Sock it to me

Guest post by Shannon Higgins, barre instructor and studio owner Socks? Socks? Do you have socks? Toe socks, toe-less socks, socks with grippers, knee socks, ankle socks, striped socks, socks with polka dots. I bet you thought that we like you wearing socks to class just to keep the classroom clean! Would you believe me if I told you there’s some actual science behind it all? To begin with, I admit that we do prefer to keep our wood floors as clean as possible. So an added benefit to the socks is that feet are covered and the transfer of sweat and dirt to the floor is significantly minimized. Also, the socks worn in the studio have those little rubber grippers on the bottom, and as anyone who has ever leaned back into water ski or a backwards lunge can attest to, minimal “slippage” is absolutely optimal. Being able to maintain your foot position is also an added benefit. Those are two good reasons right there for you to remember your socks – cleanliness and safety – but I bet you still want to know the bigger reason why... To really understand the sock issue you need to first understand the types of movements we are performing in barre class. You might notice that for the majority of your time at the barre, your movements require holding a position along with little tiny muscle contractions. We have a couple of exercises that require a little more movement, but not much. These movements we do are considered ISOMETRIC exercises, as we are looking to build isometric strength. And the isometric movements we engage are both submaximal (i.e. holding a weight away from the body) and maximal (i.e. pushing against a wall) in nature. Your increased isometric strength will supply you with increased power, flexibility, and core strength, all of which will lead you to the ability to amplify your bigger, dynamic movements. Before we head to the barre, where we hold one position for long periods of time– we WARM UP! Isometric conditioning is much much more effective in a body that has warmed up, which is why getting to class on time and WEARING YOUR SOCKS is so important! Why the socks? Because they keep your feet warm! Heat LOVES to escape the body through extremities such as the hands and feet, as well as the head, and since we want to maintain a warm, flexible lower body for moves involving the thigh, calves, hamstrings and seat, covering the feet is the best possible option. Besides cleanliness, safety, and effective training, there’s another great reason to wear barre socks to class...there are such cute ones to pick from these days! Now that you understand the true meaning behind why we want you wearing those darn socks, we know you won’t hesitate to bring them along! p.s. An extra pair of socks in the glove compartment always does the trick for you forgetful tuckers! Shannon Higgins is owner of Studio Barre. She grew up in a ballet studio, and studied and performed ballet for 15 years professionally. She attended United States International University in San Diego on a full ballet scholarship, where she continued to perform under the direction of international ballet stars, Elizabeth and Steven Wistrich. Shannon has diligently helped grow the barre technique in North County San Diego. She has built her business on her love for the amazing clientele and staff that continue to inspire her with their personal life changing testimonials.