All levels welcome.
Barre fitness has grown in popularity over the past few years. It’s a combination of fitness elements—including Pilates, yoga and functional training— inspired by the movements of Ballet. Barre is highly effective in improving cardiovascular health, muscle development, and flexibility. It involves the barre used in ballet as well as some additional equipment used in Pilates and other workouts; such as weights, tubing and exercise balls.
While there are terms that are specific to ballet, barre is not just for students from a dance background. Barre is a safe way to cater to a range of individuals at different levels with varying potential injuries. More men are becoming interested in the class to use it as a cross-training workout and the focus on stretching throughout the workout.
Barre exercises are generally small isometric movements (holding your body still while you contract a specific set of muscles). This can reduce pressure on your joints, tendons, ligaments and spine and focus on proper posture and form. Embrace the shaking you may experience as it’s totally natural for your muscles to quiver uncontrollably. It means you are exhausting your muscles and forcing them to tone!
When properly taught, students focus on safety and overall body awareness. Barre is not associated with the use of heavy weights (no more than 5 lbs), high intensity impact, or cardio exercises. The workouts focus on targeting the total body by combining the strength, conditioning, and flexibility of dancers with the repetition, muscle loading and structure of a traditional fitness class.
You’ll start with a warm up and sequence of upper-body exercises, which include free weights, push-ups, planks and other moves to target the biceps, triceps, chest, and back muscles. Next, you’ll use the ballet barre and your own body weight for resistance to focus on the thigh and glute muscles. Your core will be engaged the entire class and then targeted at the end. For the cool down, you’ll go through a series of stretches to increase flexibility and allow your muscles to recover. At the end of a class, expect to feel stretched, strengthened and invigorated!
One of the aspects of barre training that makes it so wonderful is how easily it caters to different movement backgrounds. Regardless of whether you are a dancer, fitness enthusiast or someone who simply enjoys a total body workout, you will benefit from a barre class. Barre workouts provide a deep knowledge of the muscle groups of the body, as well as how to safely work each muscle group using different techniques that may be seen in other workouts.
The movements are small and specific, which can lead to excellent results. Many of the workouts target the largest muscle groups in the body, like the thighs and glutes. The larger the muscle, the more calories burned! As you continue to attend class, you will build more lean muscle mass and raise your resting metabolic rate, which can help you to produce more energy and expend calories. If you pair barre workouts with a healthy diet, you will achieve even better results.
Barre exercises are adaptable to those with injuries or other movement limitations. Barre is an excellent complement to other types of fitness such as running or weight lifting. If you’re interested in a workout that balances strength and flexibility while also improving posture, abdominal strength and overall body awareness, then barre is right for you! Having flexibility and strength allows you to enjoy a longer, active life free of injuries.
Monday @ 11:30 a.m.
Wednesday @ 11:30 a.m.