Benefits of Barre
A few years ago I was introduced to booty barre classes which is now one of my favourite workouts. What I love most is that it’s not too cardio-intensive but is still a whole body workout that leaves an impression – and lots of shaking muscles. No matter how lazy I feel before going to class in the evenings, I always come out feeling rejuvenated and empowered. Some of my favourite benefits include:
- It’s actually easy to follow – You don’t need any previous dance experience to be able to catch on to the moves. I’ve danced most of my life so the basic steps came pretty naturally, but those coming from no background are still able to keep up and quickly catch on. It’s not like some classes where you need to learn the choreography quickly, you will go step by step through the moves while still keeping a good pace. I attend classes with my mom and she’s perfectly capable of keeping up, even though she often makes up her own moves.
- Targets every muscle group – I love that I can leave class feeling like I’ve worked out every inch of my body. I don’t mind if I’m a bit sore the next day because then I know I did my best and hit all the target spots. The movements are small but in the end tone up your muscles and provide you with a lean (rather than bulky) figure.
- It gets your heart rate up – It gets me moving and my blood pumping without even really noticing that I’m doing cardio. I never feel out of breath or like I can’t keep up because the cardio portion is so subtle. The class usually involves a little “cardio burst” in the middle to get your heart rate up even more!
- Flexibility and balance – The barre moves will gradually increase your flexibility while helping to improve your balance and overall posture. The classes involve a lot of stretching to ensure you don’t injure your muscles, which will also help with your flexibility.
- Tighter core and booty – Now you’re interested, huh? Your core is engaged through the majority of the class, even when you’re working on another muscle group and don’t notice that it is. A lot of the moves at the barre and using the exercise balls will directly target your booty and help you to tone and firm up the area (hence the common class name “Booty Barre”).
- You can do it at home – You can try some moves at home by holding onto your kitchen counter or a tall chair so that you can practice and get a workout on your nights off. You can also buy some barre workout videos to do at home if the classes just aren’t in your budget.
- Each class is different – There is always fun new music to get you moving, and new moves introduced through each class. Some classes you might use a stability ball, exercise bands, light weights, floor mats and obviously time spent at the barre.
- Variations for different levels – With all of the exercises, you are always given options to accommodate your own needs and abilities. If you become a barre regular like me and need an extra push, there are always added variations to try to increase the level of difficulty. It’s great to push yourself but if you are having an “off” day you can simply do what you feel comfortable with.
- Confidence boosting – In addition to all the body parts you just toned up, the “ballet” like moves in the class will give you added grace and coordination while giving you a boost of confidence. When you enjoy the exercise that you do, you will also be able to stick with it and see the improvement in your body.
- It’s fun! – Above all else, I love that there’s no pressure or judgement, you can make new friends and have fun at every class you attend. If you’re having a bad day or losing your motivation, attending a class or doing some moves at home will surely help you out!