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Avant Barre Will Get You Lean in Time for the Holidays

Photo via <a href="http://avant-barre.com">Avant Barre</a>
Photo via Avant Barre

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The barre workout craze has steadily faded in terms of the buzz that surrounded it circa 2009. The various versions of these routines are sufficient for maintaining already lean, dancer-like bodies, but not enough for complete transformations. Enter Avant Barre, a tweaked barre routine, created by dancer Char "Nini" Gueco, that includes a heavy dose of cardio and core-strengthening exercises. Consistent doses of Avant Barre classes (Gueco recommends three per week) will lean out the body and slim the waist without the dreaded plateaus of its barre routine predecessors. In need of some leaning out myself ahead of the holidays, I checked out a class to see if this workout would deliver results.

Classes are held inside the Metronome Dance Collective (a block from Potrero's Whole Foods), on the second floor. Most participants choose to wear socks (or go barefoot) so leave the athletic shoes at home. The routines are always different so there's no need to worry about not knowing a routine while the rest of the class performs by rote. Instead, look to Gueco (or one of her two other instructors) for cues. She also makes the rounds to correct form.

After my first class, I discovered small muscles I'd never felt before—especially in my core. I immediately felt tighter and stronger but without the soreness that limits physical activity for days (thanks to the ample stretching throughout the class). I even started incorporating the new "crunch" position I learned in class into my everyday, home stretching. Feeling leaner and stronger (whew! those push-ups are tough), I trust that this is the workout that will have me bikini-ready in a month.
· Avant Barre [Official Site]
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Avant Barre

1830 17th St San Francisco, CA 94103