Is it a Ballet Class? No, Barre fitness classes are simply ballet-inspired, incorporating a ballet barre, a chair or in the case of “LeBarre” a Lebert Equalizer and maybe some plies an occasional battement or Rond de Bras” here and there into the workout. Essentially, barre classes mix elements of Pilates, dance, yoga and functional training, and the moves are choreographed to motivating music. In each energizing and targeted workout, you’ll use the barre and exercise equipment such as mini-balls and small hand weights to sculpt, slim and stretch your entire body.
Why Should You Do Barre Workouts?
No experience required. The classes offer modifications for all fitness levels. You don’t need to know the first thing about ballet, or even ever taken an exercise class before. All of the exercises are relatively simple with no complex choreography.
Gentle on muscles, kind on joints. Small, super-controlled movements reduce pressure on your joints, tendons, ligaments and spine. At first you may think, “This is way too easy”. But by doing barre regularly, you’ll also notice a remarkable improvement in your core strength and posture along with noticeable improvement to muscle tone.
You work muscless to failure without lifting heavy weights. Barre’s tiny motions, many reps, intentional squeezes and pulses are designed to fatigue muscles to failure. Embrace the shaking as it’s totally natural for your muscles to quiver uncontrollably – it means you are exhausting that muscle and forcing it to tone.
It’s Fun! Ever hear the saying “Time flies quickly when you are having fun”? Barre classes are fun. It’s never the same class twice!
Benefits of Barre. If you’re sitting slumped in your chair reading this, then you may want to think again. According to Lincoln, the major benefits of barre are improved posture, muscle definition, weight loss, increased flexibility and reduced stress.
Rapid results. Yes, you will be sore after the first few classes, but you’ll also see some major results in little time – so stick with it! If you perform a barre workout 2-4 times weekly, you will typically notice changes in as little as one month. Changes may include an improved posture, thinner thighs, chiseled arms, a sculpted back, flat abs and a lifted seat. Barre classes are incredibly effective at transforming so-called ‘problem’ areas, especially for women.
What to Expect from a Barre Class
The typical class will take you through a dynamic and invigorating workout. You’ll start with a warm up and sequence of upper-body exercises, which include free weights, push-ups, planks and other moves to target the biceps, triceps, chest, and back muscles. Next, you’ll use the ballet barre and your own body weight for resistance to focus on the thigh and seat muscles. Your core will be engaged the entire class and then targeted at the end. For the cool down, you’ll go through a series of stretches to increase flexibility and allow your muscles to recover. Most classes are 45- 60 minutes.
What to Wear to Barre
Barre is a barefoot class. If you are not comfortable working out barefooted, you might want to invest in a pair of yoga socks. The Firm Cardio Studio sells these socks in the ProShop, so don’t worry if you can’t find any. Clothing should be comfortable and allow you to move without binding. Traditional yoga wear works well for this.
Will I burn a ton of calories?
Don’t expect to see a double digit calorie burn for this class, while the format does include some cardio, the focus here is on building muscle. The more muscle we have the higher our metabolism is. So while the numbers don’t show up on the leader board, you will begin to see the weight disappearing as everything you do burns more calories than it did before.
Barre is becoming one of the fastest growing exercises formats out there, and it is not all because of hype. Once you experience a class or two, you will understand why this format continues to grow in popularity.