If a long, lean, ballerina body is what you really desire, Barre is the workout to get it. This workout technique was developed in the late 50’s by a German dancer, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s old fashioned, a session of Barre will work muscles you didn’t know you had.
There are entire studios dedicated to this workout philosophy from PureBarre to Exhale to Physique 57. It involves a mix of ballet inspired move with a mix of Pilates and some yoga like stretches but don’t let this low impact workout fool you, it’s definitely a workout. Let’s talk about this popular way to exercise and see what wonders it holds out for you.
Benefits of Barre
- Work Every Muscle Group in Each Class- Every Barre class will work every major muscle through small isometric movements that won’t tear the muscles like traditional strength training but will make the muscle denser and stronger. Instead of going for power and speed, you’ll be increasing your endurance.
- Improve Flexibility- A Barre class involves a lot of stretching moves and over the course of a few months you will see a great improvement in your range of motion. This can make any movement easier and you’ll notice that you can do things with much greater ease than you did before, like touching your toes or bending to the side.
- Improve Balance and Posture- Because of the strong influence of dance and Pilates, you will improve your balance and posture as you focus on grace and core strength. As you strengthen your core and lengthen your spine, you will notice a great improvement in your posture. This is especially helpful if you work sitting at a desk all day and have your neck bent over a screen.
- Can Help with Weight Loss- With a consistent program, Barre can help you lose weight, especially when paired with a healthy meal plan. The increase of muscle will give you a higher metabolism and you will burn more calories throughout the day.
Typical Barre Workout Routine
Most Barre classes follow the same basic formula. First you will start with a light warm up on an exercise mat with some push ups, planks, and other arm exercises, then move to the bar to work your lower body. Barre workouts especially work the thighs and glutes. Still at the bar, you might work your core but you might also do some ab work on an exercise mat to finish up, along with some yoga stretching.
How Often Should You Do Barre in Your Week?
Barre isn’t easy but it certainly doesn’t cover all the exercise your body needs. It offers little in the way of cardiovascular training so you will need to include this in your weekly routine as well. Having three classes of Barre per week and two cardiovascular workouts can help you have not only a toned body but a healthy heart.
What Type of People Will Best Benefit from Barre?
Barre is definitely geared toward women who want a dancer’s body but that’s not to say that men can’t benefit from a Barre class or two. These types of classes are for those who don’t want to go to a coed gym and like a quieter more personal exercise technique.
If you were a ballerina when you were young, you’ll be ahead of the class, but it doesn’t take too long before you will get the hang of things. If you are used to more explosive exercise like weightlifting or HIIT, this class will seem easy at first, but after a few minutes of pulsing squats you’ll be feeling the burn too.
What Kind of Results Can You Expect to See from Barre?
As mentioned, Barre was created by a dancer and sculpts a dancer’s body. Long, lean limbs and a strong tight core are sure to be made through months of taking part of Barre classes. If you are overweight and just starting out, you’ll also start to see your bodyweight go down.
To really see an improvement in your body, try incorporating Barre into your weekly routine along with some cardio sessions and a more intense strength workout here and there.