What is Barre fitness all about?

What is Barre fitness all about?

Looking for a way to revamp your exercise routine? If you’re a fan of dance, pilates and yoga, try combining these into one killer workout. In the effort to continue taking care of yourself both inside and out, Barre is an excellent form of keeping fit. You’ll benefit from increased strength, improved posture and lean muscle tone for a start.

What is Barre?

Barre fitness is a low-impact hybrid workout. As its name suggests, Barre combines ballet-inspired movements with Pilates elements, in addition to dance, yoga and strength training. Barre focuses on small but purposeful pulses, specifically emphasising your alignment and engaging your core muscles and form.

Barre generally helps strengthen your core and lower body. You’ll become more flexible, from your ankles all the way up to your calves, knees, thighs, glutes and abdominal muscles.

The Benefits of Barre

Barre pinpoints and uses different muscles to those in every day movements. The result?

  • Better balance and stability
  • Extended range of motion
  • Greater control and endurance
  • Muscle definition
  • Reduced stress
  • Weight loss

It’s a surprisingly tough workout with incredible body benefits!

How to Do Barre Under Lockdown

It’s so easy to do Barre from the comfort of your own home.

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What Do I Need?

Dress in your pilates or yoga gear, either barefoot or wearing socks. You’ll need:

  • a sturdy, high-back chair
  • an exercise mat
  • a soft exercise ball
  • a rubber resistance band
  • light hand weights
Perfect Your Position

To start, ensure your feet are correctly and comfortably positioned. Barre exercises generally use one of these three basic foot positions:

  1. First position: Place your heels together, rotating your legs out slightly so your feet form a “V”.
  2. Second position: Place your heels roughly hip-distance apart with your legs slightly rotated out.
  3. Third position: Begin in first position. Slide your left foot slightly forward to line it up with the arch of your right foot.

Basic Home Barre Workout

Start and end your own basic home barre workout with some gentle stretches. Using a chair for balance, place your hand on the surface for some support, without gripping too hard.

Plié pulses
Start in first position. Bend your knees slightly and gently pulse. Do 25 pulses before switching to second position for 25 more pulses. Change to third position and do 25 pulses with your right foot in front followed by 25 pulses with your left foot in front.

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Développé leg lifts
Begin in first position. Shift your weight to your right leg and lift your left toes, tracing a line up your right leg to your knee. Extend your left leg in front of you, a few centimetres off the floor. The stronger you become, the higher you’ll extend your leg.

Briefly hold your leg in the air, touch your toes to the floor and slide your working foot back to its starting position. Repeat, extending your leg to the side and back, before switching to your left side.

Start in first position. Step forward with your left foot into a lunge position. Straighten both your legs, using your core to keep your body upright.

Bend your front leg into a lunge position and push off your front leg before returning your feet to first position. Repeat the process five times to the front and five times to the side. Repeat with your right foot.

Ballet jumps
Begin in first position. Bend your knees slightly and jump slightly into the air. Return to your starting position, landing softly in first position, slightly bending your knees. Repeat in second position, then in third (first with your right foot in front, then your left).

Spec-Savers Recommendation for Barre Online Classes

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There are various online courses you can take to see exactly how these, and other Barre movements are done.  One online Barre group we highly recommend is https://www.movestudiobarre.com/, developed by Mel and Meg two working moms who understand the demands of everyday life.  Their classes include Barre Basic’s, Bardio (a combination of cardio and barre), and their latest addition is baby barre.  Currently they are offering two obligation free online courses, click here to join: https://www.movestudiobarre.com/join-us

Challenge yourself by raising the “Barre” in your exercise routine. Incorporate 15-30 minutes of Barre fitness three times a week, and you’ll experience the benefits in both your body and mind.

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