Here’s exactly what makes barre so beneficial.
Barre-based fitness classes have risen in popularity over the past few years, we offer a great variety of classes at the studio all with similar benefits. Here, we share five ways that a regular barre/pilates practice improves your overall fitness
1. Strength and Definition
In barre, you target a muscle group from all angles. For example, thigh exercises will work the front, inner, and outer thighs, strengthening the muscles from joint to joint. The same goes for your bum, abs, arms, and back. By strengthening each muscle group thoroughly, you are not only creating amazing definition, but you are also strengthening muscles that are often underused and underdeveloped, helping you stay injury-free.
Each barre class includes different types of movements, but most are known for their use of isometric contractions and small isotonic movements. In an isometric contraction, you tighten or contract the muscle without changing its length. Think plank position or those poses where you hold completely still as your legs start to quiver and shake. These contractions utilize slow-twitch muscle fibres that can increase stamina and improve your endurance, two benefits of barre you might not expect.
You don’t need to be flexible to achieve the benefits of barre, but the amount of stretching in each class can help improve your overall range of motion and reduce your risk of injury. Tension and tightness in your muscles and the tendons around them can lead to back pain and poor posture and can make everyday tasks like bending down to tie your shoes more difficult. Stretching out your muscles will help relieve stress and allow you to move through your day with a little more ease.
Core muscles are engaged throughout the entire class, and they can be used for the primary focus of an exercise or for stability as you perform a move that targets your thighs or bum. The most common issue that clients come in with is back pain that usually stems from weak core muscles and hours spent sitting at the computer. As you strengthen your core, you will notice the benefits of barre outside of class. You’ll be able to sit and stand taller and your lower back will take less stress and tension throughout the day.
5. Mind-Body Connection
Barre classes challenge you to not only go through the motions of the workout but to focus your thoughts on each and every tiny muscle you are working. Feel your mind starting to stray? Your teacher will give you step-by-step instructions on where to position your body while also offering hands-on corrections to adjust your alignment.