The Barre Fitness Craze
Do you ever spend time flipping through photos of your pre-baby body, wishing you could return to the days of having an actual waistline? Or maybe you wish you could feel more fit, more comfortable in your own skin, but you just haven’t found a workout that you enjoy. Well, there’s a ballet-inspired fitness trend sweeping the nation with promises of sculpted thighs and lifted rears. Let’s take a look at some of the premiere ballet barre workouts that may be just what you need to get your pre-baby body back.
What makes ballet barre fitness classes so special?
When you hear “ballet barre,” you may think you need to have a background in dance or a dancer’s body in order to participate, but that is not the case with these barre fitness classes. Here are just a few of the perks:
- The classes are all very low-impact, making it perfect for all body types, for people recovering from injuries, and even for expectant moms!
- If done regularly, barre fitness classes work to deliver athlete-like strength, but with the long, lean, sculpted body of a dancer.
- Classes focus on isometric holds combined with a small range of motion movements to work each muscle group to fatigue (to the the point where you are literally shaking!) followed by stretches to elongate the muscles. The perfect combination for a strong, long and lean body!
Here’s a breakdown of barre fitness studios that may be located in or near your hometown…
The Bar Method
The Bar Method integrates interval training, isometrics, dance conditioning, and physical therapy into one non-impact workout that promises to burn fat, carve muscle, and reshape your body. Each 60-minute class works your entire body from arms, to legs, to back, to abs utilizing floor excercises and of course, the ballet barre. Today there are more than 65 Bar Method studios in 18 states across the US and British Columbia.
Barre3 classes involve a combination of moves inspired by dance, yoga, and pilates to provide you with better balance, strength, and flexibility. Each class is 60-minutes long and follows a 3-step sequence of isometric holds, low-impact dynamic movements, and stretching. Today there are barre3 studios in 15 US states with international studios in the Philippines.
Pure Barre promises to burn fat in record-breaking time while achieving the mental benefits you see in yoga or meditation. Like other barre workouts, Pure Barre utilizes the ballet barre to perform small isometric movements, set to great music, that will lift your seat, tone your thighs, and burn fat. There are currently Pure Barre studios located in 36 US states.
The Booty Barre
This “sexy, energetic, and fun” workout fuses dance technique with pilates and yoga to deliver a whole body strength, flexibility, and cardio workout. You will find The Booty Barre method taught at a variety of pilates studios and health clubs worldwide – in over 15 different countries!
Find a Booty Barre class near you or try The Booty Barre in your own home with TRACEY MALLETT’S THE BOOT BARRE BEGINNERS & BEYOND DVD.
Xtend Barre Workout
The Xtend Barre Workout defines itself as “dance and pilates amplified.” It works to proportionally sculpt the body from head to toe. You will find the 60-minute multi-levels classes offered in Xtend Barre studios in over 75 locations worldwide.
So, do you want to step up to the barre and give it a try? Here are some tips before taking your first barre fitness class:
- What to wear: fitted pants that come below the knee, a comfortable top, and socks (ones with sticky traction bottoms are the best – studios usually have these for sale up front).
- Make sure you eat something substantial (give it time to digest) before class. You will be getting an intense 60 minute workout in which your muscles will become fatigued. You are constantly burning calories and your body needs the energy to get through. So, eat!
- Bring a bottle of water + sweat towel (some studios will provide these for you – check details on their website.)
- Be prepared to SHAKE. At first it feels unnatural and like something isn’t quite right when your thighs start vibrating in the middle of a barre thigh workout, but in terms of these classes it is completely normal… and actually encouraged! This means that you are working your muscles the correct way – to the point of fatigue – and you will see results.
- Have fun!
Photo Credit: Ashley Potter Photography
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Ariel is a recently turned stay-at-home momma of three little ones to her high school sweetheart. When she isn’t busy playing with her young kiddos (or running around frantically), you can find her writing on her personal blog, Dreams To Do. Ariel is a lover of inspirational words, photography, coffee, reality TV, and of course, her family. You can connect with Ariel on Twitter and Facebook.