11:53 am

Why All the Pulses!?

Blog - BBS Basics_copy

You’re sitting in chair pose at the barre, shaking like a leaf and your instructor shouts “one last set of pulses” and you can’t help but think “why all the pulses?!”. It’s not some twisted form of barre torture being performed by your favourite barre tender, we promise. There is a reason for all the pulses! Let us explain.

What is a Pulse?

A pulse is a small movement that is less than an inch in either direction. This type of movement is called an isometric movement. Isometric movements occur when a muscle tenses without changing its length, almost like a small contraction. This contraction is then followed by the release of the muscle, resulting in a small one-inch movement back into the original position. An isometric movement is the opposite of concentric and eccentric movements. These occur when a muscle stretches then shortens - think bicep curls or plies. At BBS we use a combination of both. After several sets of pulses, you feel that deep burn in your muscles and you may have a case of the shakes – your muscles are at the point of exhaustion. This is where the concentric and eccentric movements come in. The pulses are often followed by a set of singles (full plies, squats, lunges etc), which help flush out the lactic acid that built up during the isometric movements.

Why all the Pulses?

So, now that you know what exactly a pulse is we can tell you why we use all those pulses. Put simply, an isometric movement helps maintain muscle strength. It strengthens muscles without adding bulk. Isometric exercises target specific muscles that are often not targeted in other types of exercise, as well they work multiple muscle groups at once. There is less strain on ligaments and tendons during isometric movements, preventing injuries more common in traditional strength training. A benefit of isometric exercises is that you can hold a position while continuously engaging your muscle. The pulse acts like a mini-recovery allowing you to hold positions for longer and perform a higher number of sets, increasing both strength and endurance.


To sum it all up, we know that a pulse is an isometric movement and isometric movements are small movements that tense muscles without changing their length. This targets specific muscle groups which builds strength without adding bulk and increases endurance.

XO

BBS Team

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5:40 pm

Barre Bridge

Blog - Technique Tips

BBS Barre Tender, Jaimie, is here to show you how to get into one of the most popular glute exercises on the floor, the barre bridge. 



There are many different variations or modifications to a barre bridge. Extra add-ons, such as, adding a ball or a band or alternate feet positions, like second or relevé make this exercise even more challenging and help to target additional muscle groups, such as, inner and outer thighs and hamstrings.

Which move would you love to see featured in a Technique Tips vlog? Send us a DM on social or email us to let us know!

XO
BBS Team

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7:30 pm

That Deep Burn, Explained

Blog - BBS Basics

What is lactic acid and why do we talk about it during barre class? These are great questions. Lactic acid sounds scientific and, we’ll admit it, a little bit scary. We’re here to explain the basics of lactic acid, the what, why and how!

What is Lactic Acid?

Lactic acid is a substance that builds up in your muscles during strenuous exercise.

The How & Why

Let’s start simple. As we work out, we start to breathe faster as our bodies send more oxygen to our working muscles. Typically, our bodies generate energy using aerobic methods, meaning with oxygen. However, there are some circumstances where our bodies can’t keep up with this delivery of oxygen … think escaping the zombie apocalypse or that last set of pulses at the barre. In these situations, our working muscles produce energy anaerobically, or without oxygen.

Where does this energy come from when there’s no oxygen? It comes from glucose being broken down in our body into a substance called pyruvate. When oxygen is limited, our bodies temporarily convert pyruvate into lactic acid, breaking down the glucose and allowing energy production to continue.

Our working muscles can continue producing energy anaerobically for one to three minutes while lactic acid starts accumulating in our muscles. This is characterized by that intense burning sensation in our muscles that we all love to hate. In other words, we are working our muscles to the point of exhaustion and lactic acid builds up as a natural defense against muscle overexertion. Once we slow our body down or “flush it out” with a final set of “singles”, oxygen becomes available and lactic acid reverts back to pyruvate, allowing our muscles to recover from the strenuous event.

Why do we take you to that point of muscle exhaustion in barre class? Because that’s where change happens. This is where YOU make magic happen! We reach that burn, the peak of the lactic acid build-up and then keep you there for one to three minutes. That’s one to three minutes of pure magic. Right before your muscles are over exerted we get you moving again so blood flows through the muscles, allowing them to recover.

That’s what is happening when you experience that deep barre burn and why our barre tenders always push you to finish that ONE. LAST. SET. We know it’s hard, we know sometimes it’s easier to stop when we feel that burn, but we want you to stay safe and get rid of that burn the right way. And there’s no better way than one last set. ;)

XO
BBS Team

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