Sophia Adickes’ class was solid but nothing to write home about: we got a pretty good workout but could have used a little more form correction, enthusiasm and engagement. The class was quite crowded for a Saturday in a deserted Manhattan business district, which speaks to the brand appeal of Pure Barre. Even so, we’d still just give the class itself a solid B. Pure Barre in the Financial District was welcoming, clean, and well stocked, and we’d definitely go back. If you’re hanging out near South Street Seaport or you work in the area, definitely stop by, but beware: there are no showers for after your morning workout!
Every Pure Barre class, regardless of studio, follows the same formula: standing warm-up punctuated by planks, then moving into arms with weights. This is followed by thighs, then seat, then two separate ab sections: one at/under the barre and then a section on mats on the floor.
This class, I was pleased to note, included only a 30-second plank in the warmup, followed by some difficult but ab-engaging push-up/side plank combos. We started our arms section kneeling on the ground, which made it easier to isolate the triceps contraction we were going for, and then stood up for more compound movements with lunges and hammer curls. Most people in class used 3-5 pound weights.
The legs and seat sections of class were less engaging, as we quickly spun through three thigh sprints that felt too complicated for the minimal direction Sophia provided. One movement that did get our legs burning was standing in a modified lunge pose with our red stretchy band in hand, one heel up off the ground and leaning into the movement. Seat work was primarily a quick fold over section and then a difficult set of pretzel movements while sitting on the ground. We rounded out class with c-curve holds leaning against the wall, a few upper ab movements with our back straight against the wall, and then lower-body curls on the mat on the ground. As with all other Pure Barre classes, Sophia led us through a quick stretch after each group of exercises, and we finished class with the lights off for two minutes of bridge tucks to a solid beat.
As mentioned above, the class was really busy for an area that’s almost deserted on weekends. Our fellow classgoers were all women, many dressed in what we recognized as running gear (race t-shirts and spandex leggings with pockets in them) rather than the lower impact, higher fashion attire we’ve spotted at some other barre classes. We expect that these classgoers, like us, see Pure Barre as a good form of cross-training between long runs and other athletic pursuits.
Sophia was a mild-mannered instructor who led a solid class with mostly simple directions, but she didn’t engage with us or our classmates as much as we’d have liked. She occasionally gave confusing instructions, like when we got halfway through abs and no one realized we needed to switch sides for our oblique crunch. And she had the all important good soundtrack for our workout.
It turns out that Pure Barre FiDi is owned by the same people as Pure Barre TriBeCa so it make sense that both these studios have a similar welcoming vibe. This location is a storefront across from a number of other fitness studios in a very office-heavy neighborhood, and we can see ourselves stopping by after work, then grabbing a quick and healthy dinner at Dig Inn or Chop’t on our way home. The front of the studio includes a cozy boutique offering Swell water bottles, Pure Barre-branded socks and the like, and has the added bonus of a bowl of free apples (we totally grabbed one on the way out). The check-in system is on iPads at the front of the studio, but we were also welcomed by a friendly woman at the front desk. Like every other Pure Barre studio we’ve been to, this spot loses a few points for overbooking classes (it was so crowded in the actual exercise room! We hate knocking knees with our neighbors) and for not having showers, which makes this a difficult place to get in a workout on our way into the office.
80 Pine St, New York, NY 10005 Financial District Barre $$$$
Pure Barre Financial District
Financial District Barre, $$$$
80 Pine St, New York, NY 10005
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