To me, there is nothing better than a great barre class. The music, the moves and that feeling of euphoria afterwards…it is the reason why it is my favorite workout! But what really sets a barre workout apart from other workouts?
Well, for one, barre workouts are a combination of some of the best modalities in fitness. It combines ballet (my background!), strength conditioning, yoga, pilates and orthopedic movement for one incredibly amazing workout. The typical barre format usually includes a warm-up, upper body/weights, barre section focusing on thighs and glutes and then core work on the mat. Some classes offer more cardio while others focus on tiny but intense muscle movements and isometric contractions. Personally, I am a huge fan of including cardio and strength together for one great workout (which is another reason I love HIIT the Barre, which combines barre plus HIIT moves!).
Barre is one of the best ways to tone and sculpt your muscles. Barre is a form of interval training. In a typical barre interval, you target a specific set of muscles and work it until the point of fatigue. You are effectively overloading the muscles so that they start to burn and shake before getting a rest. This overload on your muscles require them to adapt and become stronger, helping you look more toned.
The unique blend of modalities combined with the fast paced movements makes barre unlike any other workout. I like to think of it as pop ballet. It is like ballet that has been put to pop music and given a makeover. Or it is like pilates taken off the mat and amped up a bit. Although it is neither strictly one or the other, barre is its own beast and a good one at that! It is constantly evolving, changing and getting harder!