I have been in a bit of a workout rut lately and have lost a bit of that loving feeling towards my regular fitness routine, so I jumped at the opportunity to trial an Xtend Barre class at Flex with Jaime.
Flex is currently the only studio in the 852 to offer the Xtend Barre method and the class (think dance and Pilates amplified) is focused on creating long and lean lines, with an emphasis on leg exercises using the barre as support as well as relying on your own balance to strengthen and tone your leg, arm and booty muscles.
Jaime warned me that she had heard rumours that the class was super hard and Heather, co-founder of Flex, has trained extensively to bring this extremely popular class to the ladies of Hong Kong. The studio has ballet bars on both sides, but we started the 55-minute class in the centre of the room on our own mats. We went through a series of exercises that ranged from leg lifts standing on one leg to ballet squats (…um, you can see I need to brush up on my ballet lingo!) while lifting a 2lb weight on each arm. I have very muscular arms but even I was dying halfway through; my jaw dropped watching the Xtend Barre veterans whip the weights up and down with ease, control and grace. Jaime and I joked that gracefulness skipped right over us, as we felt nothing like the petite ballerinas we envisioned we would be!
After our warm up, we walked over with what we thought was our most perfect ballerina posture to the barre for a series of exercises – holding a ball between our legs with the utmost poise, moving from first position to second position, all the while doing lifts and squats.
Honestly, there were plenty of moments where my legs were shaking and feeling ridiculously wobbly but there is something about this class that had me hooked, especially as Heather makes sure to cater to every level in the class. A few days later, I flew to the US on holiday and was pleasantly surprised to see a local yoga studio offering barre classes. After two more sessions, I could see my legs get leaner and more toned; I just felt lighter and a bit more, well, taller I guess!
The final proof that Xtend Barre was the new exercise for me was when a lady asked me in an elevator if I used to be a dancer because I carried myself like one. I have always wished I was a dancer and being 30, am finally ready to admit it is really not on the cards… so that comment was all I needed to determine that Xtend Barre is my absolute latest lust!
A nice bonus in addition to Flex’s regular Pilates, Yoga, TRx and Zumba classes is that it also has a manicure bar. While very small and situated in their waiting room, it is an attractive option for girls on the go who can’t seem to find the time to make an extra special stop at the nail salon. It’s a bit pricer and not as luxurious as booking into a salon but if you are a Flex regular and value time saved over atmosphere, then it may be simply perfect for you. And all that, in addition to the merits of the Xtend Barre class and its relative proximity to my new pad in Pok Fu Lam, means it looks like Flex just may be the new gym for me!
SASSY DISCOUNT: Flex is offering a 50% off one-time only discount for Sassy readers who book a trial Xtend Barre class over the next two weeks. The discounted class price is $112.50 PLUS the first 10 readers to book will get their class absolutely free! To book your trial, email firstname.lastname@example.org and mention “SASSY”. This offer is valid until 8 July.
SASSY MAMA GIVEAWAY: Flex is sponsoring a Pilates pack in our Sassy Mama Summer Giveaway so if you are a mama make sure you enter for a chance to win that plus loads more!
Current Xtend Barre Schedule: Monday & Wednesday at 10:30am, Thursday at 11:15am, Friday at 8:45am and Saturday at 11:45am; email or call Flex for class packages
Flex Studio, 1st Floor, Regency Centre (Phase II), 43 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Aberdeen, Hong Kong, 2813 2212, email@example.com