Updated: Jun 14
Summer officially begins for 2022 on Tuesday, June, 21st and fitness coaches and programs everywhere are hammering on their “get ready for bikini season” programs. But the truth is many women are just not incentivized toward health simply to look good in a bikini. When diet culture reasoning is not motivating you, we have a solution for you that will set you up for success: it comes down to identifying your own personal reason(s) for wellness— meaningful reasons to motivate you to show up and do the work.
This is known as identifying your “why.” A good “why” statement will ground you in a passion for wellness. It will carry enough emotional attachment to facilitate lasting change because it will be bigger than your excuses “not to.”
My experience as a health coach has shown me that it is rare when a woman doesn’t know what she needs to do to improve their health, which makes sense since we have more tools, knowledge, and resources regarding weight loss and wellness than ever before. And yet so many women are struggling because the hardest part is sticking to what we know we need to do. By digging a little deeper to find a driving force (or two) that will get you to your workouts, your momentum will shift, and consistency will follow more easily.
For example, my own “why” revolves around wanting to excel at my favorite sports, and with my terrible sweet tooth, it helps to remind myself that sugar and processed foods create inflammation which hinders my performance (junk food = junk energy). I am also motivated simply by wanting to be the best wife and friend I can be. Since I know that endorphins help me in my mission to stay positive for my family and friends, I find it easier to follow through with my workouts when I focus on my “why.” Other powerful “why” statements include increasing energy, injury prevention, stress reduction, or simply being able to play with your kids or grandchildren.
Once you have honed in your own powerful & meaningful “why” statement, you will be drawn to workouts that will challenge you and lead to incredible breakthroughs. So, I am including a sample workout from the Vertical Barre class at Levitation Nation Aerial Studio in Kalispell, Montana. Vertical Barre is a modern spin on a traditional barre class that will help you gain strength, flexibility, and endurance. Vertical Barre is an addictive fitness program suitable for anyone and everyone interested in search of their best and most empowered self. We call it “Vertical” because we use our dance poles for balance instead of a traditional horizontal ballet barre, but you can do barre-inspired workouts at home using a chair or table for balance. If it’s been a while since you felt like your best self, now is the perfect time to find your “why” and reclaim your power; and that will be the most meaningful way to head into summer.
Vertical Barre Workout – Lower Body Focus
Instructor / Model: Reegan G.
Photos by: Mariah Gladstone Photography
· Barre, table, or chair for balance.
· A ball or rolled towel and 1-3 pound dumbbells.
Time Needed: Approximately 20 minutes
Plié Superset: Start standing in second position (second position is a ballet term where the dancer is standing with the feet turned out and about 12 inches apart)
To perform a plié, simply bend the knees keeping them pressed out and your back straight and letting your hands reach towards the floor. As you straighten through the knees, laterally lift your arms out to the side and continue until your hands raise overhead. Repeat 16 times.
Plié to relevé (x16)
Relevé is a ballet term for lifting up onto your toes. To perform this exercise, plié as outlined in the first exercise, but this time, relevé at the top of the position. Repeat 16 times.
Plié static hold with alternating relevé (x16)
Hold at the bottom of the plie (where knees are bent) and perform relevé on the left foot, hold for a second, bring your foot back to the ground, and relevé the right foot for one second. Continue alternating between left and right foot, repeating 16 times on each side.
Plié pulse in relevé (x16)
At the bottom of the plié, bring both feet into relevé and hold, lift and lower your torso about one inch to generate the “pulse.” Repeat 16 times.
Dynamic Pliés (x16)
Perform plié as outlined above. When at the top of plié, step one foot to the other. With heels together and toes turned out (this is known as first position), bend knees into a diamond plié, then return to straight legs. Step back out into plié and then repeat on the other side. Continue to alternate, performing 16 times in each direction
Repeat entire superset.
Adductor (inner thighs) Superset: With ball or rolled towel; stand with feet together, place the ball between thighs, relevé and hold, knees bent in a small squat.
Holding the initial position outlined above, lift then lower the torso about one inch to generate the “pulse.” Repeat 16 times.
Pulse with squeeze (x16)
Perform pulse as outlined above; at the bottom of the pulse, squeeze the ball. Repeat 16 times.
Hold and squeeze (x16)
Hold at the bottom of the pulse position and squeeze the ball 16 times.
Heel lift (x16)
Standing with straight legs, relevé up onto the toes, then lower heels. Repeat 16 times.
Hold and squeeze with heel lift (x16)
Standing with straight legs in relevé, squeeze the ball 16 times.
Repeat entire superset.
As you can see, barre-style workouts are not just for dancers. They are for anyone and everyone looking to gain strength, flexibility, or endurance. For a full-body barre experience (which integrates the upper body and core along with the lower body), we encourage readers to look for a fitness studio near them. For women in Kalispell, Montana, we would love to have you join us at the Levitation Nation Aerial Studio. Please visit www.levitationnation.org/vertical-barre for more information on vertical barre and other extraordinary movement classes.
Workout developed by Levitation Nation Senior Instructor Reegan Gaines. Reegan is a loving mother of three, sister, and friend. Reegan wants you to be able to experience for yourself what poleFit and barre has done for her. These incredible classes have helped her unlock movement possibilities within herself that she didn’t know existed and have been a huge part of designing a life she loves!