Are Barre workouts just a fad?

Written by: Lorena Magallanes
Posted on: February 25, 2015

LR-what-are-barre-workouts

Last year’s crossfit obsession seems to have been replaced with a totally different kind of workout – Barre workouts. It pulls its name from the barre used for balance and support in ballet which helps dancers (and now fitness buffs) focus on their isometric strength training (IST). What’s isometric strength training? It’s holding your body still while contracting a specific set of muscles for a more targeted work out.

As a mix between ballet, yoga and pilates, barre workouts incorporate IST with high reps of short range-of-motion movements, resistance bands and light handheld weights to provide a “dancers workout” without the skills required to be a dancer. Though there isn’t much fast paced, vigorous movement, these highly intense workouts challenge a participant’s stability, muscular endurance, posture, coordination and level of grace in their movements. Thus, this results in a taller and leaner body, with toned and sculpted muscles that are only possible through the slow, calculated movements of the barre workout.

Made by dancers, for non-dancers

So what’s the big deal with barre workouts? It’s just another trend that will be replaced in the next year by the next up and coming workout, right? Not necessarily. Barre workouts are based on the same principles that dance, yoga, pilates and fitness routines are and it’s no secret that avid participants in any of the aforementioned activities have amazing bodies.

It’s also a great way to relieve stress and get rid of any frustrations through the rejuvenating movements of the workouts as well as the amount sweat it brings on as you move through the routine. Not a dancer? Don’t worry. It’s built specifically for those who want a dancers body but aren’t actually dancers themselves. As mentioned, it’s not a fast paced work out but rather, a slow and intense one.

It is arguably just as challenging on the mind as it is on the body as it takes a lot of self-motivation to push through the intense, targeted workouts. It’s easy to let your mind bounce from one place to another when you’re doing a zumba class or a boot camp because of the fast paced nature of the work outs. But much like a ballet and yoga session, barre workouts focus on increasing your balance, your core strength and mental control of your body’s movements.

If you’re skeptical about the effectiveness of these workouts, I urge you to do your research and try out a class for yourself because it is a truly challenging workout. There’s a reason many people don’t make it as ballet dancers and that yoga is such a revered workout. Whether this is just a fad or it’s going to stick around for a long time, there’s no doubt that this craze is still only just beginning. So when your friends mention going to the bar, it may be just about time to start differentiating between the two!

If you’ve tried a Barre workout, I’d love to hear your opinion and experience with the workout, as would my readers! Get in touch at @LorenaRomano.

Picture from: lushvitality.com

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