Barre, pronounced as “Bar,” is a workout form named after the rail that ballet dancers use to train for stability during their dance practices and training. Barre Workout combines ballet-inspired barre exercises, Pilates, and functional fitness training.
This exercise program uses low impact workout mainly focused on the lower body and engages the upper body, arms, and core muscles.
The barre workout is a ballet inspired workout that incorporates moves from ballet. The inspiration is to get the same benefits that ballet dancers get during their barre exercises without actually making complicated ballet dance moves. Barre fitness workouts target cardio, strength training, and flexibility all at the same time.
What happens in a Barre Workout Class?
During barre classes, there will be an instructor who will demonstrate each exercise. The Barre Workout always starts with a warm-up period where lightweight equipment may be used. The warm-up workout routine will start with increasing the heart rate through functional movements, stretching, and breathing.
After the warm-up period, the exercise proper will be composed of sets of workout series such as Cardio exercise, Leg, or Ballet Series. The instructor will remind you to move like a ballet dancer to improve body awareness. Rest periods are a few seconds between sets of exercises. The workout will end with a cool-down period to lower the heart rate and temperature gradually and safely.
What to Expect
Each Barre Workout Class is a high-energy session that aims to exercise the whole body. Expect to feel the burn in your glutes, hamstrings, and calves, with much bouncing and stretching. There will be exercises performed using the ballet barre and using yoga mats.
It is recommended that form-fitting clothes such as leggings and a fitted top be worn during classes. And since there will be a lot of isometric strength exercises, stability and strength will improve after a few weeks.
The targeted muscle groups will be fatigued through high repetition exercises. Other forms may use lightweight equipment, and others may just use their body weight. Besides the sweat and burn, expect to have fun during every class.
Benefits of Barre Workouts class
There are many benefits of Barre Workout for Physical and Mental health. Because the workout routine is a mixture of different exercises, it is considered a full-body workout. This section discusses seven benefits for physical fitness and three benefits for mental health.
7 Physical Benefits of Barre Class
1) Rehabilitation and injury prevention
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), there is an increase in injuries, specifically during bicycling, in 2020, with 425,920. Meanwhile, 377,939 injuries recorded in 2020 were acquired during exercises with or without equipment.
Because Barre workouts use low-impact exercises, it reduces the compression in the joints and lowers the risk of acquiring any injuries. With ample time for warm-up exercises, the entire body is properly prepared. This also reduces muscle soreness.
2) Includes every aspect of fitness
The combination of exercises exhibited by Barre exercise targets all aspects of fitness. This combination includes aerobic exercise, Pilates, Yoga, Ballet, stretching, and even strengthening exercises with equipment or using own body weight. Lifting weights, using resistance bands, or using one’s body weight in gravity-resisted forms will increase the strength of major muscle group of the whole body – arms, legs, and core muscles.
There are also many stretching exercises incorporated in each form to improve the flexibility of the body. Barre Workouts can range from 30 to 45 minutes of whole-body exercise, with short breaks in between, which helps to improve cardiorespiratory endurance. According to heart.org, the improvement of endurance keeps the cardiac, respiratory, and circulatory systems healthy and improves overall fitness.
3) Aids in balance and coordination
The isometric exercises incorporated in the exercises aim to improve the strength of the muscles in holding the body in stable positions. This improves balance and coordination. As the abdominal muscles are contracted during exercises, they will improve strength over time.
A strong core can correct alignment and hold the body steady in any form. In postpartum women who lost a portion of their abdominal muscle strength, this is an excellent exercise to regain the strength of their core muscles after giving birth.
4) Boosts One’s Metabolism
In targeting the large muscle groups of the body, combined with the continuous sets of exercises lasting for 30 to 45 minutes, more calories are burned. With Barre Workouts combined with weight lifting and cardiorespiratory training, regular engagements will build leaner muscles and can increase the metabolic rate.
5) Improved Posture
Ballet dancers need to dance with elegance. They achieve that through dancing while keeping a proper posture and good body alignment. Many exercises in Barre Workouts target the abdominal and back muscles.
Excessive backward tilting of the pelvis or the flattening of the back can be improved by strengthening the abdomen and glutes. With strong postural muscles, one can maintain a good posture and experience less muscle fatigue.
6) Muscle Definition
Like in any other exercises that utilize resistance training, muscle mass is expected to increase. But unlike pilates and other workouts, there are a lot of choreographed movements in a Barre Class.
An increased amount of repetitions with a higher tempo is needed to utilize both the small and large muscle groups to increase the heart rate and metabolic rate, which results in decreased body fat. One may also notice that more toned and defined muscles can be achieved through regular Barre Workouts as one strengthens these muscles.
From the concept of ballet dancing, flexibility exercises are important for every ballet dancer. This is why stretching exercises are incorporated into many routines of Barre Workout. Usually, the instructors will remind you to focus on your form or posture as you allow your flexibility to increase in every class.
3 Benefits for One’s Mental health
According to the World Health Organization, there has been an increase in mental health conditions in the last decade. Mental health is important to take care of. Exercise can help improve Mental Health and Well-being. This section discusses three benefits of Barre Workouts for one’s mental health.
1) Reduces Stress
Each exercise form needs a full-body awareness during Barre classes to not lose balance and core engagement. As one focuses on every movement, a steady and calm state of mind is achieved, helping in reducing stress. The increase in heart rate, sweating, and body temperature mimics the state when one is in distress or anxiety.
During exercises, the mind is conditioned to produce the same responses but upon an enjoyable experience. It is a coping strategy to feel less anxious and keep a clearer mind in stressful situations.
2) It Makes One Feel Fulfilled
Exercise stimulates the release of the natural “feel-good” chemicals of the body, such as endorphins. Endorphins are endogenous neurotransmitters that give us the feeling of positivity of euphoria. In addition, Barre Workout can also stimulate serotonin release, which is also known as the “Happy Hormone.”
Signs of low levels of serotonin are connected with depression. An increase in Serotonin can regulate one’s mood, happiness, and even sleep to make one feel more fulfilled after every Barre Workout class.
3) It is Enjoyable
Because Barre Workouts are conducted in the form of classes, connecting with people during exercise sessions makes it more enjoyable than lifting weights alone in the gym. Also, one will never get bored with every class because instructors always develop a new routine of choreographed sequences for every Barre Class.
Tips and Tricks in Doing the Barre Workout
To maximize the benefits of every Barre Workout, one has to focus on improving exercise forms. It is essential to perform every exercise in a proper form to target the proper muscles and also to prevent injuries.
For example, in any planking position, not engaging the core muscles will increase the risk of straining and hurting the back. The instructors usually give cues to correct your forms, and you may also use the mirror as added visual feedback.
If one exercise is too strenuous or too advanced for you, choose to modify the exercise to keep it more comfortable and tolerable. As one improves, exercise forms can be progressed.
Instructors would also advise students to take the shoes off to prevent slippage and wear socks for increased comfort. Be consistent and have fun! Consistency in any workout produces optimal results in achieving whole-body fitness goals.
For beginners, exercise forms can be done without the use of weights first. Value the quality over quantity of every movement. If using weights makes one compensate during functional movements, it is better to let go of the weights first and use body weight instead.
Beginners should also remember that though Barre Workouts are ballet-inspired, it is still not ballet dancing. Advanced dancing skills are not needed for one to join Barre Workouts.
To learn more about Barre Workouts, it’s better to join a class and have a personal trainer demonstrate the exercises and correct your form. But as one improves and masters the essence of Barre Workout, one can forego classes and do them at home on their own.
There are various videos online to watch and follow for anyone busy but still wants to squeeze in Barre Workouts in their hectic schedules. There are no special requirements for Barre Workout, and anyone can join and start their journey towards wellness anytime!
A Barre Intensity Class is an excellent physical activity class to try because it is enjoyable because of the different elements that can help you on your fitness journey. Moreover, all the benefits it brings to the mind and body are limitless. It’s a great way to be in sync with your body’s needs and maintain a lean body at the same time. So start asking yourself “Is there a fitness class near me?” and proceed in achieving your fitness goals!