If you’re thinking about trying a new workout to supplement your current routine, you should consider Barre! This low-impact workout has been getting a lot of attention over the years, and for good reason. It doesn’t require expensive gear and people of all ages can do it. No, you don’t have to be a graceful ballerina — you don’t even have to be flexible! Keep reading to understand the many benefits of Barre and why you should try it for yourself.
The Bar Method may be derived from ballet movements, but it is not a ballet class. In fact, it’s more like Pilates, with many positions drawn from yoga too. The classes usually involve small pulsing movements with an emphasis on form, posture, alignment, and core engagement. These small movements seem easy at first, but you’ll quickly realize it’s more difficult than it looks. If every muscle feels completely depleted after you walk out of your class, then congratulations. That’s Barre!
1. Barre is low impact and easy on the joints.
Many physical therapists recommend Barre to those anxious to return to exercising. Turns out, Barre is a great option for those that have a limited range of movement! This low-impact workout also offers a ton of modifications to each exercise. So, if you can’t go into a deep plie squat or lift your heels as high as you like, don’t beat yourself up. You’ll start to notice a heightened endurance after a while and it’ll feel great.
2. Barre will improve your flexibility.
You don’t have to be a bendy little ballerina to enjoy Barre class, but this workout will make you more flexible. You’ll stretch before, during, and after each class to relax your fatigued muscles and reduce your risk of injury. If your leg muscles feel like they’re on the verge of cramping during your class, it’s a sign that your muscles aren’t properly stretched. Let your instructor know about tightness and they make recommend a foam roller or a specific stretch to relieve the discomfort.
3. Barre improves posture.
If you’ve been dealing with minor back pain, it could be a sign of weak core muscles. Good news: Barre requires engaged core muscles for the entirety of each class. Of course, the downside is that you may be dealing with post-class soreness in strange places for a while. But as you keep going, you’ll notice that you’ll be able to sit longer and stand taller with less tension.
4. Barre helps to keep your balance.
One of the best (and maybe also underrated) benefits of Barre is that it helps us with our balance. Many Barre exercises are done standing on one leg, with the fingers lighting resting (not gripping) the barre. This allows our balance skills to be constantly tested and works to improve our stability. Older folks are also encouraged to try Barre classes because it can help lessen their fall risk.
5. Barre works your brain.
Barre doesn’t just sculpt our legs and keep our cores engaged, it also keeps us sharp! Depending on your class, you may be memorizing moves, quickly changing positions and following fast instructions. Each class will require quick thinking and keeping the beat. So, if you’re looking for a workout that allows you to tune out and drift off, Barre is not it. The classes are designed to challenge every muscle in our bodies.
6. Barre relieves stress.
Have you ever attended a HIIT class to take out your frustrations, or left yoga feeling restored and clear-headed? Barre is like that too, only you’ll feel sharper, and more focused. Granted, you’ll also feel like you’ve worked every muscle in your body. But we’ve already covered that benefit. You’ll leave class tired, de-stressed and accomplished.
7. Barre builds a sense of community.
One of the many benefits of Barre (and any workout, really) is that it’s easier to keep going when you also see your friends. After all, it’s good for your health and your mood! You may have bonded with your yoga group or CrossFit circle, but the motivation from others is definitely needed during Barre. After all, when our legs are on the verge of transforming into noodles, a little cheering is much needed!
Is it okay to do Barre every day?
Unlimited classes at your local studio or online classes like Barre3 may be tempting to try every day, but resist the urge. Your muscles will need time to recover from these strengthening exercises. Instead, treat your tired muscles to a stretching class or yoga session. It’s also important to think of Barre as a supplemental exercise, so alternate your days to include cardio, Pilates or a fun HIIT class.
Ready for some new gear to show off at the studio (or Zoom class)? Check out our top fitness picks from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale — and shop before everything’s gone!
Allison is a writer, Bruce Springsteen enthusiast, and sixth-generation Texan living in Denton, Texas.