Barre exercise, one of the newest fitness trends, is gaining popularity because of the way it targets your entire body in a fun, energizing workout.
Barre workouts combined with flexibility training are hardly new, however, and have been around in some form for centuries. But new or old, barre makes use of the horizontal handrail (the barre) that ballet dancers grip while perfecting their technique.
One of the advantages of a barre workout is that people who incorporate them as part of their regular exercise routine see quick results without the high-impact of other fitness programs.
Here's a closer look.
Barre Workouts: What They Are
Barre workouts differ from class to class, but most programs combine the postures of ballet, yoga, and Pilates. The barre is used for balance while the exercises focus on isometric strength training, i.e., remaining still while contracting a specific set of muscles.
Barre workouts frequently incorporate exercise equipment such as small hand weights and mini-balls to help slim, sculpt and stretch your body.
Previous experience isn't required to join a barre class. Instructors understand the strengths and experience level of every student, and each person is challenged to their capabilities without affecting anyone's workout.
The Benefits of Barre
There are many benefits to barre workouts, including:
1. Improved Core Strength And Posture
The small, controlled movements of barre reduce pressure on joints, ligaments, tendons and your spine. You'll also notice a considerable improvement in your core strength and posture.
2. You'll Work Your Muscles
Barre's movements are designed to fatigue muscles through tiny motions, multiple repetitions and isometric moves. This builds up muscle strength and resilience.
3. Increased Flexibility
One of the key benefits of barre exercise is an improved range-of-motion through focused stretching. Barre classes teach your body to be both strong and flexible.
4. You'll Lose Weight And Inches
Most barre workouts target the largest muscles in your body, such as your thighs and glutes. The bigger the muscles exercised, the more calories are burned. Moreover, you'll also build lean muscle that helps you produce more energy while expending more calories.
Pairing barre training with a healthy diet will help you achieve even more significant results.
5. It's Helpful For Other Activities And Sports
Barre workouts target core muscles that are often neglected in conventional strength workouts. For example, golfers and tennis players may experience greater hip openness and movement that allow for a better swing.
6. The Workouts Never Become Boring
You'll enjoy the fast pace and variety of exercises that come with barre workouts. No two workouts are alike.
Barre Compared To Other Workouts
Many fitness experts agree that you'll get the most overall health benefits if you use barre in conjunction with other types exercise - such as with cardiovascular workouts.
Barre in its traditional form doesn't burn as many calories as intense cardio routines, but it's an ideal complementary workout, especially if you're doing cardio without strength training.
You'll get the most benefits from barre, however, if you do it from three to five days a week.
Ready to give barre a try? The Amarillo Town Club now offers barre classes every Friday at 9:30 a.m.! You can see reserve your spot or check out our other available group classes (free to all members), here.
Take advantage of your ATC membership. Our 2-Week Shape-Up Guide gives you day-by-day workout tips so you can get (and stay) fit!