Over the last few years, there has been a new fitness trend that has taken over the globe, becoming a favourite among celebrities, models, Pilates beginners and even the pros.
No, it’s not one those fly-by-night functional fitness fads. It’s Barre Pilates!
For those unfamiliar, you might be wondering, “What is Barre?”
Barre was first developed by Lotte Berk, a German ballerina, after a back injury. She opened her first Barre studio in her basement in 1959, after deciding that she wanted to combine her rehabilitative therapy with her strength and conditioning routine.
In 1971, Lydia Bach, an American student of Berk’s, brought Barre to the United States. Since then, variations of the workout have been created, and it has instantly spread throughout the country. Originally created for dancers, barre classes have now incorporated routines for fitness enthusiasts, and it is mostly used for conditioning.
Barre Pilates classes are a 45 minute, low-impact conditioning class that combines the stretching of yoga, the strengthening of Pilates, and the movements of Ballet.
The classes combine strength training, balance, cardio, core conditioning, and flexibility in a total body workout. It targets all areas of the body, such as the legs, core, glutes, back and arms.
Benefits of Barre Classes
In one of our Barre classes at our Dynamic Pilates Glebe studio, you use the barre as a prop to keep your balance, allowing your mind to focus on isometric strength movements—small, one-inch movements. Some other common exercises include using an exercise ball for the legs or small hand weights for the arms. While these movements may be small, if combined with holds and pulses, they can increase your muscle’s elasticity, and you will definitely feel the burn after just a few minutes.
From better posture to endurance to muscle flexibility, Barre classes offer a lot of benefits. Here are some of them:
- Increased Flexibility
Some people are hesitant to take up Barre classes, thinking they cannot do the routine because they don’t have the flexibility of a dancer. However, the combination of stretching and the focus on posture allows your flexibility to be pushed to its limits. The movements are easy to adapt, even for beginners, and you certainly don’t need to be a prima ballerina! The stretching breaks between strengthening routines will definitely help to improve your flexibility. Give it a few weeks, and you will be surprised by the overall outcome.
- A Low-Impact Workout
Unlike HIIT or other intense exercises, a Barre class won’t leave you feeling completely out of breath or with an intense soreness in your body – but it WILL still leave you sweating after your class finishes. This is because Barre is a low-impact workout, which means it is subtler and gentler on your body and joints. Routines are easy to follow and stick with, without requiring for days of joint and muscle recovery.
- A Fantastic Core Workout
A barre class is possibly one of the best core workouts you will ever experience. Crunches may help target the core muscles, but with barre, tiny muscles that are often ignored will also be targeted through isometric movements. Additionally, repeating these small movements over and over again will help build endurance of your core.
Barre focuses strongly on strength and balance, making your core a vital part of the training. Since you will be making use of your abdominals to keep your body in the correct alignment and posture, barre will give a tough core workout—great for maintaining a toned stomach.
Barre classes have become popular (and stayed popular) for a reason. It’s a great option for posture and flexibility, as well as supplementing your strength and conditioning routine. If you’ve been thinking it’s time to try Barre Pilates for yourself, check us out at Dynamic Pilates in Glebe. You can get started with one of our famous classes now, or for any questions give us a call on 02 8084 1897. We’ll be happy to help!