VIDA Instructor Profile: Colleen Palomaa
How long have you been teaching Barre?
I’ve been teaching group fitness for 7 years, but I didn’t come around to Barre until early 2013. It’s quickly become one of my favorite formats to instruct.
How long have you worked for VIDA?
VIDA and I go back to when I started teaching Barre—early last year. I moved from Maryland to work at VIDA and haven’t looked back!
What makes Barre at VIDA Fitness different?
At VIDA, we make a concentrated effort to help all students in the class feel supported and successful. We’ll demo exercises, offer form corrections and adjustments, as well as provide modifications or different ways of completing exercises to accommodate injuries or other limitations. That, and VIDA’s barre classes are fun because they’re taught with high-energy music, which is paired with movements to create flowing, dynamic sequences. You won’t realize how tough class is because it will fly right by!
Who should attend barre? and What goals will barre help you to achieve?
Barre is for everyone—the movements are small, controlled, safe, and effective. That being said, Barre’s an excellent choice for those specifically looking to develop muscle definition, improve core strength, and find better posture, balance, and grace.
How do you think Barre supplements other parts of someone’s fitness routines/fitness goals?
As a compliment to your regular training routine, 2 to 4 weekly Barre classes pair well with a cardio workout. Warming up before class with a 20-minute jog or rowing session would be a great way to extend a workout and elevate your heart rate, for example. I would definitely recommend maintaining a strength training regimen outside Barre, however, since the exercises we perform are targeted toward smaller muscle groups utilizing bodyweight.
What are some attributes you’ve seen change with your regular Barre attendees?
Barre lends participants confidence with improved posture—I see people come to class weary from their workdays and leave looking lifted and lighter. The targeted exercises we do to shape the glutes, legs, arms, abs, and back definitely get results. Over time, my students not only perfect their form, but they start to see muscles in places they never have before, and their mobility improves dramatically, too! Some of my students have even experienced substantial weight loss (paired with dietary adjustments, of course!).
What makes barre a great workout? We’ve all heard those preconceived notions, so for someone who has never experienced it, what can they expect to gain with a barre workout from a fitness professional’s perspective?
Barre classes are challenging, but they’re also functional and fun. I have lots of clients who will approach me after class to ask about an exercise because their doctor or physical therapist prescribed them something similar for XYZ condition. That is to say, we’re working muscles that are important for activities of daily living, like sitting and standing properly, maintaining posture while seated at a desk for a long time, or correcting imbalances to avoid injury. So while students can expect to gain definition, tenacity (some of these movements are tough), and strength, they can also expect to see improvements in their overall quality of life in the present and for many years to come!