It’s no coincidence that barre shares its name with the waist-high horizontal bar used by ballet dancers to support themselves during practice. German ballerina Lotte Berk, founder and developer of the barre method, used the barre as the central indispensable tool in exercises that aimed to the rehabilitate injured dancers in the 1950s.
A lot has changed since then, and barre today is no longer just for people who need therapy, but for everyone who wants to have fitter, healthier lifestyles. As the goals of barre evolved, the means of achieving them also changed — notably, barre exercises has branched out to include equipment other than the barre. So what made barre withstand the test of time? Generation after generation of barre practitioners swear by its unparalleled health benefits.
Barre consists of repeated isometric exercises designed to lengthen and strengthen your muscles. In layman’s term, you’ll be holding positions for far longer than you’re accustomed to. Take a regular movement like raising your arms, for example. It’s an easy task, but when you’re instructed to repeatedly raise them and to only move them a fraction of an inch after several minutes, you’re bound to find out the limits of your endurance. Barre is packed with these kinds of challenging but rewarding exercises. The more you practice barre, the higher your endurance gets.
Sculpting the body is not an easy task. It involves getting your body into positions that may be uncomfortable at first. But these are necessary if you want to achieve a toned, dancer-like physique. Barre positions will require you to twist, bend, and contort your body in ways you’ve never done before -- and probably thought couldn’t do. Note that you don’t need to be flexible to do barre; flexibility is an outcome of barre. As your muscles become accustomed to the pull and the stretch of the exercises, you will naturally become more flexible.
Deeper mind-body connection
A barre class may only last about an hour, but it will test your muscles, body control, and patience. Barre’s movements aren’t grand nor swift: they’re minute but detailed motions that demand your complete concentration. You have to pay attention to how your body holds poses and keeps its balance, how it reacts to or resists different equipment, and how it moves in relation to its surroundings. BeatBarre, a type of barre that lets you move your body to music, also encourages you to find and understand your body’s rhythm.
The gentler alternative
Unlike weightlifting or cardio workouts, barre is a low-impact exercise that poses very low injury risks. It’s easy on the joints, and it also protects them by making muscles around the joints stronger and more flexible. With the added protection, your joints can do more strenuous activities with ease, like lifting heavy objects or running. If you want functional fitness for daily life, barre is your best bet. And if you’re doing high-intensity aerobic exercises, then barre is the perfect complement to your workout routine.
Barre offers numerous health and aesthetic benefits, and C2 Body will make sure that you enjoy all of them. We offer fun, engaging, and effective BeatBarre classes that will challenge and change you. If you’re based around South Boston or Dedham, book a class with us today.