, however, hopefully you are able to find a
bit more morning motivation to throw on a pot of coffee, grab the grip socks and
head to the barre to a 6am-er! Remember, you don’t need to be a morning person to
take advantage of the early hours … all you have to do is show up. We will meet you
@ the barre early birds!


Barre Body Studio – Edmonton


The Benefits of Hydration


With the summer here and the sun shining, we have some advice for you …
HYDRATE. HYDRATE. HYDRATE! Today on the blog we are talking all things water
and the effects that it has on both your everyday life + your barre practice. Water =
good, common knowledge, right? Right … but exactly how much water should you be
drinking? When should I be drinking water? How does water play into my workout?
These are the type of questions that we will be tackling on the blog today.

So first off, we think that it is safe to say that water is really really really important, it
is sort of the Jack-of-all-Trades when it comes to your health and well-being.
Drinking plenty of fluids will help fuel your body, circulate nutrients, flush out
toxins, make your skin glow, prevent headaches, affect your mood, aid weight loss,
and keep everything functioning the way that it is suppose to.

A general rule of thumb regarding just how much water you should drink typically
goes as follows: you should be drinking your body weight (in lbs), divided by two (in
oz). SO… if you weigh 150 lbs you should be drinking 75 oz of water daily. This can
also vary, depending on your age, gender, height, activity levels, etc. However, it is
not entirely clear-cut for our barrestars + exercise fiends because the more active
you are, the more water you require to stay hydrated. If you are wondering just how
much water your body will require during its workout it is important to consider
intensity levels of the activity and your sweat output. Camelbak has created a
fantastic calculator to recommend how much water you should be taking in to
maximize performance in your workout. Check it out here!

Next, we are going to talk about WHEN is the best time to drink water to maximize its
effectiveness. Studies often promote the benefits of drinking a glass of water as soon
as you wake up – this is said to help activate your internal organs and flush out
toxins before your first meal of the day. It is also important to drink water before +
after a meal to help with digestion and proper nutrient absorption. It is beneficial to
have a glass of water before bed, this will help replenish any of the water that you may
lose during your slumber. And of course, don’t forget to stay hydrated during your
daily workout! Remember that there is no right or wrong way to drink water … as long
as you are getting enough of it!

We know that reaching your daily hydration requirements is much easier said than done,
you are certainly not alone. So in conclusion, we have compiled a few tips and tricks to
help you sneak a bit more water into your daily consumption. Here they are:

1) Fruits and veggies are water-rich foods – increase your intake of these bad boys
and you are well on your way to optimal hydration!
2) Get creative with your water – try different fruit infusions to spice things up. You
can add oranges, lemons, mint, watermelon, strawberries, cucumbers,

3) Keep a water bottle with you at. all. times! Make it a habit to carry your water
with you. If it is in reaching distance, then you are far more likely to drink
throughout the day.

4 )If you are tech savvy, there are actually water tracking apps that will hold you
accountable to getting your daily servings. Some even have alarms that you can
set, if you need the reminder.

5) If you’re out for a night on the town, stick to a one-to-one rule when drinking
alcohol. For every vodka cran, follow it up with a glass of water. (And you will
thank us in the morning. ;) )

6) Invest in a marked water bottle so that you can track precisely how much water
you are taking in.

7) Hot water with lemon is truly a girl’s best friend! Start your day off with a cup to
kick start digestion, balance pH levels and hydrate the lymph system.

Get it in ya BBS!


Barre Body Studio – Edmonton