Barre fitness is a super-energizing whole-body workout that’s great for everyone from beginners to pros. Each class works to build alignment, strengthen your core, and tone, and elongate muscles. Keep reading on to learn about the benefits of barre workouts.
Benefits of Barre Workouts
1. Increase in strength
When you work your thighs in a barre class, you target that muscle group from all angles. Three thigh exercises will work to fatigue the front, inner, and outer thighs, strengthening the muscles from joint to joint. The same goes for your butt, abs, arms, and back. By strengthening each muscle group thoroughly, you are not only creating amazing definition, but you are also strengthening muscles that are often underused and underdeveloped.
The isometric contractions that make up the bulk of a barre class occur when the muscle tenses without changing length. Think of these movements as the opposite of typical strength training moves or concentric and eccentric contractions, which occur when a muscle stretches then shortens as in a biceps curl.
2. Improve posture
One of the amazing benefits of barre workouts is to help improve posture. Better body awareness, including improved posture and balance, are two of the top health benefits of barre workouts. Exercises at the barre require proper alignment from the top of your head to the ends of your toes. This includes a focus on your hips, spine, neck, and shoulders.
3. Increase flexibility
Flexibility is one of the five components of fitness, which is a central focus in barre workouts. Flexibility refers to the range of motion around a particular joint. Several of the movements you perform at the barre focus on improving flexibility.
This can help you stay mobile, improve your overall range of motion, and allow you to participate in everyday activities.4 In general, Pilates encourages a safe increase in flexibility and range of motion within the joints.
4. Better mental focus
You might find yourself being quick on your feet when it comes to thinking and problem solving after your barre session. Similar to stress, an exercise in general releases endorphins that keep your mind sharp.
Research has shown the combination of pilates and yoga specifically (which is ultimately what barre is) may improve mental clarity and keep you thinking positively.
5. Enhance the mind-body connection
The smaller movements in a barre class can bring a new level of awareness to the body that you don’t get in regular strength workouts.
Barre workouts help you block distractions and focus on the mind-body connection. When you attend an in-person class, Ditto says you receive dedicated attention to technique and corrections specific to you so that you’re more intentional in your work and develop a deeper connection to your body.
6. Improve endurance
Endurance is more than being able to improve your stamina for future workouts, it also impacts important organs. The American Heart Association states that your heart, lungs, and circulatory system stay healthy when endurance activity, like barre, is incorporated into your routine. When you stay consistent with these exercises, you can reduce the risk of developing diseases like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
7. Help you lose weight
If your goal is to work out for weight loss, it’s important to push yourself past your comfort zone — and a barre workout can definitely do that. It can also help you burn more calories in the long run. It is said that in addition to burning a ton of calories, barre also builds lean muscle, which can help increase your resting metabolic rate, which can assist with weight loss.
8. Low impact, low risk
Working with the barre is way less stressful for your joints than pounding the pavement and sending high-impact waves through your knees as you jog. This form of exercise comes under the umbrella of ‘cross-training’, so it weaves different types of workouts into the routine, which is particularly good for targeting muscle groups you may not usually use, as well as giving the more worn out parts some recovery time. All in all, it’s low impact, and therefore low risk.
9. Barre isn’t boring
Beyond building muscle and torching calories, the best workout is one you actually enjoy doing — and because there are so many different barre workouts, you won’t have to worry about falling into a rut or losing interest before you see results.