You must have heard a great deal about barre fitness. Some good and some bad. It’s been on the trend for quite a while now. On the off chance that you didn’t know, let me take you through a quick tour, so you know how does barre fitness work and see if it’s the right program for you.
What is barre fitness?
Barre is an amalgamation of isometric moves derived from disciplines- yoga, ballet, Pilates, strength training, and a range of feet based dance moves. These are low impact, but don’t underestimate the intensity of an average barre session. The name comes from the program’s use of barre to perform the isometric moves.
It’s similar to Crossfit or even an average HIIT circuit(minus the afterburn effect), where you do these isometric drills with your full focus and dedication. The moves themselves are easy to do when compared to compound exercises, where you focus on static movements mostly that require a vast range of mobility- like walking. But you have to make the moves with fully pumped muscles to maximize the fat burning and overall body toning.
Various muscle groups are engaged in a typical barre class, from your butt to your glutes to your arms and your core as well. It’s a solid full-body toning plan. You build strong lean muscles while taking your level of endurance to high levels. You can expect a full-body soreness after the first few classes. However, since the moves are relatively low impact, you can expect to recover quickly.
What is barre fitness class, and what/how to prep for one?
Barre fitness is usually practiced in barre classes as these come with static dance moves that require heavy balancing and intricate footwork. There are many different variations to the type of barre each fitness studio offers. Pure Barre, Balletone, and Bar method are some of the hybrid branches you can expect to find.
Barre fitness classes don’t require that many tools or equipment, but there are a few requirements that you absolutely can’t train without. Activewear is one of those necessities. This specific apparel set makes a world of difference in your training. Lightweights are optional if you start reaching a plateau and want to drive up the intensity while keeping the same length of your barre sesh.
There are no specific tools that come with most barre classes. Some barre studios have their own unique variation of barre training. These come with different tools and equipment- like medicine balls, one of the most popular, but not everyone uses it for barre.
Other studios may use uniquely unconventional tools like resistance bands, while others depend on light hand weights. It varies from studio to studio. That is also where different pricing comes in for these Barre classes. A yoga mat is essential for these since you are required to hold delicate positions, and we don’t want to jeopardize or affect your efficiency in any way.
Committing to a barre class has countless benefits for both your body and your mind. Some of these benefits are common knowledge, and you can expect these like you can expect to lose a ton of weight by doing HIIT.
While others are a bit out-of-the-norm and something you don’t expect. Without any further ado, let me take you through some of these perks and help you figure out what is barre fitness class all about:
1. Calorie Draining:
These may not be as calorie intensive as HIIT, but the no pause policy between each isometric set will leave your muscles all hot and sore. Still, you can expect to burn a lot of calories since your heart does not catch a break while you perform these rigorous moves. The constant tension on your muscles will keep your metabolism elevated, as well.
You can always implement HIIT or cardio to maximize the calorie-torching feature of the Barre discipline.
You can even incorporate special diets to get more out of it.
2. Aiding in Arthritis:
Some of you may wonder and worry about the consequences the program can have on your arthritis backed joints. As mentioned earlier, this is one of those benefits you can’t predict before doing the class. Plus, the moves are very gentle on your joints.
It also helps build stronger muscles around your joints so you can expect a reinforced hold in your practical life. However, there are few advanced level holds and supple that may cause minor discomfort in your joints, so ask your trainer to help you adapt to these.
3. Pregnancy friendly:
Due to the nature of the low range movement of the system, you can always count on the Barre program if you or your close ones are pregnant and don’t feel safe or confident about most fitness programs when in the nurturing stage.
Plus, these are not calorie intensive, so you don’t even need to worry about losing too many nutrients from the system for the growing baby in the tummy. As you progress further down the line, you will come across a few hard-to-do moves, but worry not, your friendly trainer can change or design these around your needs, so you don’t get stuck on a plateau.
4. Enhanced mental strength:
This will significantly reinforce your patience and also great if you want to build a high level of pain tolerance. Deep muscle burn is the key to this point. Also, because of the now stronger mind and body, you can expect a better posture.
Better posture induces better balance. It will leave your body feeling fresh and new after the first month with now relieved lower back pain and a better-looking butt, and we all know how great butts are universal mood lifters.
5. Strength & Flexibility:
Barre system is perhaps the best core workout drill you can hope to find. Plus, the beginner-friendly essence can really help you commit, and another great thing is that it’s anything but boring. You will find yourself continually shifting from one move to the other.
All these will amp up your flexibility and tensile strength of your muscles. So, you don’t have to worry about holding massive blocks for extended periods and not to mention the added benefits you get in applications of your daily life.
Things to remember:
First and foremost, never be afraid of barre before starting out. Not just barre, though, anything in life should not be viewed with negativity before giving it a shot by you or someone in the past. Get into the studio with the mindset that you are here for the pain and the heat and induced temporary Parkinson’s.
Don’t go to a Barre class with a full stomach.
Expect to quiver a lot. LITERALLY. The lengthy static holds can leave your muscle tissues burning hotter than ever, and most beginners tremble. Still, some find joy in the burn as it lets you know that it’s really working.
After the first day, soreness is expected, but no matter how much pain you are in, don’t let that stop you from getting back within 48 hours, or it turns into a habit, and you lose all motivation before long.
Be sure to get your online registration done and check reviews prior. Depending on your location and when you’re doing it, you can expect a full class if you sign up late.
Always seek help and advice from your class seniors. When it comes to working your body, there are major DOs, and DONTs ordinary folks don’t even consider.
Home DVDs are always an option if you can’t afford the time or money or have social anxiety.
At last but not least, warm-up and stretch before a class, or be ready to feel the consequences.