The Amazing Benefits Of Attending A Barre Class

Anyone with the slightest interest in arts or fitness must be no stranger to ballet, yoga, and Pilates. Albeit different in nature, all of these practices boast massive benefits in boosting physical coordination, core strength, and mental capacity. Given the benefits you can reap from each of these activities, have you ever wondered what it'd be like to have a technique that combines the elements of all of these? If you have, look no further than a barre class.

A barre class is a form of workout "inspired" by the qualities of ballet, yoga, and Pilates, Katelyn DiGiorgio, the vice president of training and technique at Pure Barre, tells Women's Health. This fitness method centers around "high-intensity, low-impact" motions that are intended to improve your posture, reinforce your core, and sculpt your muscles. A barre workout can enhance your overall physique, giving you a dancer figure with sculpted glutes, hamstrings, and calves, instructor and personal trainer Julie Erickson tells Byrdie. The bulk of the exercises in a barre class will take place at the ballet barre and on the yoga mat. Within 45 minutes, you can practice three famed workout techniques in one class. Intrigued? Here is everything you need to know about the amazing benefits of attending a barre class.

Barre is a full-body workout

Barre is a full-body workout in every sense of the word. Don't underestimate those low-impact, easy-to-imitate deep lunges, knee bends, and ridiculously stiff postures because they can help you tap into your most neglected muscles and strengthen your body, according to Stylist. Incorporating repetitive motions and pulses to target your core, inner thighs, outer thighs, glutes, and calves, barre helps you boost endurance, stabilize your body through tensed posture, and build overall muscular strength. Barre has various sets of exercises, says the owner of Core Bodies, Deborah Murphy (via The Poughkeepsie Journal), which is why the barre classes "aren't the same all the time." She also compares a barre workout to "a ballerina warm-up" because it's how ballet dancers warm up before they engage in rigorous training.

Between the exercises, there will be smooth transitions to keep the momentum running high. These micromovements might look easy, but they are indeed a killer workout and able to get you to sweat and shake profusely. Don't worry if you don't have a ballet foundation before joining barre because this modern version of classic ballet is designed to be accessible to people with varied athletic backgrounds.

Barre workouts make you more flexible

What you will notice after consistently joining a barre class for a while is a visible increase in your overall flexibility, Kate Grove, technique director for The Bar Method, tells TheThirty. Confessing to being someone who used to be so inflexible that she could hardly touch her toes, Grove acknowledges that barre, along with yoga, has enhanced her flexibility to a great extent due to plenty of dynamic stretching. A sculpted body is every fitness enthusiast's dream, but flexibility is also a critical component of physical fitness — and the central focus of the barre method. 

For instance, flexibility enhances mobility, betters muscle coordination, prevents the risk of injuries, and improves the overall body shape, Freeletics points out. Failure to hone your flexibility regularly will cause your muscles to shorten over time and restrict your daily movements. Stretching takes the bulk of a barre workout routine, which helps increase joint flexibility and decrease muscle stiffness.

You can enjoy post-workout calorie burning

According to Pacific Prime, a barre workout can keep your calories burning even after you've completed exercising. Although the number of calories burned typically depends on the exercise you adopt and its intensity, barre and other strength training exercises like weight lifting can produce this prolonged calorie-burning effect and help you build lean muscles. As long as the calories you burn exceed the calories you take in per day, you'll lose weight. In fact, barre also revs up your metabolism for up to 48 hours for more efficient and effective fat burning. 

This workout also gets your heart pumping fast, helping you burn more calories per minute. Although weight loss is not what a barre class promises, you'll find yourself shedding some kilos if combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle, celebrity trainer Ashley Verma tells Express. Because of the continual repetitions throughout the sessions, Verma adds, barre is arguably more effective than yoga, Pilates, and other traditional fitness programs.

Your mental health is boosted

Physical benefits aside, barre exercises also help you clear your head. Releasing endorphins, also known as feel-good hormones, from perspiration, a barre workout can heighten your mood, making you feel more relaxed and satisfied after a session, per Marie Claire. Since barre entails a high degree of concentration and attention to detail, this form of workout is definitely a good way to clear your mind, become more socially aware, and strengthen your mental muscles. Attending a barre class also helps you cultivate body awareness and build confidence, The Bar Method finds. 

You might be a stranger to the movements and feel uncomfortable with the soreness they bring in the first place, but over time, you'll begin to see positive changes in your body and your mind. Looking into the mirror to lean arms, sculpted abs, and a graceful form will definitely make you feel confident about yourself and what you've accomplished.

Barre workouts keep your bones healthy

A less noticeable benefit of barre workouts is that they strengthen your bone health by increasing your bone density, per Healthline. High bone density minimizes the risks of conditions like osteoporosis, a health condition that wears out your bones, making them brittle and more vulnerable to fracture. Weak bones can increase the risks of common injuries like a broken wrist or a fractured hip, affecting your athletic performance tremendously, according to the United Kingdom's National Health Service

Concerning injury hazards, the isometric muscular movements employed in barre courses increase muscle strength without putting pressure on ligaments and tendons, making it a safe workout method to follow. Not only is barre beginner-friendly, but it's also safe for pregnant women. In fact, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) suggests engaging in a moderate-intensity, tailored fitness program such as a prenatal barre class for 20 to 30 minutes per day or on most days to stay active. 

In a barre class, your inner strength is tested and honed as much as your physical strength. Not only is this form of workout beneficial for your overall fitness but it also increases your flexibility for more effective everyday movements, enhances body-mind connection, and boosts your mental well-being.