We are often told to exercise in order to live a healthier lifestyle. But what if you are not a runner, cyclist, elliptical enthusiast or bodybuilder? Or what if you are prone to more injuries than most people? Barre might be the next move for you. As a certified barre instructor, let me explain why.
What is Barre?
Barre (pronounced as ‘bar’) is a ballet-inspired workout that is designed to strengthen long and lean muscles all over the body. Barre is known for being a low-risk injury workout due to the little movements that are performed during the duration of the workout. The actual barre is around waist-level and acts as a stability tool for individuals to utilize.
First in a typical barre class, the instructor cues the class how to properly perform the different exercises. Second, in almost all the studios I have attended, they focus on strengthening the entire body throughout the course of the class. The classes use a variety of resistance bands and small weights to create the ballet-inspired body their clients signed up for. In the world of barre terminology, you will typically hear the words burn, tuck, pulse, flutter or lengthen. Each term signifies the class to dig a little deeper into your muscle groups all while staying within the width of your mat or area.
The method of exercise is far from new. In fact, the method began over 50 years ago in London. It all began when a person suffered from a back injury and was desperate for a challenging work out after she had recovered. From there, the Barre Method had exploded all over the world.
Barre is usually referred to as a specific method that different studios or boutiques adopt. Predominantly, when they adopt their own method they alter it in order to differentiate themselves from the competition. A few local studios in the Hamilton County area are Pure Barre, The Barre Code, The Barre Method and Mind, Body, and Core. A few studios outside of Hamilton County are Studio Barre Crown Point, B Present Studio and The Dailey Method. Additionally if you are in the Lafayette area Tenley Studios, where I am an instructor, is another great barre studio.
The Benefits of Barre
- It makes you stronger. The little movements that you perform are wonderful for engaging the muscles simultaneously while training them to hold the position longer with every pulse.
- Improves mind and body concentration. The small movements that are done in a barre class can bring awareness to your coordination and concentration which you normally do not get in regular strength workouts.
- Increases endurance. The consistent strength training throughout the class can help with increasing your heart rate and endurance.
- Core Strength. The great part about barre is that you engage your core the entire class period. A strong and tight core can increase your performance in all other activities in your life, whether you’re playing kickball with your children or taking a lap around the pool.
- Increases bone health. The more time you spend in barre classes, the stronger your muscles become. The constant resistance and tension you place on your muscles has a direct effect of making your bones stronger.
Start your first barre class today and feel the benefits.
Photographer: Erika Wetterlin