First things first. What the heck IS barre? Barre (pronounced “bar”) is a workout technique inspired by elements of ballet, yoga, and Pilates. It is a low impact, but high intensity, full body workout. The movements are small, but the intensity is major. Think about doing a plié until you want to die. That’s basically what it’s like. Oh, and there’s stretching, too.
Barre is great for the core, glutes, and legs, and it’s also a great way to rehab from injuries or to mix in with more high impact exercises, like running. Movements are small and controlled, which may be hard if you’re not used to that kind of exercises. Give yourself 3 to 4 classes to learn the movements and feel comfortable with them.
Different Types of Barre
As with any type of exercise class, there are several versions available for you to try. Cardio Barre, HIIT Barre, and Pilates/Barre are just a few. A few classes with an instructor are a good idea, as they can teach you the proper form, but not absolutely required. There are TONS of free classes on YouTube and various health sites. Here’s a few:
Barre is not the perfect exercise routine, however. Unless you’re doing Cardio Barre, this is not a cardio workout. It’s also not a heavy-lifting weight program. This is not a Jane-Fonda-jumping-jacks-Crossfit workout. This is a complement to those types of workouts. Barre WILL help you improve your posture, which is always great. Plus, good posture helps you look healthier. So, bonus.
Another bonus is that you don’t need a lot of equipment to do this at home. In most cases, a sturdy chair, 1 to 3 pound weights, and maybe a yoga mat are all you will need. Wear comfy clothes and keep a water bottle handy, and you’re all set.
Here’s a video of basic moves to give you an idea what to expect.