There seems to always be a new fad diet or fitness craze that you see in all the glossy gossip magazines or on all your friends Facebook walls as they subtly brag about their latest workout. However once and a while the latest fitness trend is something you can really get on board with: enter Barre. Barre workouts have been popping up in cities across North America and have developed a devoted following of fitness enthusiasts and newbies looking for a great workout.
For those who aren’t familiar with Barre workouts it’s a combination of yoga, dance and pilates. So do you have to be a dancer? No! You don’t even need to be coordinated. According to Barre Body Studio, “Barre is a fun way to design a tighter tush. Through isolated movement, it builds long, lean muscle while improving posture, grace and flexibility.” The classes involve motivating instructors who encourage all participants to move with the music in an upbeat and encouraging atmosphere. This makes all the great toning work you’re doing feel more like fun than work.
Barre classes are effective full body workouts, they focus on isometric exercises. Isometric is a term made up of two works “iso” and “metric” meaning “equal” and “length”. These exercises are used to focus on and strengthen specific muscle groups in the body. These isometric movements are combined with the focus and individual practice of yoga then combined with the choreography and grace or a dance class to equal on Barre Body class. The great Barre Tenders (instructors) will lead you through the class and explain all the moves and their benefits so you know exactly what you should be doing and why.
Those who are new to Barre should come to class ready to “feel the burn” most studios supply all the required equipment and participants only need to bring water and come outfitted in yoga or dance wear and with toe sox or grip sox. Barre classes are generally a high-powered hour long workout involving low-impact, total-body moves. Participants line up at the bars around the room or utilize free weights in the center all while being coached throughout the workout. Shaky legs and toned bottoms are common side effects of the classes.
The classes a great for everyone and although they are primarily female participants the classes are open to men and women of all ages. For anyone who is looking to mix up their workout routine or who has been struggling to find a workout that fits with their lifestyle and needs, Barre comes highly recommended so grab a friend, bring your mom or a favorite co-worker and get ready to feel the burn.
A special thanks to Barre Body Studio for providing information and photos for this article.