If you’re looking for a total body workout that burns fat and tones your abs, arms, butt and thighs in record-breaking time, then Barre fitness may be for you.
What Is Barre Fitness?
Originally developed by German dancer Lotte Burk in 1959, this form of exercise uses a stationary handrail called a “barre” and incorporates ballet poses and abdominal core training to target the thighs, arms, abs and buttocks. While based on ballet technique, it is not only for dancers.
The theory behind Barre exercises is different from most other fitness routines because its main goal is not burning calories while performing the exercises (although you will burn about 500 calories per one-hour session). The main goal is to develop and tone your large major muscle groups by lengthening and strengthening muscle fibers deep in each muscle core. A toned muscle will naturally burn more calories each day than a muscle that is not developed.
It is this deep core muscle development that increases daily calorie burn, yet keeps you from getting the “bulked up” look that other strength training exercise programs can produce. And because the exercises are anaerobic, you’ll keep burning calories for hours after a barre session.
What Is A Typical Barre Workout?
Barre workouts focus on using your own body weight as resistance, in addition to the isometric exercises that work muscles deep within each major muscle group trained. In certain routines, light hand weights may also be used. Due to its low-impact, barre classes are great if you have pain in your joints.
A typical workout might include working on your:
- abdominal core with crunches
- arms with light hand weights
- thighs with pliés (basic ballet moves)
- buttocks with kicks
Each major muscle group is worked until it burns. Fair warning: Uncontrollable muscle shake is very common after doing many repetitions of an exercise designed to target just one muscle. That one muscle is then finished off with a group of exercises designed to lengthen it. It is this continuous toning and lengthening that gives you the long lean ballet-dancer look.
Unlike other exercise programs that take a lot of time before you see any results, many barre participants report results in as little as ten sessions. Many beginners try to attend at least three barre sessions per week.
While you most likely will not see results on the scale right away, you will experience a loss in inches, increased flexibility and achieve a more toned, defined look.
Look for barre fitness classes in your area and try something different. Your body will thank you!
Dee Gallemore is a joyful solopreneur making a living pursuing her passions, with health and home at the forefront. You’ll find loads of free fitness tips over at: http://fitlifedigest.com.