You see them – females inside a studio, performing graceful movements, done in precise ways. And you’re wondering, “Are these ballerinas on training?”
But you just realised, it’s not a dance class. It’s a fitness class!
What is Barre Fitness?
Barre fitness classes are basically fitness classes inspired by ballet. It also incorporates moves from yoga and Pilates.
Like yoga, the poses are in isometric contraction. And like Pilates, it emphasises on your core using isolated moves.
It is a complete body workout that has shrink-wrap effects on your body. You can get more defined, long, lean, muscles at a rapid rate. It also promotes increased balance and flexibility.
Although barre is ballet-inspired, it’s not ballet. Most classes use the barre as a main prop for stretching and strengthening. Additional props may include mats, balls, and light hand weights.
Individuals at any level can join barre classes. Because they are low-impact, even pregnant females and people with arthritis can also sign up.
The primary benefits of barre include:
- Improved posture
- Improved muscle tone
- Weight loss
- Increased flexibility
- Reduced stress
How Barre Started
Because barre fitness is ballet-inspired, it’s no surprise if this is created by a ballerina.
Lotte Berk, a German ballerina living in London, suffered a back injury. During her recovery, she decided to combine her dance conditioning routine with rehabilitation exercises.
This led to the opening of her first studio in 1959 in London. Her American student, Lydia Bach, introduced barre fitness to the US in 1971, where she opened the first Lotte Berk studio in New York City.
Ballet vs. Barre
Although ballet and barre almost share the same movements, they can have a huge difference.
Ballet is an art form. In ballet, you perform movements for the sake of art, rather than fitness. It focuses on the theatrical side, where a dance tells a story, expresses a thought or emotion, or simply reflecting a piece of music.
Ballet dancers perform movements which are unnatural for the body. But when these movements are done well, they look natural.
On the other hand, barre fitness is all about strength, balance, and flexibility. If you’re working out at a gym, you’re probably just using the usual muscles. In a barre class, you’ll be using muscles that you don’t even know are there all along.
Barre fitness incorporates aerobic conditioning, strength training and deep stretching. It uses low-impact movements choreographed to upbeat music. The pace is energetic, which keeps the class at a high-intensity level.
While barre has origins in dance, there’s nothing to worry about if you’re rhythmically challenged. Barre classes don’t require fancy footwork skills. Simply put, you don’t need dance experience. You don’t need tapshoes and leotards either.
Barre fitness isn’t something that you can simply describe by its name. Although it involves barre, which ballerinas use for their training, they aren’t just for dancers. They’re also for individuals who want to improve their fitness!
How would you like to get fit in the most graceful way? Book in for a barre class at Happy Physio in Perth today!