4 Things I Learnt From Starting Xtend Barre Classes

With the VS Angels, Margot Robbie and Jen Hawkins among the stars who swear by the fitness class, we decided to find out what all the fuss was about.

If you're anything like me, then the thought of hitting the treadmill for an hour or forcing yourself into a spin class sounds makes you want to curl back up into the safety of your bed (Cadbury family block optional).

These days, however, if you're not fond of slogging it out at the gym while repeating the same boring exercise routine over and over, you don't have to.

That's where Xtend Barre comes in.

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Basically, Xtend Barre is a hybrid class where Pilates meets ballet, and while it's a sweat-including workout, it's a lot of fun, and it's said to be great for achieving those Gigi Hadid-esque abs while creating lean and long muscles, minus the bulk.

So when I was offered a free trial to attend as many classes as I wanted over one week, I jumped at the chance.

Here's what I learned over one week of getting my sweat on.

1. You don't need to be ridiculously fit to participate.

Look, I'm not going to lie, I could definitely be way more dedicated when it comes to exercise. In fact, my usual daily dose basically just means walking my three giant dogs each day, coupled with the odd yoga class (which I haven't even done in months).

So if you're worried about not being fit enough to take the leap into your local Barre class, then don't fear -- the instructors were great with catering to each person's fitness levels, not to mention they were super helpful and patient with someone as uncoordinated as myself.

Each exercise has different versions, too, ranging from the 'easier' movements for us beginners, up to more advanced positions for more experienced participants -- the Gigis among us.

2. You can fit it into your lunch break. 

Seeing as it was easiest for me to stop by before working the afternoon shift, I opted for Xtend Barre Xpress -- which is a jam-packed 45-minute version of the class that still allows you to get that full-body workout on your lunch break. While the original format is a low-impact workout, the Xpress class had me breaking more of a sweat in less time -- but I honestly felt great afterwards!

If you REALLY want to get your heart pumping, there's also Xtend Sweat, which is a 25-min high-intensity version of the OG class.

Also, depending on which studio you head to, they've also got a bunch of other classes -- think  Xtend Fitball, Xtend Stick, Xtend Pilates, Xtend Suspend, Xtend Babies On Board and Xtend Stretch -- you get the idea...

And to make it all easier, Xtend actually has an app in which you can register for classes.

3. The workout targeted muscles I didn't even know I had

Given that each workout has a huge variety of different exercises, I found myself hurting the next few days in places I didn't even know could hurt (in a good way, of course).

The class is a mix of cardio and resistance work -- it really does help you feel a lot stronger compared to workouts that simply target one area.

4. Most importantly, it's fun!

Because I was enjoying myself, I found myself pushing my body further than what I would usually. If you struggle with pushing yourself in gym sessions on your own, I definitely recommend trying it out.  I'll definitely be dragging my lazy butt back ASAP!

There are now over 22 Xtend Barre studios across Australia, so you can try this celebrity fave workout for yourself -- they'll even let you try the first class free!

Image: Provided