Frame Shoreditch was set up by Pip Black and Joan Murphy in 2009 with the aim of creating a more positive approach to health and fitness. The Resident visits the new Frame studio in King’s Cross to investigate the rising popularity of an alternate workout, inspired by ballet

Words: Rachel Mantock

Since Frame’s conception seven years ago, demand has skyrocketed, resulting in their Queen’s Park studio opening up in 2012 and their King’s Cross studio opening recently. Barre workouts have been steadily growing in popularity, combining yoga, Pilates and ballet to get you in shape whilst teaching your body to stand and move elegantly. Using a traditional ballet barre for balance, isometric strength training is combined with high repetition, small range movements, which are often combined with light handheld weights.

Gede Foster was a professional dancer for 7 years before making the move to fitness

Gede Foster was a professional dancer for seven years before making the move to fitness

‘When people start doing barre, they see bodily improvements fairly quickly. There is also a sense of community with it, everyone moving together in unison to some good tunes,’ says Frame’s master trainer, Gede Foster, who was a professional dancer for seven years before she made the move into fitness. ‘It’s a barefoot workout also, so it’s easy to fit into your day. A lot of people in the city have high stress jobs that keep them in that flight or fight mode to do with their sympathetic nervous system. Workouts like barre, yoga and Pilates get people to relax, invigorating their parasympathetic nervous system.’

Don’t be fooled, there really is no burn quite like the barre burn

Foster also explains that barre is a low impact workout that puts little stress on tendons, ligaments and joints, actually helping to stabilise and strengthen through the emphasis of technique. This means that it is an ideal option for those who want to keep fit, but can’t put too much pressure on these areas due to age or health reasons. ‘It’s a mistake to assume it’s an easy workout however,’ Foster points out, ‘it tests your muscular endurance. Don’t be fooled, there really is no burn quite like the barre burn!’

Barre workouts also target your glutes and core in particular, making it the go-to workout for a flat stomach and toned bum. If you keep at it, your posture will also dramatically improve, leaving you standing tall. At Frame, they even offer pre and post-natal specific classes to keep mums-to-be and newbie mums in shape safely, as well as class modifications for beginners so that everybody can obtain optimum results.

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