Today we are talking about barre fitness (pronounced BAR!) because many people have misconceptions of what ‘barre’ is or that it is even a legit fitness regimen! I’m all for a well-rounded workout routine, in fact, I believe it’s necessary. I firmly believe there is not a single ‘method’ of fitness that people should do. Bodies as well as minds; need change, need variety. This is such the reason I opened FHIIT Barre and Bodyworks to incorporate a variety of well-rounded, complimentary exercise formats. I’m not recommending everyone to drop all their other workouts for a barre-only life, I’m just asking you to give it a chance. Give it a place on your weekly workout calendar, I promise you won’t be disappointed. Like I said; it’s a great compliment to runners, tri-athletes, cross-fitters, bikers, power lifters etc. If a client needs to lose a great amount of weight, I would definitely recommend a combination of cardio as well as barre into his/her workout plan; let’s face it, it’s necessary. I love being active, running, walking my dogs, and taking group exercise classes of various formats but most of all, like all things in life; I need to ENJOY the activity I am participating in, not drudge through it because, “I have to.”
Some of the many reasons I love barre…it is dynamic, fun, challenging and fast paced. Barre workouts can and will change your body noticeably if you do it right and consistently, just like any exercise. Your heart rate will rise. You will sweat. Your muscles will exhaust. It’s not a bunch of ladies in their finest Lululemon apparel or tutu’s and leg warmers gracefully doing plies and twirls with ease to classical music. We are sweating and shaking while inconspicuously giving the ‘stink eye’ to the instructor as she is lying to us about how many more pulses we have to perform in this position! Boredom isn’t an issue in class given the varied choreography in the music-driven classes. Most clients never have enough time to glance at the clock. They are concentrating on how much longer they can truly hold this position for another 8 counts without yelling obscenities aloud! Barre fitness is not just for the young, coordinated dancers, or strong, ‘in-shape’, fitness enthusiasts, IT IS FOR EVERYONE… I have women of all ages, shapes, sizes, abilities, demographics, and the reasons they love visiting the studio grow exponentially. I have witnessed so many funny interpretations of barre, viewed the perplexity amongst faces when you say 'barre.' Throughout my many conversations and explanations, I developed this meme because it holds truth in the depiction of how the world sees “barre!”
IF THERE IS ANYTHING YOU TAKE OUT OF THIS BLOG...I HOPE IT IS THIS:
1. Barre is a no-impact workout. Hard on muscles, easy on joints. It improves range of motion, posture, and flexibility. You’re not going to have bad knees or bad back from this format of exercise; you’re going to grow strong muscles that support your joints and skeletal structure.
2. Every class works so many different parts of your body. It is a total body workout. Clients don’t even realize all the muscles they’re working in their entire body until they’re sore for the next few days. I focus on form, form, form. In order to have good form, you are constantly engaging all muscle groups all the time.
3. Barre works muscles to fatigue. Not many workouts focus on one muscle group at a time, not to mention in different ranges of motion and tempos! Literally, bringing the muscle to its exhaustion, and then stretching it out while the muscle is warm. Muscles that are brought to fatigue absolutely become stronger over time. We do this in the most safe, effective way I’ve ever experienced when done correctly.
I will agree that barre may not improve every single aspect of your fitness, but it is a gosh darn effective workout, and the results of barre clients around the country speak for themselves. I have seen, experienced, and heard firsthand of many amazing results from the barre regimen. My clients come to me saying “I can do so many full push-ups now!” “Did you see I can now hold my full plank for all 60 seconds?!” “Look how sculpted my arms have become!” “My husband can’t hang with me in ab work!” “I’m much more flexible, I can reach my toes!” I had a client share that she is able to put off a knee replacement because barre has strengthened the muscles around her joints. I’ve seen pregnant women hang at the barre until they were ready to pop and come back to the barre weeks after giving birth (with modifications and doctors orders of course). There is something wonderful about this exercise and what how it positively affects your body and spirit. Come on into FHIIT Barre and Bodyworks in downtown Syracuse, NY so that you can try it for yourself along with our Yoga, Cardio HIIT and TRX classes! I will see you at the barre!