New fitness class sweeps campus

A new fitness class is taking over the country and landed at Murray State this fall.

The class is called Barre and is a combination of ballet, pilates and yoga.

Instructors began teaching barre this fall. It was originally open to students and Murray State faculty, but due to a lack of sufficient space and instructor availability, the class is now only open to faculty and their spouses.

The goal of barre is to strengthen muscles and increase flexibility while strengthening the core.

Each class includes a strength session and a stretching session and avoids jumping or high-impact movements that could harm the joints.

Brittney Stinnett, fitness coordinator at the Wellness Center, said the class is a great way to reach muscle groups that would be forgotten in yoga or pilates classes.

“It’s different every single class, so it gives the variety and it works those muscle groups that you tend to miss,” Stinnett said. “If you have never taken a class before, you can walk in and utilize the class.”

Students in the class do a different routine in each class involving stretching, kicking and bar work.

Wellness Coordinator Lauren Smee said the class is great for any entry-level participant.

“The instructor gives modifications for every level so there’s beginner, intermediate and advanced,” Smee said.

Although parts of the class may be difficult, the instructor works with each student so participants aren’t strained or hurting their bodies.

“It’s definitely a challenging class, but you can change things up or stop or take a break or do things a different way,” Smee said.

The level of difficulty is mild given the optional modifications to all of the moves.

Participants are encouraged to move at their own pace and do what they feel is best for their bodies.

Much of the class is taught using only the body, meaning no yoga mat, balancing ball or additional equipment is used.

Smee said that makes the class intriguing to participants because all the participants need is their body to do the workout.

The class has gotten a lot of attention this fall from faculty and their spouses.

Although the class appeals mostly to women, Smee and Stinnett said there have been quite a few men enroll in the class as well, and they have enjoyed it.

Smee and Stinnett said they hope to recruit more instructors in the future so they can schedule available spaces in the Wellness Center.

That would allow them to open the class to students again.

The class is a part of the Racer Wellness Program for Murray State faculty. The class meets from 11- 11:45 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday in Carr Health Building.

“(Opening the class to students is) something we’re looking forward to, but the way classes work here, it’s based on instructor availability,” Stinnett said.

They hope to find more instructors and create a schedule for the Wellness Center so that anyone can participate in the class. 

Story by Madison WepferAssistant Features Editor