Meet Me At The Barre: 5 Reasons Why The Barre Workout Is A Must-Try
Written By: Taylor Rao
If you want to break a sweat and have some fun while doing it, your best bet might not be hopping on a treadmill solo. Let’s face it --it can be difficult to self-motivate, learn the right pace and be solely responsible for the most bumpin’ workout playlist. Right?
And more so, if your fitness goals are less about losing weight and more focused on toning and tightening, there are far better ways to whip yourself into shape than walking into a gym with no plan or routine in mind.
So, why not try something new? The barre fitness trend is like Zumba 3.0 --not only does the workout itself have a lot going for it, but it’s amassed quite the following over the years, as it has gained a reputation for being one of the best (and most fun) full-body workouts out there.
If you’re not familiar, barre is a low-impact, full-body workout that’s best described as a mix of classic ballet and Pilates moves. The majority of the class is taught on a ballet barre and has you moving to the beat as you complete 8, 10 or 12-count repetitions of movements like pliés, calf raises, leg lifts and more.
We’ve rounded up five reasons why it’s worth giving the barre workout a try.
1. No sneakers required
Seriously, any workout that doesn’t require lacing up is pretty awesome if you ask me. Depending on the type of barre studio you attend, some classes are taught on wood floors where you bring your own yoga mat, and others are taught on a full-on cushioned floor that feels like a yoga mat all over. Some studios do say barefoot is a no-go, though, like the franchise Pure Barre where socks are required, as the class is taught on carpet.
No matter which way you do barre --barefoot or with some cozy, gripped socks on --there’s no need to spend money on Nikes or worry about your laces coming undone mid-workout. AKA, you’ll be giving your full attention to each and every moment while keeping cool and comfortable.
2. You can do it anywhere (seriously)
Once you learn the basic barre movements, it’s no problem if you don’t have time to squeeze in a full-length workout at the studio. Instead, grab onto your kitchen countertop, a table or back of a chair that looks about the height of the barre and get going on an at-home barre workout.
And, let’s say the group environment of the classes has you totally hooked and you don’t want to miss out on a good workout while you’re traveling out of town. Barre franchises like Bar Method, Pure Barre and Studio Barre are popping up in cities all over the country, and most studios don’t require a membership so you can take a pop-up class whenever and wherever you want.
3. It’s hard but rewarding work
Barre is focused on working tiny muscle groups. And though they might be tiny, when you work them hard enough, they leave a lasting impression on your physique. In a barre class, the first few reps might seem a little easy --who can’t do a simple pliè or leg lift? Don’t let the simple movements fool you; it’s guaranteed that once you’re past the warm-up exercises, you’ll be breaking a sweat and feeling the burn all over.
The repetition in barre is key --as it helps you focus on doing the movements correctly, ensuring that each and every rep is counting towards your workout. Over time, you’ll build up endurance and flexibility to get through class with ease (well, maybe not with ease...but you get the idea).
Plus, barre is not only a full-body workout (meaning its good for your core, arms, legs, everything), but it’s also low-impact; AKA it’s safe for almost everyone and won’t cause additional stress on your body as long as you’re doing the movements properly. And if you’re new to this workout and haven’t spent time on these muscle groups before, no sweat. Your instructor can provide you with variations of each and every exercise and make sure you’re still challenging yourself at your current skill level.
4. You’ll learn the importance of good posture
Nobody’s perfect when it comes to having good posture all day, every day. But in a barre class, your instructor is going to be hyper-focused on your alignment of your spine, your hips and feet, as well as your hand placement on the barre. All of these tips and trips will translate into your daily life and make you think twice about how far reclined you are in the driver’s seat.
During barre, you’ll be asked to lengthen your spine as if there’s a string at the top of your head pulling you toward the ceiling. No slumping or tensing up your shoulders allowed. And instead of looking down and focusing on your feet or hands during the different exercises, you’ll keep your gaze straight ahead and pick something to stare at to keep you aligned with every movement.
5. The music will keep you motivated
Barre classes are high energy, and according to the popular barre workout booty barre, the average beats-per-minute of a song used in a barre class is 126 BPM. So, that means you can expect to hear some of the most fun and upbeat pop songs during your class, from Bruno Mars and Meghan Trainor to Pharrell and the Black Eyed Peas.
With a great playlist in the background while you work your core, booty and full body, your heart rate will be bumpin’ as you move to the beat and pick up even more rhythm than you thought you had in you.