While barre-based fitness classes have risen quickly in popularity over the last couple of years, this is not a passing fad with minimal results. Ballet-inspired workouts are serious workouts, using small, isometric movements that will leave your whole body quivering. With a focus on the core, barre classes involve a series of strengthening exercises rather than cardio, set to a great playlist and paired with an enthusiastic instructor. You’ll use the barre, as well as small weights and mini balls, to slim and stretch your entire body. Keep reading for some of the best benefits of this workout.
You’ll be more flexible
Although you don’t have to be flexible to participate in barre workouts, you will definitely become more limber after a few sessions. Barre classes involve a lot of stretching, which can improve your overall range of motion. In fact, becoming more flexible can even make you hurt less! Tension and tightness in your muscles is often the cause of pain during everyday activities, like bending down to tie your shoelaces. When your muscles move more easily, pain decreases. Furthermore, barre classes teach flexibility in conjunction with strength. This means that your overall risk of injury decreases. You may even find yourself able to perform better at other sports, like golf or tennis.
You’ll have better posture
Ballerinas are known for their incredible posture. While barre workouts may not get you ready to audition for "The Nutcracker," you'll notice an improvement in your posture. Core muscles are worked throughout every move, strengthening the muscles that we need every day to keep our bodies in proper alignment. In fact, many people begin doing barre workouts because of back problems, which usually result from weak core muscles and hours spent sitting at a desk. Barre workouts champion maintaining good posture over anything else, so becoming aware of the way you hold your body during these workouts will spread to other areas of your life.
You’ll get a head to toe workout
When you work out a muscle group in a barre class, you work that muscle group from every single angle. The small, isometric movements work your muscles to failure, forcing it to tone. These same small movements also allow you to target smaller muscle groups that are often ignored in cardio-based workouts. Think of a plank, where you hold your body in one position until everything begins to shake. Poses like this help your muscles to increase not only their strength, but also their endurance. In other words, you are a getting an intense, total body workout in a barre class without pumping iron or running.
You won’t get hurt
The small, controlled movements used for barre workouts are easy on your joints. This means that you’re able to get in a great workout even if you have a sore knee or back. Although you’ll leave each class in a sweat, you won’t need to catch your breath. These classes are considered low-impact, protecting your joints from the damage often caused by jarring HIIT workouts. This also makes these workouts easier to stick with over a long period of time, ultimately leading to better results. Barre workouts are a great option for anyone rehabbing an injury or trying to get into a fitness routine.
You’ll lose weight
Many of the moves in a barre workout focus on the glutes and thighs, two of the largest muscle groups in the body. This means that you’ll burn a lot of calories relatively quickly. As you continue to go to class and build lean muscle mass, your body will burn more calories even when resting. Even more than pounds, you’ll lose inches as you lengthen and reshape your body to be longer and leaner.
You’ll have fun!
Group fitness classes are always more fun than working out alone. With fun music and constantly changing choreography, barre workouts hold your attention much more than another boring run on the treadmill. You’ll probably even make friends as you attend classes, as people tend to go to the same times every week. Barre instructors are usually genuinely fun to workout with and really keep the energy up in the class. Plus, the feel-good endorphins you get from a good workout will keep you coming back for more!
Abby Drexler is a contributing writer and media specialist for Pure Barre. She often produces content for a variety of health and fitness blogs.