After a less-than-fantastic barre class and review about a month ago, I made it my personal mission to find a barre studio that I could truly recommend. I think barre is a fantastic, low-impact workout for all fitness levels. After taking my first Flywheel class and falling in love with the studio, I thought FlyBarre might have as good a chance as any to impress me. I took classes with Amanda Vortmann and Shay Kostabi to start, but I kept checking the schedule for Kara Liotta’s class. Kara often teaches early in the morning or during the workday, so I put off taking her class for a week or two. Finally, I decided to wake up at 5:15am last week to take a 6:00am class with Kara. I’m the furthest thing from a morning person, but it was worth it.
The first thing you’ll notice when looking at the picture below is that Kara is beautiful. Remember reading about the Racked Hottest Trainer in New York, Emily Cook Harris? Kara won the Racked title in 2012. Not only does Kara have great hair and a killer figure, but she’s beyond qualified to teach an excellent barre class. After dancing professionally in Central America, Canada, and the US, Kara moved to New York. She received her 200-hour yoga certification and began to teach, until she took her first FlyBarre class. She was asked to become a FlyBarre instructor on the spot, then quickly became a Master Instructor and Director of Training for the program. See? I woke up before the sun to sweat with the best.
Image via Racked
What Others Said
“Another reason Kara rocks: I like to see instructors sweat and WORK with the class, but at the same time NOT zone out like it’s their own little workout…Kara has mastered that.” – Shweddy
“Her whole class basically ended up being Flybarre on crack. She seems on top of new barre exercises and throws a lot of hard things at you.” – isbutteracarb
What I Thought
As with the first two FlyBarre classes I took, Kara walked up to me before class to introduce herself and ask about injuries. This was only the first of many times she addressed me by name during the workout. I’ve said before that being corrected or encouraged by name is key for me. The class starts with a quick series of planks, lunges, and arm exercises without weights to get warmed up. Kara completes almost all exercises with the class, yet it doesn’t throw off her cueing. She also takes the time to walk around and correct form. How is she in two places at once?! Following the warmup, a FlyBarre class is broken into segments to focus on different muscle groups. In the first half of the class, these sections include a reverse chair combination with a small ball, and a Dynamic Arms combination with light weights. One thing I really like about FlyBarre is that there are “breaks” for stretching inserted at key times throughout the workout.
Image via Wilhelmina Models
The second half of the workout includes sections focused on abs, glutes, and inner thighs. For the glutes and inner thighs section, Kara had us use resistance bands and lie to the side to perform tiny leg movements at different angles. It was one of those exercises that seems harmless until you discover that your leg is on fire after 15 seconds. Many of the exercises Kara included in her class were like this. The movements were tiny and body placement was strategic to work all of those muscles you didn’t know you had. Her barre class is far more athletic and challenging than others that I’ve taken. If you’re someone who thinks that barre isn’t hardcore enough for you, I encourage you to try FlyBarre, especially with Kara. She’ll prove otherwise if you’re lucky enough to get into one of her packed classes.
Locations: FlyBarre is offered in eight cities
Price Per Class: $32 per class in NYC
NOTE: Flywheel allowed me to visit for a free FlyBarre class, but I was in no way compensated to review it on my blog. These are honest opinions.