Don't be intimidated by the bikini-clad posterior in the poster in the window of Pop Physique, a new fitness studio in downtown Baltimore. You don't need to wear American Apparel-esque leotards and hot shorts for this class — yoga pants and a tank top will work just fine.
Created in California by former ballet and Pilates instructor Jennifer Williams, Pop Physique is a one-hour full-body workout that incorporates ballet barre, Pilates and isometric movements with core strengthening.
"We stretch after intense exercises, so you leave feeling long and lean," says Kim Quinn, owner of the Baltimore Pop Physique studio, which opened in September 2012 and is the first in the region. "The exercises are simple but effective, and clients get a lot of personal attention, so it works for all fitness levels."
During the class, you'll use a yoga mat, hand weights from 1 to 4 pounds, a small resistance ball, stretch bands and the barre, of course. If you've never taken a ballet class before (like me), the instructors will help you with form. And if you feel your legs shaking sometimes (like I did), you know you're doing it right.
"We strive to get you to that point where your body is shaking, so you get to work the deepest parts of your muscles for maximum calorie burn," says Quinn.
If you take the class three to four times a week, you can expect to see results within six weeks, according to the website. Morning and evening classes are available throughout the week, and you can register online.
339 N. Charles St., Baltimore
•$20 per class; new client special $100 for one month of unlimited classes; packages and student/teacher discounts are available.
•Equipment is supplied, but you should bring a water bottle and anti-skid socks. Socks are available to purchase for $10.72.