National Physical Fitness & Sports Month

Adrianne Madias

May is a month for movement! Last year, President Biden proclaimed the month of May as National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. We all know that physical activity is good for our health, but did you know that it also improves our mental well-being? Exercise reduces stress, relieves symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improves memory. This is made possible with endorphins, which are neurotransmitters that are released by the brain to alleviate pain and promote pleasure.


Knee Pulls at the Barre 

(Benefit areas: abs, heart)

Find a railing, countertop, or stable surface. Stand in a plank position with your feet together at a 45-degree angle. Lift to the ball of your foot, tuck your hips, and engage your core and glutes. Pull your right knee toward your wrist using your lower abdominals, then switch to the left knee like a march. You can increase your speed to get your heart rate up; take it as fast as you can! Don’t forget to breathe — exhale as the knee comes in. Do this for 20 seconds with a ten-second break; repeat three times.


Bridge Lifts 

(Benefit areas: hamstrings, glutes)

Lay on your back with your feet close to your glutes. Cross one ankle over the opposite knee. Press through your heel to lift your hips as high as you can, then lower back down with control. Keep your glutes engaged in both directions. For something more advanced, extend your crossed leg straight up to the ceiling and point your toe above you as you lift and lower. Repeat 12-15 times on each side.


Clam Shells 

(Benefit areas: side seat, thighs)

Lay on one side with your forearm on the ground, keeping your shoulder and elbow in line. Pull your heels toward your glutes then lift your toes up off the ground. While keeping your big toes together, lift your top knee as high as you can while keeping your hips facing forward, pressing back into your glutes. Lower your knee with control towards the ground. Use a loop for added resistance, or extend your leg longer for extra stretch!

Kickback Rows 

(Benefit areas: triceps, biceps)

Stand in a hinged position, with your weight in your heels and core engaged. Extend your arms toward the bottom corner of your room. Slide your elbows high along your waistline, then extend your arms long past your hips. Curl your fists back in toward the shoulders and extend your arms back to the bottom corner. Use any size weights; we use two to five pounds in our studio. Do this 12-15 times.


Cycle through these moves three to five times. Be mindful of not just your physical health, but your mental well-being too!  


If you’d like to try our studio out, here’s a link to redeem three free classes! We hope to see you at the barre!


Ann Arbor native Adrianne Madias is the owner of Barre Code Ann Arbor. After graduating from Arizona State University with a BS in Supply Chain Management, she moved back to the area and worked in the corporate world for nearly a decade. She decided to change her career path because her true passion is fitness; she enjoys contributing to other women’s lives by helping them gain confidence in their health and strength from the inside out. She began training in Chicago the summer of 2011 and opened in August of the same year near central campus. The studio is now located on the north side of town at 2792 Plymouth Road.