Have you considered what the perfect workout for your body is?
Ok so this is a trick question because a) the perfect workout for your body isn’t just one thing, b) it can evolve and change over time, and c) you already have a hint that barre fitness is likely part of the answer!
But real talk….the perfect workout is something that is safe and effective for your body, something you look forward to, and one where you feel awesome afterward. Mixing multiple types of movement to keep the body on its toes (literally) and the mind from getting bored is key.
For me, that looks like a blend of circuit training, yoga, spin, outdoor activities like a run or bike ride, and of course…barre.
When I first heard about barre classes for fitness, I didn’t think it wouldn’t be a great workout. While I gravitated to the ballet-inspired technique synced to music because of my background as a competitive dancer, I believed I had to do “harder” things to have results.
Fast forward, about a year after being a regular barre-fly at a local studio, I was head over heels in love with the workout and the variety of movement. I chose to mentor the studio owner to learn instructor skills and complete a barre certification course.
My certification of choice was through BootyBarre because it’s known for its Pilates-based, safe technique and effective, fun workout. It fuses techniques from dance, yoga, and Pilates to combine cardio with strength and flexibility.
WHAT IS BARRE FITNESS?
Barre is made up of isometric movements where the body remains still why you contract a specific muscle. The exercises can depend on a barre for support or be barreless utilizing a mat on the floor. The high reps and no-to low weight builds muscular endurance. By design, it recruits secondary muscles not just larger muscles and gives you a well-rounded strength.
The primary focuses of barre fitness training are strengthening the core and glutes with precise, targeted movements until the burn sets in and the muscle is fatigued (often till it shakes a little). The little movements, smaller range of motion and body position matter for both injury prevention and results.
For example: Let’s say you’re on all fours in table top position with the right leg extended straight behind you. Pulling the abs up toward your spine and making sure to not arch the back will protect your low back.
If the hip is square to the floor below, and the knee and top of foot face the floor below you, you’re in a parallel position. This works larger leg muscles like the gluteus maximus and hamstrings.
Open that right hip slightly toward your right, with knee and top of foot facing the side, now you engage lateral rotators and glute medius in a “turnout” position.
BARRE FITNESS BENEFITS
Here’s just a few of the perks that come with barre movement:
- Longer, lean muscles
- Greater flexibility
- Increased strength and endurance
- Improved posture
- Improved stress management
- Well-developed mind-body connection
CROSS TRAINING WITH BARRE
Barre balances high-impact movement. If you’re especially conditioned for high impact activities, barre can seem slow-paced at first but its low-impact structure doesn’t equate to low-intensity.
Whether you have a dance background, are a runner, cross fit junkie, or are queen of the elliptical machine, barre moves will recruit muscles groups you aren’t regularly using.
Barre is an effective workout method to be either the star of your fitness focus or a complement to what you already love and enjoy doing in your perfect workout! But regardless of whether you choose to be a barre-tender or not, the perfect workout repertoire should be a lifestyle that helps you feel like the best version of yourself, that is safe, effective, and something you genuinely enjoy.
Stay tuned…I’m planning online barre classes and form tips coming your way soon!