Barre classes and workouts are one of the newer additions to the fitness world’s catalogue of workouts, one that may seem less accessible than most because the primary piece of equipment can be difficult to find outside of a dance studio.
But they are showing up in more and more gyms and yoga and Pilates studios as the benefits become more widely known. You can also follow online barre classes from home as long as you have a sturdy chair or table to use for stability, and perhaps a yoga mat and some light weights — if no dumbbells are lying around you can simply use a can of food or filled water bottle.
The movements in many barre classes put an intense focus on core strength, flexibility and stability, while others incorporate more cardio movement either at or away from the barre. Either way, there are many benefits to participating:
Barre develops your muscles through isometric movements that use specific muscles or muscle groups, often stretching them from many different angles. Your core, arms, thighs, glutes and pelvic floor muscles see the most effect. You remain stationary as you do the exercises and they’re especially well-adapted for those who have limited workout space or are experiencing knee pain or discomfort.
Even though your muscles don’t expand or contract you do a lot of stretching at the barre, helping you maintain your flexibility and balance while improving the range of motion of your joints. You will be able to move through the world with much more confidence and less fear of falling or other mishaps.
Strengthening the muscles of your core and thighs will have you standing up straighter and sitting more erect — just like a dancer! It takes pressure off your spine by distributing your weight more evenly across your bones and muscles, which helps prevent future back pain and injuries.
Barre training can be a key part of your training regimen, building up your body in ways that make cardio and strength training more effective.