The barre fitness workout is fast becoming the workout of choice for many people looking to get in shape. It combines elements of dance (specifically ballet) yoga, pilates, static stretches, and high reps of short-range movements. In short, it offers a full body workout that will have you seeing results in a very short time.
Barre classes are springing up all over the country. There is probably one near you. One of the main reasons that barre classes have become so popular is that anyone can do it. You do not need any expensive equipment (all studios will supply you with what you need) and it is not intimidating for the beginner.
The overall health benefits or the barre workout are very impressive as well.
1- Superior Core Workout
Is the Pure Barre workout really better for your core than, say, crunches and planks? In a word, yes. Because you are performing small isometric movements that target small muscles that get overlooked in other exercises. You are building a solid foundation for your core.
You will be building up endurance by repeating these movements over and over. The more you go to class, the stronger your core becomes.
2- Improved Posture
Have you ever seen a ballet dancer with poor posture? Of course not. With the barre workout, you will see a marked improvement in your posture. Because so many of the movements require a straight spine, you will have no choice but to improve your posture.
The workout places utmost importance on proper alignment of your hips, spine, shoulders, and head. By focusing so much on proper posture in class, you will begin to notice any shoulder slump or slouching in your everyday life.
Combine this with a stronger core and you will find yourself standing taller after every class.
3- Increased Flexibility
You might not get a dancer’s flexibility by taking barre classes, but you will certainly be more flexible than when you first started. Each class focuses on both flexibility and strength and the stretching between each exercise will make sure you are limber long after the class ends.
As you get older, your flexibility will decrease. This is just a fact of life. But with the barre workout, you can hold off Father Time and keep your muscles and joints in good working order.
4- It’s Low Impact
Lifting weights and running are great exercises, but they tend to put lots of stress on your joints. This could lead to injury that could put you out of commission and you may lose all that gains you had up to that point.
While barre classes can be tough, the risk of injury is minimal, compared to other workouts. There is no jumping or bouncing in barre classes. The movements are slow and fluid. If you have ever seen a yoga class, you know the participants are not jumping or making sudden, jolting moves. Make no mistake, you will be sore after a barre class, but the chances of sustaining an injury are minimal.
5- Targets Every Major Muscle Group
Because the barre movements use your whole body, you will be using each muscle group throughout the class. These poses and movements will also be using complementary muscles as well, thus giving you a real total body workout.
The barre workout targets:
The Core: with a combination of ballet and Pilates moves.
The Arms: with exercises like the military press, tricep extensions, and lateral arm raises
The Legs: with ballet moves like pliés and dégagé. Also, by utilizing leg lifts and extensions along with other dance moves.
The Glutes: with targeted moves like glute raises.
The barre workout is growing in popularity, not just for the results, but because nearly everyone can do it. You do not need to be an experienced dancer in order to participate. In fact, one of the fastest growing segments of barre participants is the elderly.
And finally, barre classes are fun. There is no intense competition like in some gyms. Barre participants are there to enjoy the workout and make new friends. It truly is a workout for everyone.