Andrea Fornarola Hunsberger recently opened a year-round Elements Fitness Studio at 66 Newtown Lane in East Hampton. Offering signature barre, hiit fusion, and dance cardio classes, Elements is all about digging into your accessory muscles. Andrea chatted with us about helping her clients ditch the dimples, proper form, and weight loss. Quite honestly, we can't help but love anybody who describes their workouts as, Jane Fonda meets Madonna, meets jumping jacks!
Congratulations on your new year-round studio in East Hampton! What's your favorite class to teach?
I enjoy teaching all of the classes at Elements, however my truest love is for the Barre class. It is the Ballet of fitness, and I feel the foundation for all functional training.
With barre classes, what's the most common mistake in form that your students make?
Most students tend to make to make the movements to large, most of work is done in small isometric contractions, so like we say, less is more. The smaller the movement the more muscles have to work to contract and stabilize the body.
If weight loss is the goal, can we stick with the Elements Barre Fitness class? Or, do we have to get cardio involved?
Having a balanced workout regime is very very important. Getting your heart rate at your target rate for 40 minutes, 3 to 4 times a week is recommended by many of the national fitness and health guidelines. Elements Barre focuses on strength training which is executed in intervals, so our class works in a series of sprints followed by a recovery. While the heart rate does rise during our barre class it is great to pair it with Dance Cardio, or any other cardio based conditioning class.
Battling cellulite (hello, bikini season!) is fun for nobody. How will your class help us ditch the dimples?
We tuck and squeeze both the major muscle groups and the accessory muscles, and we work to isolate one group of muscles at a time. Utilizing the principles of muscle overload for strength training in addition to stretching after each exercise helps to increase the bodies metabolic rate, melt away fat, and transform the figure to be lighter, leaner, sculpted, and toned.
To see real change in the body, how many days a week should we be working out?
Barre class 3 to 4 days per week, coupled with cardio training should produce results quickly. It is very important to fuel the body as well with a well balanced diet. Put good in, get better out!
In your class, you talk about recruiting accessory muscles. What exactly do you mean, and why is this so important?
The accessory muscles are the small stabilizer muscles that we use in addition to the major muscle groups. So, for instance, during a series of exercises for the glutes or seat, when the supporting side gets fatigued and starts to burn and shake, that is an example of the accessory muscles working as well as the glutes muscles that we are trying to target.
Will we have a tough time learning the choreography in your dance classes if we don't have dance training?
In the Dance Cardio class, I use dance as the high intensity intervals to get the heart rate up, and then use our signature sculpting exercises as the the active recovery. The choreography is really straight forward and easy to follow, because it is about keeping the heart rate up. Jane Fonda meets Madonna, meets jumping jacks… we keep it simple, upbeat, and fun. All of the movements are also very easily modified.
What's your advice for an Elements newbie who really wants to learn your method?
Come in and take a class, or schedule a One on One session with me. I make sure I break down the movements in a way that you feel that you understand what it is you are doing. Also perfect practice makes perfect, after your first class you will be sore, but make sure you come back with in the next few days so that you build a strong mind-body connection with the movements. Eventually you will find that is never easier, but less to think about.