"How did she do it?"
That's the question you hear every time a Hollywood star appears on the red carpet debuting a newly toned, sleek physique. Since it is every celebrity's business to look fit and fabulous, they usually get the skinny on new fitness methods long before the general public. And if it's working for them, their fans want to know the secret and are fast to follow.
The hottest new weight loss secret sweeping Hollywood (and the world) is the ballet-inspired, 55-minute workout called Xtend Barre. Natalie Portman, Drew Barrymore & Ginnifer Goodwin are just a few of the celebs who have become devotees of the workout, which burns between 400-700 calories per session as it sculpts and tones elongated muscles.
“We are bringing out a woman’s hidden ballerina,” says founder and creator Andrea Rogers of Boca Raton, Fla. “But men are doing the program, too. Most of them are professional athletes, and they know what their bodies need.”
Xtend Barre is a fast-paced, full body workout targeting all major muscle groups. It uses a ballet barre to blend dance with Pilates, sculpting exercises and stretching. By using the sturdy ballet barre for concentrated movements that target small muscle groups, participants build a strong, dancer-like body – without unwanted bulk -- along with increasing stamina and flexibility. Resistance bands, weights, stretch bands and other props are used to keep the men and women strength training, stretching and burning calories.
Other barre-type workouts have been created over the years, usually aimed at a very specific, exclusive user group. But Rogers designed her workout for all body types, ages and both genders. Participants don't need any dance experience to benefit from the Xtend Barre workout. Nor do they have to be young and fit, or even particularly coordinated. The stability of the ballet barre gives people of all levels of fitness and skill the support and confidence to challenge themselves. It also allows those with knee pain, balance issues or other ailments to perform most of the workout.
“Women feel graceful doing the workout. They stand taller and look in the mirror at the barre to watch their bodies react to the workout. The clients never get bored.”
Lee Nelson spent 21 years as an award-winning reporter in Iowa, and now freelance writes for magazines and websites out of her home in Chicagoland.