Manchester Wellness Guide – Sarah Emblow, Lead Trainer at Barrecore

To celebrate our launch in Selfridges Trafford Centre, we’ve been connecting with local wellness gurus to bring you the best places to eat, shop and move in the North West! This week we met Sarah Emblow, lead Trainer at Barrecore’s Alderley Edge and Hale Studios.

Tell us a bit about Barrecore – what makes the concept and classes unique? 

Barre is everywhere in the US but relatively new to the U.K. Founded in 2011, Barrecore is intelligent exercise, integrating the fat burning format of interval training to exhaust each major muscle group, with static stretches which lengthen your muscles and offer relief. This combination of exercises effectively, efficiently and safely reshapes the entire body resulting in form, elongated muscles, reduced body fat and a lifted seat.

Tell us about a typical day in the life of a Barrecore instructor…

Fun! Working out is our life so there are always plenty of endorphins in the Barrecore Studio.

A quick fat/protein breakfast and then straight into the studio to teach our first class of the day! Our classes are small and intimate and so we build a real connection with our clients helping them to achieve their individual goals even in a group class and then checking in with them after class before starting the next one! We usually do 3 back and we get great pleasure out of seeing the change in our clients bodies which happens so quickly with regular barre classes so inbetween classes we offer technique advice or take measurements to help track progress. After classes we often teach a few 1:1 sessions for clients who prefer private training. Then there’s a break for meetings – either team meetings on class formats or training in new improved exercises or marketing meetings and collaborating with our local community. We also grab a coffee and work on planning our evening classes – each class is choreographed to music so class planning in really important ….oh and on our day off we come in and take part in class with the clients! We aim to take part in 3 classes per week ourselves and our clients love to see our the pain on our faces as we are shaking and burning next to them at the ballet barre!

Do you have any favourite healthy cafes or restaurants in the North West?

The Garden in Hale, Federal Cafe in Manchester City Centre and Altricham Market are just a few of our favourite hangouts whether that’s for a quick grab and go lunch or snack between teaching, spending time together as a team or with connecting our fabulous Barrecore clients over a juice or a coffee. We were thrilled that Leon and Joe and the Juice have not long since opened in Manchester as well – these were our staple go to’s when we did our instructor training at the Barrecore studios in London and it’s great to see how many over our favourite places (including of course Face Gym and Manchester) are expanding out of London to our fabulous city.

How do you keep your energy up during a long day of teaching? 

Healthy fats like Avocado, Nuts and Seeds and Coconut Oil are essential to keep our energy up  through what can often be 5 hours back to back teaching. Once your body is adapted to using these healthy fats as fuel it’s amazing that hunger (as well as your waistline) literally whittles away allowing us to keep our energy levels high to motivate our clients through their classes. We usually start teaching very early with lots of clients preferring to train with us right at the start of their day so Breakfast is always a mixture of fat and protein to fuel our muscles and our brain! You may think we are crazy but it’s not uncommon to see us eating chicken and nuts at 7:30am! We grab ginger and immunity shots in the studio to keep our immune system and gut healthy. Avoiding processed sugars, processed foods and white flour keeps us going until the last class is finished and we close our doors at 8:30pm.

What about food shopping – where do you pick up healthy ingredients? 

Ocado is a good go to for us and has everything we need – lots of the recipes we like to make and recommend to our clients often include ‘free from’ ingredients that aren’t so easy to pick up from the convenience stores so it’s good to prep our meals in advance by having these ingredients dropped at our doorstep. On a local level we often pop to somewhere local like Amaranth in Bramhall which sells lots of our favourite healthy ingredients. Selfridges food hall is pretty good too so your Face Gym trainers in the Trafford Centre will be able to source healthy snacks and ingredients when you open! When we find a product we love like Supernova Protein Powders or Pip and Nut Almond butter then we simply stock it in the studio so we can buy it even more conveniently!

What’s your favourite gym kit? What are your go to brands/shops?  

We LOVE Lululemon – they are also opening their first Manchester Store really soon – it’s an exciting time to be in Manchester at the moment. Their Wunder Under and Align Pants are perfect for Barrecore.

We also love Sweaty Betty designs and have a great relationship with both brands in our community. Our less main stream go to brands are Spiritual Gangster which is a US label that does the softest sweatshirts which are perfect for teaching in the autumn and also Lucas Hugh which is a cool luxury London based brand.

Where are your favourite places/people for pampering – massages, hair, nails etc?

Our studios are in Alderley Edge and Hale and there is certainly no shortage of local salons there! So we are certainly spoilt for choice! Margaret Dabbs is our favourite place for a pedicure and is just a couple of doors away from our studio. I get my hair coloured just twice a year at Catherine Boden in Sale – it’s lasts so long which is just as well because the waiting list is always crazy!


Trafford Selfridges beauty hall is actually a great, convenient go to as the parking is great and under cover – you can get a massage, eyebrows (and now we can’t wait for Face Gym!) and I’ve been getting my hair cut at the Andrew Collinge salon their for about 15 years – the only problem is you have to cut through the shoe department in the way to the salon which is deadly for the bank balance!

What’s your best advice for feeling your best from the inside out?

Look after your gut! We swear by probiotics,  one broth, kombuchua and L Glutamine. When you have a healthy gut it boosts your immune system, your mood and your tummy fat blasting abilities! The bone broth is also our secret tip for glowing skin and hair thanks to the collagen!

If someone was coming to stay in Manchester for the weekend, what would be your top tips of places to stay and things to see/do?

Well Manchester is famous for Football and Music so we would definitely recommend adding some of that into your trip whether it a trip to a match or one of the football museums or a gig or theatre performance in one of the many music venues. The Northern Quarter is the coolest part of town and has lots of indie shops, cafes and bars and 20 Stories in Spinningfields which opened earlier this year is the best place to drink in breathtaking views  of the city over a cocktail or two!

And finally…are you excited for FaceGym launching in the Trafford Centre??

Oh yes!!! We’ve been following Face Gym for a while on social media and have seen some our own favourite instructors from London and NYC share their experiences of the treatment so we are beyond delighted that we can have a slice of the action without having to travel to London! Downtime for us is such a treat and so taking a treatment or two is our ultimate way to spend an afternoon or day off. In the health and wellness industry we have to “drink our own Kool Aid” and as crazy as it’s sounds a workout for us is the perfect way to wind down after a busy day or putting everyone else through their paces! Looking and feeling good from the inside out go hand in hand and we’ll be recommending Face Gym to all of our clients who don’t get the chance to work out the smaller face muscles in our Barrecore sessions – apart from the after class smiles of course!


Follow Barrecore Alderley Edge + Hale on Instagram or learn more about the brand on their website.

Book a workout at our new Selfridges Trafford Studio