Smart Barre just opened a studio right around the block from my house.  I scheduled a class to find out more about it.

Here’s the information posted on their website.  Smart Barre practices concentrated movements that function as deep sculpting tools to strengthen and lengthen muscles. As a total body workout, the class fuses principles of ballet, Pilates, and yoga to target body areas in which women struggle- the core, hips, thighs, seat and arms.  A traditional ballet barre is used to help maintain balance and provide resistance, however, you don’t need a tutu in this class to achieve the long, lean look of a dancer. In addition to the barre, light weights, a playground ball, and a cushy mat are used. An efficient, upbeat workout, you will find it a “smart” use of time.

One of the things I like is that all the scheduling is done online, you can even put their app on your smart phone so you can register on-the-go if you aren’t in front of your PC.  You reserve your spot in a class then walk right in.  No waiting in line to pay or explain your situation.  The windows of the studio are frosted so no creepy people are looking in.  The studio is painted a fresh, serene shade of blue.  The lobby has lockers for your belongings, a changing room, and complimentary white fluffy towels.  The studio is just off the lobby.  I also noticed it smelled clean like a day spa.
The room looks just like a ballet studio — mirrored walls so you can check your format and alignment — with a ballet barre.  All the equipment is provided for you.  Beside each mat is a ball, a stretchy resistance band, 2 and 3-pound hand weights, a strap and a mat.   The people around me were friendly, all ages and various fitness levels.  I chatted with a few ladies who said they started doing the classes in the last 6 months and had the same concerns I had — hip tightness, lower back aches, muffin top, and bra fat — let’s just call it what it is, okay?  They have noticed improvements in all those trouble areas.
The class was doable.  There were a few times I had to stop for a second because my fat was screaming, “don’t let me out,”  My heart rate was up, but I wasn’t winded.  In fact, I found it amazing that a tiny repetitive move I was doing with a leg lift could make me feel like I just did a sprint.  What I liked was that the time flew by.  The music was up-to-date direct from their own ipods, so no cheesy gym music (you know, a Brittany Spear’s song but not sung by Brittany.  That gets on my nerves).  About the time you think you can’t do one more lunge, the instructor switches to a different movement.  When I was done with the class, I felt great.  All day.

This morning I feel a little sore, but nothing drastic.  The instructor recommend coming at least three times each week so your body never fully recovers between sessions that way you are always working on the core and muscles to keep them guessing.   After 10 sessions you are supposed to see a difference in your ability and maybe even your body’s shape.
Smart Barre is a trademark, so if you don’t have this company in your neighborhood look for something similar.  It is definitely a great way to get in shape.