Image: Jay Yeo
January 24 2012
Part: 1 | 2
In the Gospel According to Spa Junkie there are three distinct types of woman’s bottom: the Droopy, the Pancake and the Bubble. Mine, which falls firmly into the last category, has been my prize asset, being round and nicely table-topped.
But despite my fair share of admirers, I have still spent my adult life obsessing about my backside’s size and shape, and have hero-worshipped the occasional celebrity I believe to have achieved the perfect 10 in this regard – among them Kylie Minogue, in her infamous gold hot pants, and Pippa Middleton, whose McQueen-clad derrière attracted, at its height, more followers on Twitter than Charlie Sheen’s public meltdown.
From Rubens to Rihanna, it’s all in the rear, my dear. And, of course, the world’s alpha females, in their eternal quest for perfection, demand exercise methods to get them to posterior perfection, or as close as their personal anatomy will allow.
Enter the barre method. It’s relatively new to British shores, having originated in the birthplace of all health and fitness trends, the US. Enlisting a simple ballet bar, it encourages you to maintain difficult poses that keep all of the major muscle groups of the body contracted for minutes on end. Combining elements of ballet, yoga and Pilates, it offers an intense workout that creates toned muscles and more physical strength than any of the three on its own. The barre method promises leaner limbs, greatly increased core strength, better posture and, to satisfy my primary objective, a slim line and toned behind.
I arrive at my class at Chelsea’s very first Barre studio and am immediately encouraged by the instructor, who is very sweet and welcoming.
“The barre method aims to lift, tone and strengthen while using small, incremental body movements. These target most of the key muscle groups, including the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius, which are the two large muscles in the buttocks,” she says by way of introduction. Before I can make a remark about the appropriateness of the word “maximus” in any description of my behind, she claps her hands and assembles us at the bar.
Spa Junkie pays for all her own travel, treatments and accommodation.