what is barre?
barre is a very fluid workout class. It combines ballet-inspired moves with elements of pilates, dance, yoga and strength training. Most classes incorporate a ballet barre which can be easily replaced by a chair and use classic dance moves such as pliés, alongside static stretches.
increase strength & improve flexibility
barre helps strengthen and tone your muscles without increasing bulk, and it can dramatically improve your posture and flexibility. In addition to building strength, this full-body workout also develops agility and flexibility. Your core will be greatly challenged as it will be engaged throughout the entire class. Maintaining balance while performing barre movements is a key part of a Barre class.
a full-body workout
Most barre classes focus on arms, core, legs, and glutes so you can expect a fairly well-rounded toning workout. These classes focus on strengthening and tightening the hips, glutes, thighs and the core while improving posture. barre workouts are challenging as they target muscles in specific ways that aren't necessarily used in everyday movement.
The isometric contractions that make up the bulk of a barre class occur when the muscle tenses without changing length. Think of these movements as the opposite of typical strength training moves (or concentric and eccentric contractions), which occur when a muscle stretches then shortens (as in a biceps curl). Isometric exercise is a great way to maintain muscle strength. Rather than moving steadily through a full range of motion, as you would when performing a standard squat or lunge, you might squat and hold the position, then begin moving just one inch up and down to further stress the muscles at that specific angle.
Repetitions tend to be high, range-of-motion small and sometimes accompanied by small light weights (1–1.5kg or 2–3 pounds). barre classes focus on the lower body and core, developing strength and flexibility from the ankles up through the calves, knees, thighs, glutes and abdominals. Holding muscles in contraction for extended periods frequently leads to them shaking as they fatigue. This is particularly true of thighs, as the quadriceps tire.
inspired by ballet
barre class is inspired by ballet, but you certainly don’t need to be a ballerina to come to class. You will know what “relevé” (standing on your toes) and “tuck” (tilting your pelvis) means in no time at all.
barre+ combines the isometric contraction techniques of barre with the more calorie burning features of more traditional pilates and aerobics workouts. The method integrates the fat-burning format of interval training with muscle shaping isometrics to quickly and safely reshape your entire body. barre+ method is more dynamic and energising, targeting all major muscle groups whilst also improving posture. During a barre+ class you will usually spend more time at the barre than in a traditional barre workout.
barre+ classes will assist you in
using isometric movements to strengthen muscles without straining tendons or ligaments, with less risk of injury compared to more traditional strength training,
targeting several muscle groups simultaneously
improving muscular activation for frequently underused muscles by strengthening the neuro-muscular connection
barre+ is a total body workout, a fusion of Ballet, Pilates and Aerobics. Join the fun and experience the benefits yourself. You will love it!
what to wear
The most important is that you feel comfortable.
You don’t need to purchase any special workout gear for Barre+. It is not necessary to wear super tight sport clothing, although an outfit with a snugger fit is a smart choice. Looser clothing can restrict your movement. Simply grab your favorite pair of leggings. You can pair your comfy bottoms with a tank top or a fitted t-shirt over a sports bra. A moderate support sports bra should be sufficient as there are no high impact moves.
In terms of footwear, bare feet or grippy socks are equally suitable. It's purely down to your personal preference.
All you really need for a barre+ workout is a mat and a highback chair. However, adding a few pieces of equipment can help you achieve a better workout and reap greater benefits. These are the ones I would recommend: free weights, resistance bands, pilates ball, sliders, yoga block and a magic circle.