Barre classes and barre-based fitness have been on the rise for the last several years, and there's a reason why people keep coming back to feel the barre burn. Not only does the barre method help to tone and tighten your muscles, it improves flexibility, posture, and balances the inner and outer seams of your limbs and core for an overall sense of ease and grace in the body.
6 Reasons to Take a Barre Class
1. Definiton and Toning
While you don't have to be a ballerina to attend and barre class, the exercises you'll do work the same muscle groups, helping to strengthen and lengthen the muscles that provide dancers with their long and lean physiques. In most barre classes, each muscle group is effectively targeted from joint to joint, resulting in the strengthening and toning.
2. Increase Flexibility
As many of us have daily sedentary jobs, we are at risk of compromising the flexibility that keeps us from severe back pain and postural imbalances. Barre exercises incorporate dynamic stretches as well as tension-releasing stretches that will improve your overall flexibility and keep your body moving freely in your daily activities.
3. Improve Posture
Since you are simultaneously strengthening and lengthening your muscles in barre class, your posture is bound to improve. You'll also perform exercises on both sides of the body, improving any imbalances and strengthening the weaker side of your body so that you can stand taller and straighter.
4. Endurance and Endorphins
Many barre exercises are designed for isometric contractions and small isotonic movements that utilize slow-twitch muscle fibers, which are responsible for you endurance. Cross-training with barre classes can actually improve your other sports, and of course help your body create more endorphins!
5. All Levels Welcome
Even though barre classes may look a little intimidating to a newbie, most qualified instructors can provide modifications and allow you to move at a slower pace if necessary. And contrary to what some may think, barre classes require no dance knowledge or background.
6. Feel the Burn!
The barre burn, which you will undoubtedly experience in every class, is that ever-satisfying, but sometimes dreadful, feeling of utilizing your muscles to the point of a slight burning sensation. This happens because you are exhausting your muscles, causing your body to actually build stronger and tighter muscle. This may cause some muscle soreness (remember to stretch!) when you first start out, but will help you build your endurance, strength, balance and help you feel more rejuvenated overall!
Barre image via Shutterstock