Barre workouts may sound like you need to don a leotard and tights and get ready to put your best ballet-pointed-foot forward, but this workout combining moves from ballet and Pilates to lengthen and strengthen is actually a type of workout that has provided results for years, only gaining popularity more recently. Read on to learn why Barre may just be your new favorite workout.
To get a better idea of why Barre might be for you, it can help to understand why it was created. After a back injury, a former ballerina used ballet positions to create a rehabilitative therapy that also incorporated her dance condition routine. It created a low impact workout based on dance and specially ballet techniques, but you don’t need to expect leg lifts, spins or advanced footwork to succeed here.
While each class may vary depending on the instructor, most classes follow a similar structure. A warm up consisting of basic cardio moves, then continuing at the barre with lower body exercises to work the thighs and glutes. After center floor work with various arm exercises, you’ll finish with core-focused moves on the mat followed by stretch.
So what’s really making this an actual workout and not just a stretching series? A barre workout uses isometric movements rather than compound movements, such as squats or presses. Isometric movements are small, one-inch movements that engage the muscle enough to make it elastic without tearing the muscle, working towards creating a more toned muscle definition and build strength creating endurance.
You may not think 1-inch movement can have much of an impact, but a barre workout can yield many benefits. For starters, these small movements can increase strength and endurance without straining tendons and ligaments, providing a lower risk of injury. For someone that wants to build strength without overdoing it, barre can be a great place to start.
You will also target several different muscle groups throughout class, making the most of your time. And don’t be afraid of what you may have heard about some serious shaking going on in class. Your muscle shaking is a sign of fatigue, letting you know you’re really working them. As long as you are properly hydrated, it is good to embrace the shake! All of these benefits are the reason why you’ll often hear how barre lengthens and tones, for the ballerina body effect!
Watch the video to see Barre in motion!
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