#ELLEFit Review: XTend Barre

Where ballet meets Pilates and abs happen

The concept: Combining elements of ballet, dance and Pilates, Xtend Barre's signature class focuses on strengthening and lengthening muscles whilst honing in on toning key areas like core, glutes, legs and arms. 

This is a full-body workout so expect to sweat, but not bucket loads. Although cardio is involved, much of the class involves floor work using equipment such as resistance bands, Pilates balls, yoga straps and hand weights. 

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Aside from their signature Xtend Barre, which we tested for #ELLEFit, they have an assortment of other classes on offer. Runners would do well to try Xtend Stride, whilst new mums could give the Xtend Barre Babies On Board a go. Getting married soon? They have a dedicated bridal package, featuring unlimited monthly classes alongside a private bridal party class (hen-do attire optional) in the run up to your wedding. 

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Oh, and don't miss the bathroom and changing area, which has mega-sized Aesop products and freshly cut flowers. Fancy. 

The results: If you commit to attending a few classes a week, expect newfound abs, a firmer bum and thighs and all-round tighter muscles. After just a few classes we also noticed a unexpected improvement in our balance (that's the ballet coming into play).

What you need: Any workout outfit you feel comfortable in, but many class-goers wear ballet inspired gear – we love Sweaty Betty's Barre selection. But don't worry, you won't look out of place in leggings, a low-impact sports bra and a regular t-shirt. The most important thing you need is grippy socks, which you can buy in the studio for £12. 

Difficulty rating: A basic level of coordination will help you with the ballet section of the class, but other than that it's open to all levels of fitness. 

Location: 49 Marylebone High St, London, W1U 5HN

Cost: Single class, £25. 10 class pack, £230. VIX Unlimited monthly membership, £199 a month. 

Alternatively, take up one of their offers for first timers: 2 weeks unlimited classes for £49. Or, for September only, one month of unlimited classes for £229 as part of their  '30 Day Challenge', which encourages you to take 20 classes over 30 days.  

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