Hi everyone! I recently tried barre and absolutely love it! I thought I would take this opportunity to tell you what barre is all about and perhaps persuade some or you to give it a try like I did!
Most barre classes basically use a combination of postures inspired by ballet and other disciplines like yoga and pilates. The bar (which is literally where the name barre comes from!) is then used as a prop for balancing while doing exercises that focus on isometric strength training, which is basically training where you hold your body still while you contract a specific set of muscles. The isometric strength training is combined with high volume of repetitions of small range of motion movements. In addition, a lot of classes incorporate handheld weights which increases the burn during all of those repetitions. There is often also a portion of the class that is dedicated to core work on the mat.
The great thing about barre is that it helps you develop long, lean muscles without bulk. In other words, it provides you with a sculpted ballerinas body, as well as enhanced flexibility, and improvement in terms of our balance.
I’ve been to only six or seven classes, but already I have seen some incredible changes in my body. I see that I have gained a lot of strength, and I have definitely toned those hard to target muscles in my core, arms, and legs. All of this is pretty cool, particularly because I’m pretty uncoordinated and definitely not graceful like a ballerina! But, no matter your age, weight, or fitness level, it looks like you will be able to get some great results from barre!
The history of barre is also pretty interesting. Given that many of the positions in a barre class are based on classic ballet positions, it’s no surprise that barre was developed by a ballerina. After injuring her back, a German dancer living in London came up with the idea to combine her dance conditioning routine with her rehabilitative therapy. She opened her first studio in 1959 in her London basement. The workout was imported back into the United States in the 1970s and grew first in New York City. Over time, instructors begin branching off to create their own unique variations of the workout. The barre trend has definitely heated up in the last 10 years!
Although barre has its origins in ballet and dance, people as awkward and as rhythmically challenged as me need not worry! Luckily, you don’t need any dance experience. Most barre classes have the same essential structure. You start with a warm-up that is full of yoga moves like planks and push-ups, you do a series of balancing exercises, and you continue your workout at the bar to work out your lower body, particularly your thighs and glutes.
Anyway, give it a go and let me know how you like it!