Used extensively in ballet training and warm up exercises, barre work is an excellent workout in itself. You don’t have to be a ballet dancer to do barre work, but it can help improve flexibility and strength in individuals looking for an alternative workout. In fact, you might be surprised with just how much of a workout it actually is, despite how easy it may appear.
Here are the Top 10 Benefits of Barre:
- Makes you stronger: The isometric contractions that make up the bulk of a barre class occur when the muscle tenses without changing length. What’s wonderful about the one-inch movements is that you can hold a posture and benefit from continuously engaging the muscle, but you also get a mini-recovery with each pulse, so you can stay in the hold longer.
- Targets multiple muscle groups at once: It’s a highly efficient workout since you’re doing two to four movements—holding, pulsing, stretching—at a time in each move. Working all these areas at once also helps raise the heart rate.
- Improves mind and body concentration: The smaller movements in a barre class can bring a new level of awareness to the body that you don’t get in regular strength workouts. Barre can improve muscular activation for frequently underused muscles by strengthening the neuromuscular (mind-body) connection.
- Increases endurance: The constant strength training also helps with increasing your heart rate and endurance. The small movements are done fast-paced style, with short breaks here and there to catch your breath.
- It’s fun and upbeat: Because its incorporated with dance, barre is a fun and exciting way to way workout. The atmosphere will make the workout enjoyable, so you’ll want to keep coming back for more!
- Weight loss: The barre targets the largest muscle groups in the body (like the thighs and glutes). The larger the muscle, the more calories burned. As you continue, you will begin to build more lean muscle mass, raising your metabolic rate, which can help you produce more energy and burn more calories.
- Core strength: The beauty of the barre is that you engage your core the entire time – so even if you are working the arms or thighs, you are always engaging, and therefore strengthening, the core as well. A strong core can increase your performance in all other activities in your life, whether you’re playing tennis or just lifting your children.
- Reduces cellulite: Aerobic activity is a key factor in getting rid of cellulite! Barre exercises are fat blasting; it focuses on the lower body and designed to help you drop pounds. If you want to fit into your skinny jeans, have killer legs and a great looking butt, or you just want to go from a good shape to a better one, barre is for you!
- Improves flexibility: Ballet stretches are a major part of the session done at the end of each interval, so the muscles are elongated, bulk is reduced and therefore balance and alignment are achieved.
- Increases bone health: The more you practice barre, your muscles get stronger. The constant tension and resistance placed on the muscles has an effect on bones that makes them stronger, which is key to warding off osteoporosis with age.