The Barre Workout…..One of the Best Ways to Develop Great Strength and Definition in the Legs!
Have you heard of the latest great workout? Barre classes have become the hottest workout trend over the past few years. Barre studios are cropping up all over the country. And it is all because of the amazing benefits the class provides!
You may be asking yourself….What is a Barre class and what is so awesome about it. Well, let me tell you……Barre classes use a combination of postures inspired by ballet and other disciplines like yoga and Pilates. The barre is used as a prop to balance while doing exercises that focus on isometric strength training (holding your body still while you contract a specific set of muscles) combined with high reps of small range-of-motion movements. The class may also incorporate light handheld weights or elastic bands to really bring on the burn during all those reps.
There are so many benefits of adding a Barre class to your routine…..
1. It improves the strength of ALL the muscles of the legs…the quads, hamstrings, calf muscles, inner thighs and outer thighs (especially, my favorite hip muscle…the gluteus medius). The class focuses on strengthening all the muscles of the legs using small isometric movement to really strengthen even the smallest muscles of the lower extremities.
2. It improves balance. Many of the exercises target balancing on one leg, while using the ballet barre for support as needed. The only way to improve balance is to challenge it.
3. It improves coordination. The class is usually done to fun, upbeat music. The movements follow the rhythm of the beat, thereby improving coordination.
4. It improves posture awareness. Most barre instructors cue proper posture and body alignment during the exercises so you develop the posture of a ballerina….lifted and strong!
5. It burns quite a few calories. It is an upbeat class, so we move a little bit more, thereby burning a few more calories. It can burn between 250 and 400 calories in a one hour class.
6. It lifts the butt and reduces that GLUTEAL FOLD (the gluteal fold is that area where the buttocks meet the legs). Getting you ready to wear those “daisy dukes” and thong bikinis 🙂
7. It provides a mind-body connection. Most barre instructors cue you to focus on the exact muscle we are trying to strengthen. So you are encouraged to connect the mind to the body. Concentrating on the task at hand.
8. Barre classes are like really focused “fine tuning” of the lower body.
9. It is SO MUCH FUN! Barre classes are usually taught in a group setting with other like-minded participants. Adding fun and energy to just about any workout.
If you are looking to add some variety to your workouts, you may want to try a barre class or two. All that focused strengthening can really make you a better walker, runner or cyclist. Not to mention how nicely it shapes the legs and butt!
Pilates studio in Columbus, Ohio
Amanda Smith, licensed physical therapist, ACE certified group exercise instructor and certified Pilates instructor with more than 20 years of experience, teaches Barre classes at her studio in Columbus, Ohio and at the Westerville Community Center in Westerville, OH.
So sign up for a class today and feel how much stronger it will make you tomorrow.