A former lawyer from the States, Esther Kufrin set up BARREtoned in Notting Hill two years ago. When she’s not balancing family life with her husband and little son, she can be found balancing at the barre, which she considers her ‘me’ time.
WLM caught up with Esther to find out a little more about her and the studio.
What inspired you to start BARREtoned?
While working as a lawyer in New York, I tried my first barre class and instantly fell in love! After that I tried different barre variations and brands all over the US and eventually became an instructor in Chicago. When I moved to London with my husband, the first thing I did was try to find a barre studio, but I soon realised that no similar method existed in London. I saw the unique opportunity to start my own business by creating BARREtoned and I haven’t looked back since. I get to do what I love every day, and it is especially rewarding to pass on the same passion to our clients.
What is BARREtoned?
BARREtoned is a full-body workout performed both at the ballet barre and on mats. Each of our exercises is designed to create beautifully long, lean and toned muscles. We also incorporate elements of intense interval training, to get your heart pumping and muscles shaking and to fire up the calorie burn. Every exercise is then followed by active stretching to increase flexibility and further elongate muscles.
How does BARREtoned differ from other barre workouts?
Our main goal in class is to get you into the correct form, so that you feel the exercises in the right muscles and get the most optimal results. Our instructors know all clients by their first names, and will give various personal verbal and manual corrections throughout the class to ensure that you get the most out of every exercise. Many of our students say that BARREtoned is a bit like personal training but in a group!
Do you have to be a dancer to do BARREtoned?
No dance experience is required at all. Students of all ages and fitness levels can join our classes. Don’t worry if you have not exercised for a while. While the class will be challenging (no pain, no gain), there is a variety of options available to suit all abilities. Our instructors will guide you through your first class safely and in good form.
Can you practice BARREtoned whilst pregnant?
We highly recommend anyone pregnant or post-pregnant to take BARREtoned classes. The exercises can increase your general wellbeing and mitigate many pregnancy-related conditions. It will also help you tone up faster and regain your core strength post-pregnancy. The only conditions we have are that pregnant clients must take a minimum of two prenatal classes to learn our pregnancy modifications (once comfortable with the modifications, you can participate in the regular classes), and that you bring a doctor’s note stating that you’re fit to do strengthening exercises or antenatal notes indicating that your pregnancy is low risk.
What part of the body does BARREtoned focus on?
It is a FULL body workout—you’ll be working all major muscle groups! We begin the class with warm-up exercises, which mainly focus on the upper body and core, then progress to the legs, the seat (your bum!) and finally concentrate on abs. You will leave class feeling stretched, strengthened and invigorated.
What changes can you expect and how often should you practise?
You will start seeing your body transform in as few as eight sessions. Typical results include sculpted arms, leaner thighs, a lifted seat, chiselled abs, improved posture and reduced body fat.
To get visible results quickly, we recommend a minimum of three classes per week. If you manage to attend class three to five times a week, even better! You will see the changes in your body much faster.
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