Introducing Barre Into Your Self-Care Routine: An Interview With Instructor Karen Hilgert Moore
Barre is the kind of class that can transport you back to childhood, dancing way up on your tippy-toes on stage in front of family and friends. While you won’t find any dancing in Chuze Barre classes, these ballet-inspired workouts are designed with the movement and exercises that make ballet dancers strong and toned. This low-impact Group Exercise class will tone and sculpt your muscles, improve flexibility, and strengthen your core for better balance. It can also improve your mind-body connection, which is essential for your self-care routine. The Barre practice encourages you to focus inward and to be mindful of your body. It is a beautiful practice, and its format brings to surface a bunch of questions. We want to dive into them and more with our incredible instructor, Karen Hilgert Moore.
1 | We are so excited to get to know you, Karen! Could you let everyone know what you do at Chuze Fitness, how long you have worked here, and how you ended up on the team?
I’ve been a fitness instructor for nine years, and I’ve been with Chuze Fitness for the past five years. I currently teach Barre Sculpt in Anaheim, California, and Yoga and Yoga Sculpt in Cypress, California. I ended up working for Chuze when it first opened its gyms in Orange County, and I love it! I got started in Garden Grove and Westminster, California, teaching Zumba, Ripped, and Barre. I love Chuze because it is clean and organized, everyone is very friendly and helpful, and it truly feels like a team!
2 | Would you mind explaining Barre to those of us who haven’t heard of it before?
Barre is a Group Exercise format based on dance conditioning and pilates—but you don’t have to be a dancer to take a barre class. It is low-impact and includes a balance of cardio, strength, and flexibility to achieve long, lean muscles and burn calories efficiently. I started teaching Barre about five years ago—and I love it! I’ve seen results and changes in my body that I’ve never seen with other programs. It is graceful and fun. I recommend this class to anyone at all ages and fitness levels.
3 | Can you take us through a class? What exercises will we do and what should we expect?
First, I start with a warm-up for a few minutes to get the muscles nice and warm, and the heart rate going. The warm-up is simple and includes some plies and stretches. Then I move to the arm section with light dumbbells using repetitive dance-inspired movements to work every muscle of the arms and back while doing calf raises or relevés and squats or plies. After a quick stretch, we go to the barre to do leg work, which includes a series of dance movements that are cardiovascular and tone the legs and glutes, like plies, attitudes, and arabesques. We also use a small ball for hamstrings, glutes, and inner thighs. After this section, we go to the mat to do some pilates ab work, and we finish with stretching.
4 | It can be intimidating to come into a Group Exercise class. What are your tips for overcoming the fear of trying out a new class?
Don’t worry! There is a first time for everything that we do, and the only way to learn is by trying. We often think we are going to be judged, but the truth is that everyone is concentrating on themselves. Chuze is a very welcoming and friendly environment, and there isn’t anything to worry about when trying group fitness.
5 | With exercise being an essential component of a self-care routine, how do you recommend fitting exercise—and Barre,specifically—into a busy schedule?
Try to incorporate it at least once a week, ideally twice.
6 | Do you have any particular exercise routine that you complete weekly? If so, do you have tips on how to build a balanced routine?
I suggest a combination of strength, cardio, and stretching. Try to do cardio maybe 2 or 3 times a week, focus on strength—in exercise classes like Barre Sculpt—at least twice a week, and try to stretch every day. Taking a class like yoga once or twice a week will incorporate stretching and strength as well.
7 | We know it is important to take time to care for ourselves, but with friends, family, and others to worry about that can be hard to do. How do you recommend taking time out of the day to practice self-care?
I try to be creative with my time. Some of us are early birds, some of us are night owls, and some only have time in the middle of the day. Whenever it is possible to try to squeeze time for self-care. I do this by going to the gym, taking a class or using the equipment, and enjoying the sauna, jacuzzi, or massage beds!
8 | Would you mind sharing with us the best advice you’ve received on your health journey?
To listen to my body! Our bodies will tell us when we need to rest when we need more. It will even tell us when we need to eat better and be healthier!
9 | Are there any apps, books, or podcasts that have helped you understand and implement self-care?
I love podcasts and audiobooks about health and wellness. They are free, and you can listen to them while you are working out or driving!
10 | Thank you so much for sharing this information. Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
I’m so thankful for having the opportunity of being interviewed by Chuze and honored to be the featured instructor this month. I’m especially grateful to Chuze for giving me a chance to share my passion for fitness and wellness with the wonderful Chuze members.
Wanna give Barre a try? You can find this class under the names: Barre Sculpt, Chuze Barre and Studio Barre Red. Check your class schedule to find a Barre class near you! We offer group exercise classes at all of our locations. Stop in and give a class a try!