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Belly up to a different kind of bar.
Belly up to a different kind of bar. (Photo: Barre Code Facebook )
One of the best workouts available awaits you at The Barre Code.
One of the best workouts available awaits you at The Barre Code. (Photo: Barre Code Facebook )

Updated: Belly up to the Barre

I wish I could say that I was one of those people that can just head outside for a great run. I'm not! For me, working out is best in a class environment that pushes me for the best workout I can do. And lately, that class has been at Barre Code in the Historic Third Ward

Barre Code was brought to Milwaukee in December by franchisee owner Betsy Wong, who had attended a class in Chicago where Barre Bee Fit originated. Thankfully for us, the former lawyer also loved the workout and brought the experience to Milwaukee. 

Barre workouts have been around for a while, but studios focusing on the method have only recently started opening in Milwaukee. What does a barre workout entail? Most barre-based classes use a combination of postures inspired by ballet and other disciplines like yoga and Pilates.

The barre is used to balance while doing exercises that focus on isometric strength training (holding your body still while you contract a specific set of muscles) combined with high reps of small range-of-motion movements. Most of the classes also incorporate light handheld weights, balls or even stretchy bands to bring the burn during all those reps.

The music is pumping, and this is an invigorating tough workout from start to finish. You'll start with a warm up and sequence of upper-body exercises, which include free weights, push-ups, planks and other moves to target the biceps, triceps, chest and back muscles.

Then you'll use the ballet barre and your own body weight for resistance to focus on the thigh and seat muscles. Ouchy. Your core will be engaged the entire class and then targeted at the end – if  you aren't shaking by the end something may be wrong with you! For the cool down, you'll go through a series of stretches to increase flexibility and allow your muscles to recover. 

The full 50 minute workout is now one of my favorite parts of my day. Barre Code offers more than just the typical barre workout. You could try out some of their cardio classes such as "Interval" that consists of segments of high intensity intervals interspersed with strength work or "Brawl" that combines cardio kickboxing sequences with strengthening work for the thighs and glutes. 

Barre Code currently has one Milwaukee location, but an additional studio will be opening in the next month or so in Brookfield. If these classes sound right up your workout alley -- we've partnered with Barre Code to let you try out your first class for free. Register for a class here and use the code ONMKEFREE. Happy barre to you! 

Update: Ladies, you can now get your Barre Code fill in Brookfield! Visit the new location at 18000 W. Bluemound Rd. for the same great workout and experience. 

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