We Tried It: A Tara Lipinski Figure Skating-Inspired Barre Class
What Is It: Gold Barre is a barre-based workout – taught at Equinox gyms nationwide – that focuses on the lower body and core. The moves are inspired by the routines of Olympic gold medal winning figure skater Tara Lipinski.
Who Tried It: Gabrielle Olya, PEOPLE writer and reporter
Level of Difficulty: 7 (on a scale from 1 to 10). If you’ve done a barre class before, you should be able to do most of the moves, but some of the movements unique to this class (especially the ones involving balance) were very challenging.
As a fan of Tara Lipinski growing up, I have to admit I was fangirling a little bit when I got the opportunity to work out with her and try out a class that she helped to create.
We started the workout on the barre, where we went through a challenging series of squats and leg lifts. We then moved to the center of the room, where we stepped on gliding discs to help mimic the feel of ice-skating. I had never used gliders before, so it was really fun for me to feel like I was on the ice in the middle of a barre studio!
The class then moved through a series of jumps and one-legged balancing exercises – which were really hard! Our instructor talked us through the moves as if we were doing our own on-ice routines, which gave the class a unique spin and made it more fun.
We finished the class doing core work on the floor, so by the end of the class my legs, butt and abs were all so sore!
“It’s light-hearted, as well as intense cardio,” Lipinski tells PEOPLE of the class. “You have the base of barre, which is the lengthening for long, lean muscles, but you also have more cardio, which targets endurance. Also, skaters use balance as a huge part of their spinning and jumping, so a lot of this class is that.”
Lipinski says she wanted to develop a class that targeted the small muscles in the glutes, hamstrings, calves and back that traditional barre classes sometimes miss.
“You can feel those muscles twitching [during the class], but then the next day I always feel these small muscles that are my balance muscles come alive again,” she says. “It really targets your booty! When I haven’t been working out and I go on the ice, I can’t walk the next day, and I find that that’s happening with the class – and that’s good!”
The Verdict: While I definitely am not as graceful as Tara Lipisnki, the class helped me channel my inner figure skater. It was a high-energy, heart rate raising class that definitely made me feel sore in all the right places.
—Gabrielle Olya, @GabyOlya