by Jenny Wiglesworth
With the results barre classes provide, it’s no wonder it’s a top choice for favorite workouts these days. Known most commonly as a dancer’s workout, with it’s high-intensity and low-impact focus, it’s now being seen as much more than that. Barre fitness workouts are a fusion of dance exercise, yoga and Pilates; great for any age or fitness level. Here are five reasons why barre should part of your everyday workout regimen.
1: Barre strengthens the glutes. A lot of workouts target the glutes, but not many are able to recruit all the ‘seat’ muscles simultaneously. During a barre ‘seat’ workout, the isometric pulses (known as ‘the shake’) keep the work at a level where every muscle in the desired area is recruited. This is how the achievement of the lifted ‘seat’ occurs.
2: Barre lengthens legs. If we aren’t born with ‘stilts for legs’, we can still achieve them by focusing on extensions. Barre workouts extend muscle fibers by focusing on lengthening first, strengthening second.
3: Barre slims and tones abdominals. Crunches aren’t the only way to see definition in the abdominal region. With core breath focus, barre workouts provide 55 minutes of abdominal work. Focusing on ‘the tuck’ (drawing the belly into the spine), every exhale contracts the abdominals. On top of this, each class has a designated ‘core focus’ where abdominals are challenged to change.
4: Barre increases flexibility. Bending over backwards may be something reminiscent of childhood gymnastic days, but better flexibility is possible through barre practice. Every exercise, and stretching in particular, allows the body to challenge flexibility. Being flexible is more than just being ‘bendy’; it allows the body to be more useful in day-to-day circumstances and protects the body when it needs it most.
5: Barre workouts are fun. Many people have a love-hate relationship with fitness and exercise. It’s either something we have to do because we know it’s good for us or it’s something that is so amazingly fun that missing a workout would seem like a crime. Barre workouts are definitely the latter. In fact, at some studios, it’s where lifelong friends are made.
With ‘seat’ strengthening, leg lengthening and tummy toning alone, barre is an amazing workout. But with the addition of flexibility and fun, barre becomes a workout like none other! Take advantage of the five and sign up for a class today.
Jenny Wiglesworth owns and operates BarreU in Coeur d’Alene, ID. For more information, call 503-720-9451 or visit BarreUcda.com.