Barre has been on the rise in the health and fitness industry for quite some time now. Celebrities the likes of Anna Kendrick, Zooey Deschanel, Brie Larson and various other A rankers are keeping it in their workout routine to maintain their physique.
If you think pure barre workout is low impact and just focuses on stationary moves then you probably don’t know what is barre all about. It has both aerobic and strength building attributes that you can accomplish just about any body goals you may set for yourself.
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What is Barre Workout?
Barre fitness was first introduced by a German Ballet dancer, Lotte Berk, in 1959. Barre workout classes are not like your typical workout sessions; it’s way more than that. It is a combination of ballet, Pilates barre workout, and yoga moves. Basically, you get to do both at the same time.
Barre fitness is a special kind of exercise system that can be conducted in gyms or specialty studios designed solely for barre exercises.
The term ‘Barre’ is derived from the studio equipment you are required to use for many of the moves to get deep stretching in since the barre exercise is mostly about ‘isometric strength exercises.’
What is Barre Fitness’ Specialty and is it Effective?
As you know by now, Barre is a byproduct of yoga, Pilates, and ballet, with just the bar connecting these different disciplines to form this hybrid exercise.
The isometric holds from Pilates will reinforce your overall static strength, while the yoga aspect of barre will greatly loosen you up so you have greater flexibility. Ballet contributes functional strength and superior balance to uphold the true capabilities of your agility
Moreover, you will not get bored doing the Barre fitness training, because it’s not like most dull workout sessions where you have to repeat the same exercise for hours.
Barre fitness does impact weight loss to some extent. Every barre class on its own is unique. They are conducted in such a way, that your individual needs are considered and your instructor will guide you accordingly.
The reason for your muscles to always be under constant pressure is to maximize the micro-tears that will come back as reinforced muscle tissues, hence stronger muscles.
You obviously need sufficient energy to get your body to work. To make sure that this energy has been supplied, your body has to burn carbohydrates and fat. They are broken down in a systematic process- catabolism, as you provide more energy to your body for the workout.
Now to put the puzzle pieces together. Enough calorie-burning for significant weight loss through barre is not so hard to attain. The more muscle you have, the more energy is consumed to maintain the muscle mass of your body, which results in weight loss.
Moreover, the ballet movements and cardio workout diminishes a fair number of calories and dissolve extra fat. In this way, Barre exercises sculpt slender muscles and dissolve your body fat away, as your muscles grow. So, in a way, it is just as effective.
You will find many different combos of traits in the Barre workout program which you will not find in other fitness system. It provides a bit of toning, strength building, spikes your metabolism and has its fair share of low and high impact moves.
Barre Fitness program comes with easy-to-follow movement attributes that will help you stick to a routine until the very end, simply because it’s fun and beneficial. You know what they say- ‘anything you love to do will surely bring better results.’
The movements and steps used in Barre workout are very stimulating but in a very stress-free way. Plus, the system’s ability to build both- functional strength and static strength is Barre workout program’s unique trait alone.
Barre workout at home also differs from other in home fitness programs quite considerably in the sense that it builds static strength through stationary moves. Most other systems require you to move more. Another differing trait of the barre workouts is that they don’t focus as much on breathing as yogis do in their yoga sessions.
Is Barre Any Good for Losing Weight and Does it Help You Get Toned?
There are several ways you can tweak the Barre workout program to increase the overall fat-burning effect. Unlike typical gym workouts, this fitness program doesn’t require heavy machinery for losing weight; this reduces the chance of getting injured, so you can freely drive up your intensity without any worry holding you back.
In Barre workout, movements are quite simple. Your body gets the chance to burn calories by maintaining its balance, because to keep balance, you will have to use your muscles against your body weight. Hence, work is being done on your muscles, while you remain stationary.
Then again, if you are trying to lose weight through barre, then it would not be a fruitful course of action. You will lose some calories for sure. Still, you will probably not get the yield that you would get if you incorporate other fitness programs like HIIT, strength, and cardio.
Even though it’s not common knowledge, everyone should incorporate multiple workout programs to benefit and reach the max potential truly.
A toned look is what we all desire for; slenderness in the body, ideal muscle size with the perfect mass. A Barre workout will aid you in achieving all of it.
If you are wondering what to expect on barre class, relax, the barre class that you will be taking in the specialty studios are so easy that you can even practice them at home while watching TV.
You can always focus on working the body parts with the most amount of visible fat deposits. This way, you build muscle from the inside, which will aid in burning more calories than your body would have normally. This is because muscles are metabolically more active than fat.
Now, go and get yourself toned.
Follow: 15 easy exercises to lose belly fat
How Many Calories Can you Expect to Burn in Barre Fitness?
By this time, you should how barre exercise differs a lot from your conventional physical practices. Undoubtedly, the structure of this exercise routine will give you a run for your money. Still, if you are hoping to burn a ton of calories like cardio-intensive workouts, then this system is not for you.
Pure barre will require you to do some squats, plies and other isometric based moves, along with some yoga. The number of calories you burn will depend on your body weight, your fitness level, and the training intensity of the move themselves.
If you weigh around 150 pounds, it is possible to burn 255 calories(approx.) in an hour-long session. If you reinforce your Barre sessions with more calisthenics and Pilates, you will definitely lose more than 265 calories within an hour. You will probably burn more than 295 calories if you’re 175 pounds or higher. Likewise, several other factors control the calorie burn during your barre fitness class.
Barre Fitness Classes
What are the different Barre Fitness Classes & How to Join?
Barre classes are usually conducted in studios where you need to make sure you sign up for classes early on through the internet or by visiting the studio.
Barre fitness classes differ from one studio to another. So, pick a studio that you think will be right for you. You are signing up for these barre classes to learn, so even if you are a newbie with no prior experience, fret not! You will be able to get through with ease since there will be other beginners as well.
You can expect hands-on training by your instructor, and he will take you through the basics- from stretching to getting used to the correct forms.
The joining process is relatively simple, just go to the studio’s website and register. If your choice of barre studio doesn’t have any online portal, then just go over and sign up.
PRO TIP: Be sure to make friends with seniors and frequent visitors, they can help you more than you know.
1. Pure Barre
The technique was designed by Carrie Rezabek Dorr, a dancer and choreographer, at Birmingham in 2001. It is currently the most successful Barre establishment in the United States. In pure barre, you perform small isometric movements by utilizing ballet barre. It is a full-body workout that makes you lean and toned everywhere. You can achieve incredible results at a short amount of time. It effectively targets the thighs, hips, butt and the abdomen. Pure barre is very efficient when it comes to losing weight. You’ll be shedding pounds in no time, even without a diet change. It revs up your metabolism.
Although it may not look that difficult, pure barre will get your heart rate up and burn a lot of fat and build lean muscles. If you’re afraid of workout-related injuries, then you’ll be relieved to hear that with pure barre, there’s a low risk of injury. The workout is low-impact, so it doesn’t put any pressure on your joints. There are no sudden or unnatural movements involved, so if you have back, shoulder, or knee problems, you don’t have to worry.
It’s even safe for pregnant women. During workouts, you’ll groove to upbeat pop and funk music, so the classes are enjoyable!
Pure barre has a faster pace than its competitors, so if you like to move fast, this is the workout for you. In terms of cons, Pure barre classes tend to be very expensive. It is also pretty challenging to do at home.
2. The Dailey Method
Created and founded by Jill Dailey in 2000 at San Francisco. She used her knowledge of kinesiology and The Lotte Berk Method to create her method to transform the human body. It is the very first multidiscipline barre fitness class that is always up to date with the latest trends.
The daily method has several different types of classes- basic barre and interval training. They now also feature a new class called the Dailey cycle class, where you spin for 40 minutes and work on core strength and upper body for 20 minutes. The Dailey method puts a lot of focus on the neutral spine so that you can have a better posture and alignment.
3. The Bar Method
The bar method is a low impact workout but an effective workout. It is the safest choice among all the other barre fitness classes. It ensures proper body mechanics, and the use of the right modifications courtesy of it is designed with the help of physical therapists. The bar method tends to be very hands-on, with a lot of verbal adjustments.
The instructors will make sure that your posture and form are perfect. There are also endless modifications to the moves depending on where you have an injury or whether you’re pregnant. If you have back pain, the bar method is perfect, as it will give you stronger core strength.
It will also improve the form of your arms. You will be able to increase your overall stamina for better endurance. Due to the workout being low impact, you can choose not to take a break and attend classes four to five times a week.
Cardio Barre is a full-body high-intensity workout. It combines different elements from Ballet, Contemporary Dance, Strength Training, and Pilates to create a highly effective workout that is great for raising your heartbeat and for toning, sculpting, and stretching your muscles.
It can also be modified depending on your fitness level. Cardio barre also includes working with weights alongside quick isometric movements. It can be pretty challenging and will most probably leave your legs very sore!
Part of the more popular flywheel Sports cycling fitness studios, Flybarre is a barre style class that focuses mainly on small “pulsing” isometric toning movements. Flybarre courses tend to be very different from other barre classes. A lot of time is spent on the ground with resistance bands wrapped around the barre.
There are very little standing poses and dancing. Each small part of a muscle is exhausted before moving onto the next tissue. Some of the moves can be pretty awkward, especially the ones done on the floor. The warm-up is probably the best among all barre classes. It is full-body, multi-directional, and very functional. The moves tend to change slightly every few months to keep things new and exciting.
Flybarre combines deep-muscle conditioning and concentrated movements with a lot of stretching. Because of this, you get terrific results very fast. You can expect lower levels of body fat, firmer thighs, improved posture, flatter abs, and toned and lifted butt within 8 to 12 classes.
Flybarre will help you out in other areas, too, like running, tennis, or cycling. One major con of Flybarre is that it can be pretty tricky to get into. Some moves can be hard, especially for beginners. However, if you do it properly, you will feel stronger, healthier, and more sculpted.
Most of the Barre classes are closely tied to the Lotte Burk Method. Barre3 has been sculpted from yoga philosophy and borrows from a lot of other different fitness forms. Barre3 is a full-body workout that combines strength conditioning and cardio. It has way more cardio compared to other barre classes.
Barre3 focuses a lot on primary postures. Primary postures place very little stress on the joints, which makes it very accessible for a lot of different clients. Barre3 also offers a lot of modifications for each posture. It completely burns out the muscles by incorporating holds and by utilizing a small and extensive range of movements.
The small range of movements helps to fatigue the muscles while still providing them some relief. The broad range of motion helps to remove the lactic acid out of your muscle tissues. This helps to offer some assistance so that the muscles can continue to be burned out. Barre3 also incorporates heart-healthy cardio segments.
7. Core Fusion
Core fusion is a heart-pumping workout that focuses on the core strength of a body. It is a full-body workout. In core fusion, you use your own body as resistance. You’ll also be using resistance bands, playground balls, and weights. A lot of emphasis is put on position and alignment to create long, lean functional muscles.
With Core fusion, you can expect to have long, lean thighs, high round glutes, six-pack abs, and chiseled arms. Your posture and alignment will also significantly improve. If you’re someone interested in yoga or dancing, doing core fusion classes is an excellent idea as it will increase your body flexibility. The most challenging part of core fusion is that you need absolute concentration throughout the whole course.
Types of Barre Exercises
There are subdivisions in Barre Fitness to emphasize the different effects, depending on what your fitness and body goals may be. Weight loss, developing functional and static strength, or maybe to build up endurance, you can do it all by changing the mechanism of the exercise to work more on one particular attribute, no matter which fitness discipline you are following.
So go over the Barre exercise list and pick the right one for you:
• Cardio Barre Workout
This form of barre is the most effective way you can melt fat. The outcome of cardio barre workout is not limited to just burning calories, but improves your overall heart and lung health.
The perks of this form of Barre offers even more, from boosting your metabolism, to giving you enough energy to get you through your day-to-day rituals.
But be wary not to overwork yourself. It will break down your muscles and decrease the overall muscle mass. Your bone density gets affected, as well. As a wise man once said, excess of anything is very bad.
• Floor Work
Floorwork is an essential that comes from the ballet part of barre. It is great for improving your posture. This exercise helps you to keep your body upright, so your muscles become stronger.
Floorwork is highly effective because it uses your body weight to exert mechanical force, which in turn strengthens your muscles. and has similar effects on your body, like calisthenics.
Appropriately, Floorwork will build lean muscle, and as it creates micro-tear in your muscle tissues, which in turn will repair and develop new muscle strands beneath the fat, and really emphasizes the whole fat burning process.
Ballet sessions are one of the main reasons why barre has become so unique and widespread over the years. Barre is the only exercise where you need to practice ballet moves. This strategy makes the Barre program more exciting and more manageable. Plus, it’s an amazing skill to add to your arsenal of talents.
• Upper Body
This barre exercise system focuses on strength training. Muscle mass and bones are made to be more densely packed through the exercise. More stability is achieved through the conditioning of your core.
Additional reinforcement through strength training makes this exercise somewhat more effective than others for the rapid build-up of lean muscles and strength.
Prepare for the class
On the very first day of class, you are advised to arrive as early as possible. After all- First impressions are hard to erase.
Meet your instructor and share any health concerns you may have that might affect you- like pregnancy, heart disease, etc.
Buy the right-wear that your studio expects you to wear. Put them on before the class begins. Exercising continuously may become exhausting for you. In that case, you are advised to take a bath before starting.
Roam around and try to make friends. A friendly environment will help you to continue the classes regularly.
Is there any barre equipment you need to bring with you?
Some Barre class requires you to put on barre workout clothes, but you don’t HAVE to put on any special attire for ALL classes.
Another factor that you may have to consider is that the appropriate dress for the classes depends entirely on which studio you signed up for, as it can vary from studio to studio.
However, one thing is for sure; you are not allowed to wear your shoes inside the class. Some of the studios may ask you to wear socks, and some might even ask you to wear wraps. Barre practitioners are earnest about the no-shoe policy.
Anywho, you might be wondering where to find the right Barre workout gear for you. It’s effortless. Just ask your gym friends or the instructor. They likely sell the right gear and equipment in the studio. So, just ask someone when you are signing up for classes.
Plus, don’t worry about the appropriate attire that you may be required to wear because there are no strict uniforms or apparel for you.
The instructors may ask you to wear the clothes that fit your body so that you can comfortably carry on your daily fitness acts with no physical restrictions. Just remember to never wear baggy clothes for any form of physical activity sessions.
Is There Any Need for Barre Exercise Equipment?
Although barre focuses more on the movement of your body, it may require some lightweight exercising tools. But the best part is, you can choose these on your own. So, when the instructors ask you to do any weight lifting, make sure you pick the right tool. It’s almost always a light hand weight.
Remember, you don’t need to lift the heaviest weights to get the most out of these exercises, since it doesn’t matter how heavy tools you can lift at a time. What really matters here is you maintaining correct forms.
Therefore, instead of lifting heavy weights at a time, try swapping the heavier ones with the lighter ones and vice versa. This technique will help you delay the exhaustion until after the workout session.
Exercising will always be a healthy option for you, but do remember that a slight mistake can bring about injuries, and not to mention that you won’t be reaping the expected benefits of your workout. So, concentrate and follow your instructor as precisely as you can. Never hesitate to ask for help.
Benefits of Barre
Barre workout comes with many health properties that you can take home with. Still, one of the main advantages of this exercise is that it will give you a rush of adrenaline and excitement. Hence, you can go through the classes without having to worry about getting demotivated.
According to WebMD, Barre exercise will not only help you lose weight, but it will also improve your posture. It’s an efficient way to develop a toned and fit body, strengthen your muscles, burn extra calories, and increase mindfulness.
Moreover, barre will also help you grow strong to fight against Osteoporosis. It aids in improving your mental health, as well. Another bonus you can expect to bring back home is increased focus and concentration. Exercising regularly, in general, will strengthen your memory.
You can also regulate your stress level by being a frequent visitor to these Barre classes. You will be able to relax more. Your bone density will also increase with barre fitness in your daily routine.
Another plus point about going to these Barre exercise classes is that you connect to like-minded people. This is important for all fitness programs because a lot of people lose motivation and the drive to keep pushing on. But when you have friends or even strangers doing the same thing in the same place, you enjoy it, and more than that, you get competitive.
At last but not least, you get to have free dance lessons along with your barre class.
Drawbacks of Barre Fitness
You will not get the chance to achieve functional strength if you continue Barre classes regularly. Just follow your Barre guide, and you are all set.
Squats allow your body to engage multiple muscles at a time. This makes your body more functional, brings balance to your heart rate, and gives your body the strength it needs to carry out your day-to-day activities.
Although the Barre fitness program will promise you a better heart condition, you should still visit your doctor and check if you have any underlying conditions that the barre routine might affect.
You should not expect much from having a strict only barre routine. Barre Fitness is meant to be implemented with other forms of exercise to really get the most out of it.
Can You Do Barre Exercise at Home?
Of course, you can. All you will need is a mat and a bar. During this Covid – 19 pandemic situation, it’d better to take barre class online. Barre exercises don’t require many tools, so you can skip them if you want to. But you should manage a bar which you can buy from the nearest store/shop or make a DIY bar yourself.
You can do the exercise on your bare feet, but it is advisable to wear socks with grips during the training. Just add a bar, mat, good music, and you are good to go.
Your level of dedication towards any workout is directly correlated to how much you enjoy it. Most other fitness programs can leave you feeling tired and bored, which will eventually end up in a forfeit of your fitness life at the gym.
Some General Instructions
To attend Barre classes, you need to be at least 14 years old or older. Anyone below this age is not eligible to apply for Barre classes so that the growth spurt of growing teens don’t get affected.
Both men and women can take part in Barre fitness classes. Even pregnant individuals can take part. However, it is recommended that you ask your trainer to design a particular workout routine for you in case you have a special case. Better safe than sorry.
Before you start your sessions, make sure that your body, especially your legs, are clean. It’s your responsibility to keep the exercise space and mats free of germs and dirt as a lack of cleanliness will affect others.
Sexual Benefits of Barre Fitness
As we all know, barre fitness is an amalgamation of flexible stretching and strength training. Being flexible can do wonders for your sex life and can even potentially save you from certain moments of discomfort that may come in the form of muscle spasms and muscle pulls.
Moreover, you can go on sexcapades so adventurous that it will make you feel rejuvenated like you’re an young adult, exploring and experimenting with the bodily limits of your sensations.
“There’s a reason why ballet dancers are always so nice to look at”
The aforementioned information is even more so true for women more than it is for men. The basic flexibility perks will be enjoyed by both the sexes of course, but the motion and nature of barre workout.
Expect to train at least a week before you can truly see, feel and exert the difference in bed.
You will never hear anyone talk about it and I personally tried pushing it, but it’s like a fitness taboo. But if anything, it should be more talked about and practiced, as it can change lives for the better.
There are certain power moves to emphasize and extract the sexual benefits from this barre toning program, like Berk’s infamous moves “The Prostitute, The Sex, and The Naughty Bottoms”
Will I Lose Weight Doing Barre?
Yes, you will most definitely lose weight doing barre. Any form of strengthening circuit or routine will help you pack on some muscle mass, which in turn will raise your basal metabolic rate, meaning your body will be burning more calories just to maintain the newly developed muscles.
What Else Should I Try to Enhance The Effects of Barre
Simply put, try adding more cardio to your routine, like the one I describe here in this very article. HIIT will definitely be the best thing you can do but let’s face it, it is not everyone’s cup of tea but should be.
And above all, DIET will have to be the game changing cofactor to implement with barre. And even without barre, this goes without saying how important diet is.
I would suggest you to try out barre, no matter what your body goals are, because it does not burn through muscles and helps you build strength and lean muscle, and enhances your overall endurance and durability.
However, if your only goal is to rapidly drop fat, then focus on HIIT, and once you are at an okay body fat percentage, you can pick up Barre, as it will compliment your body to burn off the remiang fat without overexerting yourself like you usually have to do in aerobic based workouts.
Another thing you should keep in mind is that, losing more than 4 pounds of fat a month is considered to be unhealthy. The benefits that you will gain will be outweighed by the health problems you may develop in the process.
If it is, then go all out in your barre class, and if you feel like you should get more than what barre is providing, feel free to plan a proper fitness program for you or ask us in the comment section below, and we will set you up with the right plan.
Now you know all there is to know about what is barre fitness, you can move on to the next step and see if Barre workout sounds like the right program for you?
Let us know in the comments.
Now go and get toned.
Melissa Weimer is a nutrition expert who has helped thousands of people to create a healthy diet for weight loss and to maintain a good health. Weimer is the author of “Your Body’s Role in Weight Loss,” a healthy lifestyle book that you can use as a template to lose weight.