Are you thinking of trying a new exercise? Are you bored with the machines at the gym? Then you should try a barre workout. Barre is a popular workout that uses a ballet bar and a yoga mat to get you in shape. It’s a low-impact exercise that focuses on building strength and flexibility. It has become popular recently due to its efficiency in sculpting a lean physique in a short amount of time.

What is Barre? Is Barre a Good Workout?

Barre gets its name from the ballet bar, which is the key component of this exercise. 

Barre is a challenging workout that combines parts of ballet, pilates, and yoga. Different postures from each of these disciplines make up the core exercises in barre. Barre is about controlled movements and isolating various muscle groups. The focus is on building muscle through high reps and small targeted movements. In addition to building muscle, barre workouts use positions inspired by ballet to improve balance and agility. 

If you are interested in taking online barre classes, try an app like MyLifeWell. MyLifeWell has plenty of different levels of barre workouts to do at home, where you can use a countertop or chair as your barre.

What to Expect from a Barre Class?

A barre workout is usually around 60 minutes. There are many different types of barre classes, but in general, a session will incorporate a warm-up, ab or core work, larger muscle group work, and then a cool down. Warming up means stretching to help avoid injury. Next, you go into a sequence focused on core muscles before moving on to using the barre for a lower body focus. After each session, there is a cool down with more stretching to help your body recover.

Be prepared to be sore the next day. The strenuous sequence of movements will have you using every muscle. It is a complete full-body workout.

The Benefits of Barre Workout

Because it’s a combination of strength training and light cardio, barre is fantastic for sculpting muscles and increasing endurance. Some benefits of barre workouts are:

  • Improving posture
  • Increasing cardiovascular endurance
  • Burning calories efficiently
  • Improving balance and flexibility
  • Building a strong core

Consistent barre workouts can increase bone density and prevent injury. Barre is great for anyone looking to increase flexibility through an intense but low-impact exercise.

Mind-Body Connection

In addition to the physical benefits of a barre workout, other benefits include a focus on the mind-body connection. Barre is similar to an active mediation like you’ll find in yoga. As you move through postures and positions, your mind is acutely focused on each slight movement and holding that position. These tiny, deliberate movements lead to an increased concentration where your brain is fully engaged. Barre is a full-body exercise that works with all the muscle groups, including your brain.

Common Misconceptions About Barre

Barre is for anyone that wants to get fit. You do not need to be at any fitness level to give it a try. Barre is great for improving your endurance and flexibility, which is vital to overall fitness, so if you struggle with stretching, this is an excellent exercise for you.

The great thing about barre is you don’t need to have any dance experience to try barre classes. The movements are inspired by ballet, but you don’t need any dance experience, just a desire to sweat and a commitment to strengthening your muscles. The classes will make you break a sweat, but they don’t rely on any high-impact cardio.

To help you get the most out of the class, you should be familiar with some of the lingo. It’s essential to understand your instructor’s comments and how to interpret them. Your instructor can ask you to improve your form by saying “pulse,” which means to move about an inch back and forth. If you hear “tuck your tailbone,” that means to pull your abs tight and move your hips to create a neutral spine.

What to Wear and Bring to Class?

You do not have to wear a fancy leotard or tutu to a barre class. Think comfortable, stretchy clothes that allow you to move around freely. Wear something similar to yoga clothes. You can do barre barefoot or wearing grippy socks

Staying hydrated during class is a must, so bring a water bottle. Bring a yoga mat as well. Most studios will have water available for purchase and yoga mats to use in case you forget yours.

Still not sure if barre is for you? Try a class on the app MyLifeWell. The app has many different workouts, including barre, to try at home before you head to the studio.