The Concept: A ballet-Pilates hybrid sounds like a graceful way to spend an hour. As the name hints however, Barrecore is a bit more hardcore than some gentle pirouetting-cum-planking. Think single leg squats, on your tippy toes, while balancing a small squidgy ball between your ankle and glues, and possibly bicep curling a 1lb hand-weight. Tiny concentrated pulses and isometric holds get right into those seemingly un-toneable areas like the inner thigh, glutes and lower abs. Your body will shake like you never thought possible as you flow from one move to the other, stretching between sets to ensure long, lean muscles with no bulking. This kind of workout is the perfect compliment to more dynamic exercises (running, Psycle, Zuu, etc.) as it uses the smaller muscle fibres that are often neglected. The results? Think Natalie Portman in Black Swan.
With two slick studios one in Chelsea, one in Mayfair there are a range of class options from barrecoreBasics to barrecoreAdvanced, barreDance and barreCardio, alongside a 30-minute barreExpress class. The washroom is superbly stocked with bobbles, dry shampoo, combs and hair straighteners, meaning you can nip in for a class between meetings or before a dinner date and emerge perfectly groomed with no tell-tale sigs of your gruelling workout. The large barreBazaar is packed with healthy snacks and fitness products.
What You Need: You can do it in your regular socks but the Barrecore grippy socks (sold at the studio) do give you more confidence when going for those trickier positions.
Difficulty Rating: The class can be tailored to total newbies, but Pilates-fanatics and those who spent their childhood in pointe shoes will not be disappointed by the authentic barre moves and core crunching positions.
Location: Studios in Mayfair and Chelsea.
Cost: There are a variety of membership packages ranging from a single class at £28, through to monthly and yearly memberships at £250 and £2,900 respectively. There are bulk class packages and newcomer special offers available too.