11:21 pm

Back Pain Remedies

Blog - Guest Blogger

We are so excited to kick off our Guest Blogger Series with Dr. Karen Quinn. Dr. Quinn is an advocate for natural health and active living. As a Chiropractor, she believes health extends beyond how we feel and promotes a proactive approach to function, vitality and performance. She focuses on postural balance, family wellness, lifestyle optimization and neural health. Dr. Quinn practices in the SE community of Ramsay. Without further ado, please welcome Dr. Quinn to the BBS Blog!

In class you likely often hear the cue of finding “neutral pelvis”. You may have heard different suggestions on how to find this, but your personal anatomy, biomechanics and body awareness may make this harder to feel.  The reason why a neutral pelvic position is ideal, is due to the fact, that in neutral, general impact and your own body weight is dispersed more equally (less repetitive stress). How we do one activity is generally how we do all activities, so your practice whether it be Barre or something else, is a great glimpse into how you move (or don’t move) everyday.  Here are three positions that may create back pain, why it may occur and how to correct it as it relates to “neutral”.


1. Laying flat on the floor on your back with legs straight (think savasana!). If you feel low back pain in this posture, it could be because you have excess stress on the back portion of your spine (facets). When you are in this position, it typically will exaggerate your low back curve. If you already have excess curve here, this can be uncomfortable.

Remedy: Allow for a gentle bend in your knees, ideally with support so you can completely relax and not have to “hold” anything up. If you are in this position and doing any leg lifts, tucking your tail under slightly either with your hands framing your tailbone (palm down), or elevating your tail onto a slight elevation (while maintaining this tucked pelvis). When standing, be mindful that you aren’t collapsing into your low back. Strengthening into your lower abdomen will also help to balance your pelvis as it acts to pull up from the front like suspenders. Some may find that paying attention to the distance between their front lower ribs and the top of their pelvis can help with this awareness also.

2. Forward folds (standing or seated). Just as the previous example created strain on the back portion of your spine, bending forward puts weight on the front of your spine (the discs). This is increased further with limited hamstring flexibility as it will be harder for the pelvis to tip forward, thus more motion will be recruited in the spine.

Remedy: Moving mindfully and learning to isolate pelvic mobility will help. In the meantime, taking tension off the hamstrings by allowing for a slight knee bend (either seated, with or without a prop under the knees or standing) is recommended. To get a feel for the hinging motion you typically want at the hips, bring yourself to a seated position on a chair, and try to hinge forward bringing your belly button to your thighs. You should feel that your tailbone tips back behind you. If your tail doesn’t move and you are rounding through your back, you aren’t hinging. Note, there are times where rounding forward may be cued to help stretch through your lower back muscles. This under normal circumstances should be safe, unless you have known lumbar disc irritation.

3. Side bends! To understand why something isn’t moving properly, it is important to understand what proper function looks like. In the lumbar spine (low back), it has what is known as “coupled motion”, which means two motions occur at the same time. I point this out, because this adds more variables as to why certain movements may be challenging. For example, side bends in the low back in a properly functioning spine, will also have rotation in those same vertebrae (it bends and it turns). If the spine is unable to rotate, your ability to bend to that side will also be compromised.

Remedy: Ensure you aim for motion (both flexibility and strengthening) in all ranges in any given area. Forward, backward, both sides and rotation to both sides. You may also need to see your Chiropractor, Physio or Osteopath to help get “stuck” areas moving again. One of the other possibilities, is pain or restriction bending to one side due to a deeper muscular imbalance. There are many combinations of imbalance that can contribute to this, but one approach you can take is to stretch the opposite hip flexor (if difficult bending to right side, stretch left hip flexor). One last thing, is to be mindful of your mobility. Our body tends to “cheat” and where we don’t have motion, it will recruit up or down the chain. By being present and creating a proper foundation for movement, you will more easily feel where your body is masking dysfunction and can then take the steps to correct it.

A big thank you to Dr. Karen Quinn for sharing just a fraction of her wealth of knowledge with us and our community. We will definitely be keeping these three remedies in mind should we feel any pain in our back while at the barre. Connect with Dr. Quinn online or on Insta, with @dr.kq.

XO

BBS Team

Note: this article is not intended to replace a professional diagnosis or consultation. If you are experiencing pain, please consult your Chiropractor, Physiotherapist or other medical provider.

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11:05 am

Drink Up Babes!

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With summer finally making a reappearance here in YYC and the sun shining bright, we have some advice for you … HYDRATE. HYDRATE. HYDRATE! We're talking all things water and the effects it has on both your everyday life and barre practice. Water = good, common knowledge right? Right … but exactly how much water should you be drinking? When should I be drinking water? How does water affect my workout? These are the type of questions that we will be tackling on the blog today.

So first off, we think that it's safe to say that water is really really really important. It is sort of the Jack-of-all-Trades when it comes to your health and well-being. Drinking plenty of fluids will help fuel your body, circulate nutrients, flush out toxins, make your skin glow, prevent headaches, affect your mood, aid weight loss and keep everything functioning the way that it is supposed to.

A general rule of thumb regarding just how much water you should drink typically goes as follows: you should be drinking your body weight (in lbs), divided by two (in oz). SO… if you weigh 140lbs you should be drinking 70oz of water daily. This can also vary, depending on your age, gender, height, activity levels, etc. However, it is not entirely clear-cut for our barre stars and exercise fiends, because the more active you are, the more water you require to stay hydrated. If you are wondering just how much water your body will require during its workout it's important to consider intensity levels of the activity and your sweat output. Camelbak has created a fantastic calculator to recommend how much water you should be taking in to maximize performance in your workout. Check it out here!  

Next, we're going to talk about what is the best time to drink water to maximize its effectiveness. Studies often promote the benefits of drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up – this is said to help activate your internal organs and flush out toxins before your first meal of the day. It is also important to drink water before and after meals to help with digestion and proper nutrient absorption. It's beneficial to have a glass of water before bed, this will help replenish any of the water that you lose during your slumber. And of course, don’t forget to stay hydrated during your daily workout! Remember that there is no right or wrong way to drink water … as long as you are getting enough of it!

We know that reaching your daily hydration requirements is much easier said than done, you are certainly not alone. So to help you out, we have compiled a few tips and tricks to help sneak a bit more water into your daily consumption. Here they are:

  1. Fruits and veggies are water-rich foods – increase your intake of these bad boys and you are well on your way to optimal hydration!

  2. Get creative with your water – try different fruit infusions to spice things up. You can add oranges, lemons, mint, watermelon, strawberries, cucumbers, ANYTHING!

  3. Keep a water bottle with you at. all. times! Make it a habit to carry your water with you. If it's within reaching distance, then you are far more likely to drink throughout the day. 

  4. If you are tech savvy, there are actually water tracking apps that will hold you accountable to getting your daily servings. Some even have alarms that you can set, if you need the reminder. 

  5. If you’re out for a night on the town, stick to a one-to-one rule when drinking alcohol. For every vodka cran, follow it up with a glass of water (you'll thank us in the morning). ;)

  6. Invest in a marked water bottle so that you can track exactly how much water you are taking in. 

  7. Hot water with lemon is truly a girl’s best friend! Start your day off with a cup to kick start digestion, balance pH levels and hydrate the lymph system. 

We hope you found these tips and tricks helpful. Get it in ya BBS!

XO
Barre Body Studio – Calgary

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11:20 am

Mommy & Me Summer Drop-In

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BBS' Mommy & Me program has become a staple in our class offerings following our first, sold-out session that was offered in the Fall of 2014. Since our inaugural session, demand for this program has grown exponentially and, to date, BBS Calgary has held 16 Mommy & Me programs, hosting 230 new momma's and their babies...can you even imagine the cuteness!?

Our instructors help you focus on the target areas that we, as new moms, want to tone and firm up. Our experienced team assists you to modify the exercises for participants who have experienced Diastasis Recti (Ab Muscle Separation) and bruised, dislocated, or even fractured coccyx (tailbone) to ensure you are working within your physical restrictions while still receiving the benefits of a BBS workout.

As we head into the summer months, we know how important fitness has been for many of the new momma's who have joined in our program and, we want to encourage continued use of your class passes during the times of the year when your schedules are the most unpredictable. With the warmer weather comes callings to hit the beach, take the family on a daytrip to the Zoo or perhaps to enjoy an adult-only patio fiesta - cheers!

Starting June 7th, we will be offering drop-in Mommy & Me classes each week, all summer long. Join us at Ramsay on Tuesdays from 10:45-11:35am or at Bow Trail Wednesdays from 1:15-2:05pm. All class passes are welcome; that includes all class cards and Monthly Memberships. Single class drop in rates apply. You will be able to sign up each week, one week in advance, online. Want to commit to the full summer program? You can! Pick your studio, pick your day and email us at calgary@barrebodystudio.com to register for the 14 class program. Pre-register before June 5th for only $195 ($14/class). Register after June 5th for $225 ($16/class).

Not sure if Mommy & Me Barre is the right program for you and your little one? Hear what some of our past and present mom's are saying:

"Every morning before class, I wake up after a long, sometimes sleepless night thinking "not today"; but then I realize that staying home would mean missing out on the best part of my week."

"Barre was an absolute lifeline for me in the early months. I wanted to get into activities that would be social and physical to help minimize the possibility of post-partum depression. I didn't have any high risk factors, I just knew motherhood would be a big change from my previous life (which I loved!) so I wanted to help ease the transition. The women I met are amazing and the exercises targeted areas I didn't even realise needed attention (it's hard to take stock personally when you are caring for a little!)."

"I love seeing new moms come into the class, nervous and sometimes only a few weeks post partum...then killing it and leaving with a new found confidence and even a few new friends."

One of the big questions we get is, "What should I expect?", here's what a few barre mamas had to share:

"Motivating instructor, caring staff, a community of other women facing similar struggles, exercises that target specific areas that may be overlooked in a regular class, many laughs and lots of cute babies!"

"A super supportive and fun environment of other moms who feel your pain. Life with a baby is not easy and finding time to exercise can be even harder. You'll probably be late to class at least once...or always; your baby will probably begin to cry, barf, or poop right when we start your favourite exercise; and when you hear your instructor say "that burn is real" you'll think you couldn't possibly do one more set of 8; but you can and you will. Then you'll leave class feeling like a boss...a bad-ass mom boss."

"Aside from the obvious family obligation (just jokes)... I wanted to get back in shape while spending actual time with my baby (not with her in a stroller, at daycare, or just laying beside me on a mat)."

New moms, we get you and we want you to know that you are doing an amazing job. 'Adulting' is hard work, but being a new mom is even harder and sometimes, less rewarding. So, in case no one has told you lately, YOU are important. You are providing for your little one; this is the real-and-raw deal, motherhood isn't always Instagram pretty - we see YOU. You are hustling. You are doing this. You are KILLING IT at being an adult - a full-time parenting adult. YOU ARE IMPORTANT. We wish you a full night sleep (nursing chair counts - sort of), the ability to enjoy a hot cup of coffee or tea and, an uninterrupted shower.

Ready to meet us at the barre?!

XO
Barre Body Studio – Calgary

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12:02 pm

BBS Beats

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Power hour at the barre is always best accompanied by some killer beats. There is nothing better than a little Beyoncé motivating you to push through your final set of pulses. Luckily for us, not only do your barre tenders serve up a badass barre workout, they also happen to be some of the finest DJs in YYC (well, we’d like to think so anyways).


If you've ever heard a song in class and automatically fell in love, then this barre beats is dedicated to you! This week we are sharing our favourite workout anthems - the beats that you can find us dropping before, during or after class! It is no question that the BBS barre tenders are all unique and their playlists certainly follow suit. So, from hip-hop to house to 90’s pop, we have something for everyone! Check out our favourite barre beats below:

Cake by the Ocean - DNCE  
How Deep is Your Love - Calvin Harris 
Faded – Alan Walker
Juicy Wiggle – Red Foo
Clap Snap - Icona Pop
Formation – Beyoncé
Smoke Filled Room – Mako
Your Love is My Drug – Ke$ha (Dave Aude Club mix)
+1 - Martin Solveign  
Show me love (safari radio) - Mobin Master 
Secrets – Tiesto 
We Run the Night - Havana Brown 
6th Gear (feat. Kstylis)- Obscence & Big Syphe Remix 
Rumpshaker- Kid Ink 
Donk- Soulja Boy 
Turn Down for What- Lil Jon 
Party Up - DMX 
Get Your Freak On- Missy Elliott 
Run the World - Beyoncé  
10 Bands - Drake  
Who Gon Stop Me - Drake ft. Jay Z 
Hands to Myself - Selena Gomez  
Juicy - Notorious B. I. G.

We want to hear from you! What songs get you in the mood to sweat? Share with us on social media – Facebook, Twitter or Insta. You might even hear your workout anthem make an appearance in your next barre class!

XO
Barre Body Studio – Calgary

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4:22 pm

Prenatal barre at Barre Body Studio

BlairMariePhotographyforOilGrain-BarreBody07 Barre Body Studio Instructor - Mackenzie Photo: Blaire Marie Photography

You’re pregnant - Congratulations!!!  Barre is a great way to stay in shape during pregnancy as well as the perfect exercise to prepare for a successful delivery and postpartum recovery.

Common questions that we receive at Barre Body Studio are - where do I start and how do I modify to keep both baby and me safe yet strong?  Read on for a few tips from our resident barre star instructors and then join us at an upcoming prenatal workshop to learn more about modifications that you can apply in every Barre Body Studio class.

Many changes take place during pregnancy. The lumbar curve tends to become more exaggerated, the abs become more stretched and offer less support for the spine, and the shoulders and upper back often carry pain due to increases in chest size.  Increases in body weight will also have an effect on joints such as hips and knees during weight barring exercises and breathing can become shallower as there is less room for expansion of the diaphragm leading to quicker fatigue.  Even though you are feeling slightly (or considerably) uncomfortable you are smart enough to know that movement will help you stay calm, release tension and keep you feeling refreshed.

Here are the three reasons we are pulsing our way through prenatal.

Staying Strong - It is important to avoid most high-impact and high-intensity workouts while pregnant however maintaining your strength is one of the most important things to think about during the next nine months. Maintaining or building strength in your glute muscles is one of the best things you can do to help your changing body. As your posture changes and your weight shifts forward, strong glutes will help reduce instability and pain through your hips. Strong glutes will also assist in strengthening and gaining control of your pelvic floor. Barre incorporates many back-body strengthening exercises, perfect for all of you moms-to-be. Each plie, squat and pulse is helping you build the tone through your glutes and pelvic muscles, helping you stay strong all nine-months long. The second important muscle group to consider focusing on during pregnancy is your arms. The low weight, high repetition work we do in class is the perfect form of exercise to build and maintain lean biceps, triceps and shoulder muscles, which will come in handy once you’ve got a little one in tow.

Build Your Stamina - Those endless pulses and challenging cardio blasts are the perfect practice in building a strong mind-body connection. Working through the discomfort of that fourth set strengthens your ability to relax and breath in moments of difficulty. As your pregnancy progresses, there will be moments where this skill will absolutely come in handy and will help you overcome discomfort.

Safety is Key - Each barre class is structured to offer low impact options for each and every exercise performed. Thanks to this approach, all barre classes are safe to participate in throughout pregnancy once you’ve received the all clear from your doctor. Simply modifications will allow to you continue to participate in such a fun group class while supporting you and your changing body. While pregnant you may experience all, none or some of these symptoms/situations that we have discussed. Speaking to your healthcare practitioner is recommended if you are feeling discomfort of any kind. Everyone is different and each pregnancy is unique. It is important to exercise within your own limits, take breaks, stay hydrated and work at a slower pace during pregnancy. Now is the time to embrace change and experience a different type of self-care.

Mackenzie (photo above) – Barre Body Studio Instructor and Mom-to-be shares a few of her prenatal pointers.

I have been focusing primarily on exercises that only gently work my transverse abdominals and am now practically pain free! Avoiding plank was a big learning lesson for me. Instead I opt for side plank which helps to reduce any added abdominal pressure on the core muscles and therefore I avoid contributing to rectus diastasis.

The second interesting thing I learned was to avoid tucking my pelvis during 1st/2nd type exercises. I’ve learned that it increases the inter-abdominal pressure and neutral spine is a better choice during pregnancy. Putting this advice into practice has proven to be an effective modification for me during pregnancy.

(To hear more from Mackenzie, check out her interview with Oil & Grain. She talks about her prenatal barre experiences and dishes on her fav pregger wardrobe styles.)

Marlo (photo below) - Barre Body Studio creator, instructor and mother of three suggests the following:

One of the best pieces of advice that I received during my first pregnancy was to pull back, not push myself, and enjoy a gentle approach to fitness. The most important modification for me was to slow down during the cardio segment in classes. Remove any pressure to keep up with the group. Just making it to the studio and being involved in fitness is the utmost important at this stage – there are many years ahead to keep up with the pack. While doing cardio apply the talk test – if you cannot comfortably talk during cardio you need to pull back.

During my second & third trimester I focused on working slower and lower in all segments of class. Applying a “slower and lower” motto to my classes kept me feeling great throughout. The focus and concentration that is required in order to move with body control will help you immensely both inside and outside of the delivery room.

Marlo-preggo-1080x720 Barre Body Studio Instructor - Marlo Photo: Jenelle McKinney

Prenatal Barre Workshop Oct 24th from 12:30 to 2pm Barre Body Ramsay – Calgary

  • Spend 60mins learning modifications that can be applied to all BBS classes

  • Enjoy a fun 30-minute workout where you will apply all the essential exercises for a healthy pregnancy.

  • Q&A with Vanessa

BOOK NOW

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12:08 pm

Meal Challenge with food. fitness. function.

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Are you ready to look and feel your best this Holiday Season? Jumpstart your weight loss, improve your muscle tone, decrease your stomach bloating and increase your strength by challenging your fitness and eating a clean diet for the month of November!

You may have already committed to completing 20 barre classes in 30 days, so why not challenge yourself even further by committing to a month of healthy, delicious, clean meals? Combining your increased physical activity with a healthy diet can better help you reach your fitness and weight loss goals.

Challenge your eating by removing those processed foods that contain sugar, gluten, and dairy. Replacing the fast food and highly processed food with natural fruits, vegetables, lean animal proteins, beans, seeds, nuts and limited whole grains will have you feeling and looking your best!

This meal plan includes easy step by step formulas for each meal that allows you to choose what foods you like best from a list. To keep some variety in your diet there are two meal formulas for each meal. For breakfast you can enjoy a delicious smoothie or a whole grain oatmeal blend. Eat your lunch hot or cold by having a warming homemade soup or big refreshing salad. Dinner allows you to be creative and gives you plenty of foods that you can either sauté for a quick meal or bake in the oven. All the meals are customizable so you can make any meal vegetarian or vegan.

$50

    What’s included:
  • 6 recipes for each breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • 5 cheat meals are permitted so you can enjoy your Holiday parties
  • Snacking options and guidelines
  • Plenty of information on water requirements and herbal tea suggestions to help improve digestion
  • No-No foods list
  • Calendar to track your barre classes, cheat meals and meal guidelines
  • Free nutrition seminar November 15th to further discuss program and answer questions
  • Continued support throughout month

Please join Elissa November 15th at 12:30 PM to understand what foods we should be eating to help us reduce our bloating and feel our best. The meal plan will be discussed in great detail so please come with questions.

Sign up now for the meal plan so you can start your clean eating day 1 of the challenge!

Please email elissa@foodfitnessfunction.com to pay for meal plan
Elissa, BSc, PTS, CHC


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7:00 am

Form Friday: Plank

Plank is an isometric exercise that revs up your heart rate and tones your entire body. In plank, you are actively using your core, chest, back, shoulders, glutes and thighs to stabilize the position. Plank proves that even in stillness, you can get the heart rate lifted and strengthen your entire body!

Here’s how it’s done. Start from a kneeling position; place your hands on the floor shoulder-width apart, with your shoulders stacked over your wrists. Step your feet back and straighten your legs so that your body forms a straight line from your head to your heels. Engage your core by tilting your pelvis and pulling your belly button toward your spine. Keep your abdominal muscles engaged and your glutes tight. These are the two major muscle groups you’ll be working in this exercise. The challenge is to actively use your core to keep your hips in line with your shoulders. Draw your shoulder blades down your back and keep your neck and spine neutral. Imagine that you’re a plank of wood. This requires a lot of concentration to maintain proper form, so now is the time to start bringing your body and mind together.


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10:25 pm

Mommy & Me Barre Class

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Mommy & Me is a post-natal barre class designed to give new moms a dynamic barre workout with their babies safely nestled into their own carriers.

Our second session will start Wednesday, November 5th and run each Wednesday until December 7th. This 6-week pre-registered class will not only offer you a fantastic workout but an activity you and your new baby can enjoy together! Classes will be held each Wednesday from 10:50am to 11:40am; and don’t fret if your little one fusses or cries during classes, it will likely happen to all of us!

Pre-registration before October 19th, 2014: $114 

Registration cost after October 19th, 2014: $124

Babies must be under 7 months old and not crawling. For everyone’s safety, your baby must be in a wrap/body carrier while you are enjoying the class, or on the mat for the floor series. Carriers are not provided.

Meet you at the barre, momma.


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11:12 am

Form Friday: Bridge

When you think of a bridge, you likely picture iconic structures from around the world with a strong base and a supported center. Take that idea of a solid form and use it to create your own bridge—with your body.

Start lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the mat. Your knees should be stacked over your ankles and in line with your feet. Lengthen the arms and press the palms of the hands into the mat. Both shoulder blades should be pressing into the mat with the chest open. This creates a great stretch across your chest and shoulders. Engage your core, pulling the belly button to the spine with the tailbone slightly tucked. Press down through your heels to feel your hamstrings engage and squeeze your glutes as you lift your hips off the ground. Your body should form a line from the knees all the way down to the shoulders. Bridge targets your core, low back, glutes and hamstrings. Some variations of bridge also target your quadriceps and inner thighs.

Once you have mastered this position, you can go into many different versions of bridge. Knowing this basic setup will help you build a strong foundation and allow you to get deeper into your practice.

Let’s review...

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6:53 pm

Tween Barre

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What you want matters to us at BBS!

By popular request, we are excited to announce the launch of our first Tween barre class!!

Tween barre is class tailored for you mom's/dad's out there to enjoy with your tweens, aged 9 to 12 years old. The class format is based on a variation of our BBS original Barre Body Fit class which is suitable for all fitness levels and abilities. Each class incorporates elements of strength training, body awareness/posture, cardio, and flexibility. This is a six week program running September 21 to October 25, 2014.

Don't worry, dance experience is not required.

Tween Barre

Cost: $210 (one tween and one parent)
September 21 to October 25, 2014
Additional Tween: $90

sign up >


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