From Barre to Bar: An Afternoon at Exhale Battery Wharf

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We recently spent a wonderful Saturday afternoon at Exhale Battery Wharf, where we tried a Core Fusion class and then rewarded ourselves with a few treats at the bar. The spa is tucked into the Fairmont Hotel, which overlooks the water from Battery Wharf. We had signed up to try Core Fusion Barre for the first time, and so after changing and leaving our worldly belongings in the locker room, we made our way to the class. Each student’s spot was set up with a mat, a ball (used as a spacer and as resistance between the legs in some moves), and a set of free weights. Core Fusion is a series of ballet-inspired fitness classes that focuses on developing core strength using hand weights and your own body weight as resistance.

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With the start of class, we jumped right in with warm ups and arm strengthening, including planks, pushups, and free weights. We were glad we went with two pound weights rather than three pounds for our first class – the routine includes many reps and our muscles were really feeling it! Then we worked through lots of plies, squats and gluteal-strengthening moves done at the barre, before moving to the floor for abdominal work. As the name of the class suggests, the abs get a great work out. Our instructor, Meg Scannell, was so friendly and gave us newbies lots of appreciated assists and encouragement! With her help, we really pushed ourselves, and by the end of class every muscle was shaking! After such an intense workout, we were happy to retreat to the serene locker room to clean up  – while the classes at Exhale are pricey, a huge benefit is the use of the beautiful locker room! We could imagine taking our time here to enjoy the sauna and showers.

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After cleaning up, we all headed over to the Aragosta Bar, part of the the Fairmont Battery Wharf, for drinks and snacks. We sampled a cocktail with aloe and gin, which was surprising delicious. A few in our group are gluten intolerant or have celiac, and I was really impressed with the kitchen’s ability to create some appetizers suitable for us with gluten-free bread. A favorite of mine was gluten-free toast topped with a delicious lobster salad. I can’t wait to try out the rest of the menu, especially in the nice weather from their waterfront terrace.

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We were invited to try Core Fusion along with a group of bloggers as part of Blog and Tweet Boston, but we will definitely be back for another class on our own! While the classes are pricey ($25/class), we were really pushed to our limits and felt the effects of the class for days afterwards. Plus, it is so nice to take a class at a spa and be able to enjoy the beautiful locker room rather than the cramped changing areas of most studios and gyms. Meeting a few new people over drinks and appetizers next door was a great way to reward ourselves after a tough class. Going from barre to bar may have to become a new weekend tradition for us!

Images Courtesy of Exhale and Fairmont Battery Wharf.

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