Barre for Bellies and StretchingPosted by Ian Kullhem on Jul 09, 2015
Barre fitness was developed for dancers to help improve their posture, strength and flexibility. Lately, fitness enthusiasts have come to realize that dancers aren’t the only ones who benefit from Barre exercises…we all do.
Barre and Pilates are two exercise styles that go hand in hand. Pilates first gained traction with the dancing community because it is so effective at improving functional strength and flexibility. Barre originated from dance and focuses on the same functions, aiming to improve balance while performing exercises based on isometric strength training.
Isometric Strength Training
Isometric training is when you engage the muscle without changing the angle of the joint or the length of the muscle. Essentially, this is the exact opposite of a bicep curl. If you are curling a weight, your elbow is going through a full spectrum of angles while your bicep is first contracting (shortening) and then releasing (elongating.) Isometric training is different in that it involves static poses held for a specific amount of time, like a plank.
Isometrics are great to incorporate into your existing exercise regimen; however, you should make an effort to ensure that you are also doing exercises that navigate through a full range of motion. After all, how often do you find yourself holding a plank position on during every-day life? Not often. So you want to make sure you are incorporating exercises that support dynamic strength and movement into your routine.
Building A Barre Body
Barre is designed to give you a dancer’s body. This won’t happen overnight. Your body will be limited by your diet, focus and genetics. Just like Pilates, Barre will target your muscles while being kind to your joints. The isometric motions, high repetitions and pulses are intended to exhaust your muscles, so it’s not uncommon to get that burns-so-good-it’s-shaking sensation as your muscles begin to fatigue.
What to Expect
In Barre class, you can expect the tempo and style to be very similar to a Pilates class. There will generally be mirrors (so you can check your form), and there will be a bar (no-brainer there) that you will incorporate into various exercises to offer balance support. You may also find typical exercise equipment like light weights, yoga straps, stretch bands, etc.
We know the one question that’s been weighing on your mind…will I have to wear a tutu or leotard? Fortunately, the answer is no. Even though Barre was originally designed for dancers, you are not obligated to wear a leotard.
Classes for Every Level
Just like our Pilates classes, our Barre classes are an hour long. We welcome students of every level. If it’s your first time into Pilates in the Pines, we will be happy to help you modify positions to ensure that you are able to safely and correctly complete the exercise. If it’s your hundredth time, and you feel like a pro – don’t worry, we’ll work with you to increase your strength even more.
If you have any more questions about Barre or our Barre classes, then stop in to see us or give us a call at 720-733-9307. If it’s your first class, you may want to come in a little early so you can get settled and ask your instructor any questions. If you have any health concerns or physical limitations, be sure to let your instructor know prior to taking the class so that s/he can anticipate your needs and accommodate accordingly.