I recently got the chance to take Rachel Feldman’s Core Fusion Barre & Core Fusion Yoga Classes at Exhale, Bridgehampton. Despite Rachel’s nonchalant introduction to Core Fusion, (“it’s more about the alignment than the movements, the small movements come second”) this class is no joke. Seriously.
Exhale’s signature Core Fusion technique was developed by Elisabeth Halfpapp and her husband, Fred DeVito. Based on the philosophies of Joseph Pilates and Latte Berk, Core Fusion combines precision, rhythm, strength, flexibility, and muscle endurance.
The Core Fusion method focuses first and foremost on the spine. “A healthy spine creates a youthful body,” Rachel explained. The workout will lengthen and improve flexibility, as the method incorporates stretching after each exercise. Since the core is the powerhouse of the body, Core Fusion works from the inside out, first focusing on position and then moving in that place to strengthen a particular muscle group.
Isolating the small muscles throughout the abs, arms, and butt, this ballet-inspired class works to change the body fast. Rachel emphasizes the importance of really getting to know each client and their individual body, strengths, and weaknesses. She explains that witnessing the change in people is an amazing perk of the job (in addition to getting paid to workout, of course!) She’s seen younger clients who have actually gotten a bit taller and older women who developed strong muscles, negated back pain, and literally turned back time.
Yes, I definitely felt the muscles twitching, over and over (and over) during Core Fusion Barre. Expect lots of tiny inner and outer thigh movements, tons of reps with lighter weights to exhaust the arms, and constant use of the core. That’s the name of the game after all. Core Fusion Yoga also incorporates similar movements, but focuses on repetitive sun salutations and strengthening through yoga. While it’s not your typical yoga class, it’s a great alternative if you want to like yoga but crave more intensity and constant stimulation.
Inhale, Exhale, and LIFT the belly button in and up, I can see Rachel demonstrate the lift now. That’s what makes her so great, she explains every little movement, and exactly where you should be feeling it (in case it’s not painfully obvious.) She moves around the room with fluidity, ensuring that the moves are executed correctly and giving constant positive reinforcement. Rachel’s body exudes the grace of a dancer, while her personality serves as a motivational coach. Though my abs and thighs were on fire, Rachel’s constant smile and encouragement got me through.
One Healthy Breakdown: Work it out, stretch it out. And don’t forget to exhale!