If you haven’t tried a heated barre class, drop everything you’re doing and head over to belle + barre. Once you go heated barre, it’s hard to go back to a non-heated class. belle + barre isn’t your traditional barre class; it incorporates cardio bursts and light weight training for a full body workout. You’ll be hooked! Belle + barre is open to all levels, but if you’ve never done a heated class before, ease into it. At the end of class, when you’re drenched in sweat and wondering why you volunteered for such a sweaty torture, they bring in cold eucalyptus towels that feel extremely refreshing after a heated class, and then you remember why you came! Belle + barre has two locations: Hillcrest and Pacific Beach.
Belle + barre does not offer traditional barre. Instead, they incorporate weight training. The class is set up so that half of the room is hotter than the other. If you’re a beginner and have never taken a heated class, we recommend grabbing a mat by the door on the cooler side. They provide all of the equipment, so all you have to bring are grippy socks and a towel.
Our class started with a 2-minute warm-up that consisted of jogging in place, high knees, jumping jacks, and squats (it didn’t take us long to get warm since the class was heated). Today they provided different size weights, medium or heavy, and a small ball. After the warm-up and in between each muscle group exercise, a cardio burst was thrown in to get the heart rate back up. Today’s cardio burst consisted of burpees, squat jumps, plyo-lunges, and donkey jump kicks. We found the instructor, Leah, to be very meticulous and attentive, reminding us to take a break if needed. For upper body, we did bicep curls, shoulder presses, tricep kickbacks, bent-over rows, etc. Lower body was next. Our legs felt very shaky after the traditional barre leg exercises. Barre pulses are no joke, especially if you’re holding a pose for one minute in different variations! The workout always ends with two tabata rounds of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off. We did 20 seconds of burpees then rested for the first round. We ended with 20 seconds of skiers and 10 seconds off. The lights were dimmed and we were handed a cold eucalyptus towel (nice touch) to cool down. After we caught our breath, we did light stretching and ended with a moment of Svanasana.
Leah is a peppy, funny, and enthusiastic instructor. She is hands-on and makes corrections as needed. She made sure to demo each position first then went around to make sure everyone else had it down. Her music and her voice are very upbeat and make the long pulsing positions more bearable. If you like being cheered on and motivated during a tough class, you’ll love Leah!
Belle + barre is tucked away in the heart of Hillcrest. The studio has a cute, bright, minimalistic vibe. The front desk (sometimes manned by the instructor) is always very friendly and checks you in as you walk in. belle + barre-goers and staff are very tight-knit and welcoming, with the entire staff doing a great job at remembering names and making you feel welcome. If you’re new, they make sure to give you a tour and introduce you to the instructor. They have two bathrooms in the studio, but no showers. If you’re planning on going to the evening classes, give yourself enough time for parking. If the class is full, you’ll be forced to look for street parking, which, like in other parts of San Diego, is hard to find!
3956 1st Ave, San Diego, CA 92103 Hillcrest Barre $$$
Belle + Barre Hillcrest
Hillcrest Barre, $$$
3956 1st Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
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