18 May 2020

What is a Barre Workout: Guide for Beginners

No doubt you have heard of the ballet barre fitness craze. Loved by celebrities on both sides of the pond, it is touted as the fastest way to get a dancer’s physique. But what is a barre workout? What happens during a class? And the most crucial question – is barre a good workout? Read on to discover our answers to the top three barre workout questions.

What is a Barre Workout?

A barre workout class incorporates elements of ballet training with other forms of exercise. The exact methods of exercise vary but often will include yoga and Pilates style movements and traditional resistance training exercises. In some classes, weights and resistance bands are used. Classes are usually 60 minutes in length and include music.

The ballet-inspired moves that you can expect to perform during a class include:

  • The basic ballet foot positions (first, second, third, fourth and fifth position)
  • Pliés
  • Développés
  • Battements
  • Jumps
  • Stretches

These moves are usually performed while supported by a traditional ballet bar (handrail) for balance, hence the name of the class. You are also likely to encounter other strength training moves during your barre class, such as:

  • Planks
  • Tricep dips
  • Lunges
  • Push-ups
  • Sit-ups

Who is Barre Fitness For?

You don’t have to be a dancer to enjoy or benefit from a barre class. Ballet barre is excellent for almost everyone who can exercise. It is a low-impact form of exercise, which means it is good for people who are recovering from injury, and those with joint issues who cannot tolerate high-impact exercise like running. Most classes can be adapted for pregnancy and post-natal requirements.

Barre fitness classes are a fantastic complement to other forms of exercise such as running, cycling and weight training because it develops flexibility and long, lean muscles, helping to counteract the compounding effects of other forms of exercise. Barre is also excellent as a stand-alone class because it is a total body workout, including cardio and strength training.

Is Barre a Good Workout?

Barre is an excellent workout for building strength in your muscles. This type of exercise is known as isometric exercise or static strength training. It targets individual muscles with small, intense movements, and the rep number and intensity are usually high. Because of this, barre fitness helps to sculpt the physique and create toned muscles. It also increases flexibility, stamina, and posture.

Barre classes can also help with weight loss. If you are serious about losing weight, you need to do a combination of cardio and strength training, and barre provides both. Along with shaping the muscles, it burns the fat covering them so that they can be seen. Many people are amazed at how fast they see results with barre fitness.

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