Runners are a dedicated bunch. I would know, I used to run a lot. I loved all the calories I burned and I felt so strong from all that cardio work. But I found out the hard way that I had a lot of muscle imbalances and I wasn't really all that strong.
Many runners only run, but that's not the best course of action. In fact, Runner's World magazine recently named barre class as one of its "Top 10 Fitness Classes for Runners." Runners often have weaknesses in the muscles that stabilize hips and lower-body joints, and barre class is perfect for strengthening those muscles and preventing injury.
Still, if you love to run, it can be hard to make the time for another form of exercise. But then an injury occurs. Or cold weather hits and you're absolutely dreading the boredom of the treadmill. Here are a couple stories from Sphericality members who can attest to the benefits – and effectiveness – of barre classes.
Linda started running regularly about 30 years ago. She ran through all her pregnancies and that was the only form of exercise she did. Recently, Linda injured her achilles tendon. Combine that with a move from California to New Jersey, and she was on the lookout for a new way to exercise.
"I happened upon Sphericality via Groupon," says Linda. "I have loved it as a new way to work out while I heal my achilles. I feel like I can keep toned and strong along with my lighter running regime. I go to class five days a week and I love all the times offered. My favorite class is the Mixed Level Barre with Rachel. After one hour I have burned out all the major muscle areas. It makes me feel like I have really done something. I think after I fully heal from my injury, I will resume to [running] regular higher mileage, but I will continue to attend class at Sphericality, too. It makes me a better runner!"
Ida was an avid runner until developing a bilateral pubic stress fracture following the 2016 Boston Marathon.
"My running stopped immediately," says Ida. "When I was ready to do light activity, it was recommended that I give Sphericality a try."
"My favorite classes are sphere barre, TRX, boot camp and burst classes - I have never tried a class I didn't really enjoy," Ida says. "There is such a variety, and they challenge me in many different ways. I love that you are able to push yourself and to go at your own pace in any of the classes. I try to take four to five classes per week and I know that I have gotten stronger as a result."
"I thought Sphericality would be a temporary thing for me and as soon as I was well enough to run, I would go back to just running," says Ida. "I am now looking forward to combining Sphericality with my running. It's something I know I will continue for a very long time!"
While Linda & Ida came to Sphericality after injuries prevented them from running, I am a runner that was looking for something more. I did suffer a minor injury, but I knew my core and my balance were not what they should be and I wanted a different kind of workout. I also quickly found that I preferred the community at Sphericality over the solitude of running (though I still enjoy that solitude now and then.) No matter what brings you to Sphericality, you will no doubt find a fitness solution – and a home of supportive women – that you will love.
– Shannon Entin is a Sphericality member and freelance writer covering travel, adventure, and fitness.