You might think it’s just another dance class, but it’s not. While barre classes incorporate some ballet moves and lingo, there are many more elements than just plies and pirouettes. The rhythmic pulsing, the energy from the instructor, and the variety of creative moves designed to sculpt your body from head to toe will leave you feeling completely satisfied with your workout and craving your next class.
It can help you completely transform your body.
Why try a barre class? Because it will help you get stronger, taller, and leaner in a jam packed 45-60 minute class, that’s why. Want to look better in your jeans? Hoping for some definition in your shoulders for that sleeveless dress? Want to strengthen your joints or even rehabilitate an injury in the shoulders, low back or hips? Barre.
I could give you a lot of reasons to try barre, but let me narrow it down to the top three reasons I think you should try a barre class here at JTB Wellness.
Mindfulness means being in the present moment. This is such an important concept when looking at topics such as depression and anxiety, chronic pain, and actually enjoying whatever it is that you’re doing. Don’t get me wrong, you will likely be cursing your barre instructor under your breath at times, but it’s a good type of discomfort and you may actually begin to crave that feeling of finding your edge. The entire class is designed to capture your attention start to finish. The fun music, the high reps of low (or no) weight, when your instructor adds some fun choreography into the mix… Heck, I barely even get to look at the clock when I’m teaching a barre class. It’s made to keep you in the here and now.
Beyond presence of mind, barre is designed to facilitate mindful movement. Your instructor will use a variety of different cues to encourage you to find length in your spine, space in your back, engage with your abdominal muscles, etc. When you start to hear these words and connect them in your body, you can learn quite about about proprioception- where and how you are holding your body in space. Everything you are offered in a barre class can be translated into your daily life, so you’ll likely find yourself standing up a little taller throughout the day, leading to more confidence and comfort in your own body.
The movements in barre are aimed at lengthening and toning the muscles without stressing the joints. This is super important for preventing injury and sculpting lean muscle mass. Since it does have roots in ballet, think dancer’s body. We aim to feel and look graceful, increase flexibility, and stabilize all of the joints in the legs.
When I get new student inquiries, I always encourage people to start with barre. It’s a great class for beginners because you can catch on to the high reps even if you don’t know what an Arabesque is when you come in. All of the exercises can be done with or without weights, and while there is typically a cardio component to the class it is tucked in there nicely so it will never feel like you’re putting in miles on the treadmill.
All that being said, you are going to work. Barre workouts emphasize finding the smaller supporting muscles of the shoulders, legs and core, isolating them, and working them to complete exhaustion. So while you may feel a little shaky during class or wobbly when you walk down the stairs to your car, once you recover you might find that it’s easier to climb back up those stairs, you’ve stopped rolling your ankle every time you step out of the car, and that shoulder injury from college doesn’t seem to be acting up anymore. If you want to maximize your time at the studio, take a barre class.