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Testing UTrain: Barre

Do the workouts really work?
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MAHIKA JAIN/THE VARSITY
MAHIKA JAIN/THE VARSITY

There is something about the week after reading week that is specifically stressful. It seemed like I just couldn’t fit in a scheduled workout, but luckily, UTrain has three playlists of on-demand content to choose from. 

These playlists are available on YouTube and have a wide range of the class types that were recorded during our lockdown summer and fall semester. I was excited to have more options for class types since the classes didn’t need to work around my class schedule. 

“Meet us at the Barre”

I personally love pilates, so I was intrigued by the barre class. The class description on YouTube describes the class as a fusion of ballet, pilates, and yoga, which felt exactly like what I wanted. I was ready to “stand tall and proud” and focus on something other than school. 

This was the best class I’ve done so far as a part of testing UTrain. It was hard, yet achievable. The music was great, and the instruction was great. Rachel, a dance teacher, introduced herself and said it was going to be a 45-minute class with a stretch at the beginning and end. 

She gave us a couple of minutes to get prepared, which was nice, since this was the first class I’ve done that required equipment. We would need a resistance band, sliders, and a yoga mat. Luckily, I had a resistance band and just used socks as a replacement for the sliders. Rachel also listed alternatives for all the equipment in order to make the class more accessible. 

The workout consisted of a balance-focused warm up, followed by legs using the sliders. It was a lot of curtsy lunges and pulsing — all of which I felt the next day. We did a plie squat series, which always gets me shaking, and paired this with a dancer arms series. 

Between the targeted sections, we did some intermediate cardio moves to get the heart racing and to work up a bit of a sweat. I was surprised at how much I sweat during this class: I had already showered in the morning and wasn’t really expecting to have to shower again. We then used the resistance band for an arm and butt series.

We finished with some ab work and planking before moving onto our cool down and stretch. I loved this workout! 

YouTube workouts

Especially given that the class was on YouTube, I was expecting some boring copyright-free music, but I was positively surprised. The whole class was choreographed to music, which is great for motivation, and the music ranged from recognizable hits from the likes of Ariana Grande and Beyoncé to funky beats by a Brazilian band that Rachel had discovered while travelling. 

As much as I was resisting doing this workout, I am so glad I did and would recommend it to everyone! The best part is that it’s part of UTrain’s on-demand programming, so you can do barre whenever and wherever!