Fitness

Barre Hopping

An intro to this graceful fitness trend.

The elegant new workout trend is taking the fitness world by storm. The barre method, developed by a German dancer in the 50s uses the principles of ballet, core engagement, and light weights for a spin on a traditional mat workout. So what exactly is this workout, that promises a dancers body? We find out!

What is Barre?

With its roots in, you guessed it – dance, barre uses the ballet bar, plus mat based movements, small hand weights, and focused core engagement. Not rhythmically inclined? Not to worry, you won’t be taking the stage. Instead of using big, high-impact actions, the workout is focused on isometric movements, tiny contractions of the muscles at specific angles. This builds strength without tearing muscle tissue.

What are the classes like?

With the focus on small, deliberate strengthening movements you will be engaging multiple muscle groups at once, which can in turn strengthen the overall body. Barre is touted as a great workout option for those of any fitness level. Classes use mat warmups with planks and arm exercises, followed by lower body focused exercises. You will approach the ballet bar for more core-focused activities, where you can show off your inner ballerina.

What to wear

It’s best to come prepared to do the class barefoot, although some studios recommend socks with grips. Come in workout gear similar to a yoga class; clothes that is stretchy, built for movement and comfortable.

There are many barre-specific studios popping up all across the country, and gyms are adding this workout to their repertoire. Are you ready to step up to the barre?