Why I like Barre

I didn’t think I would. Every year as a certified pilates instructor, I have to take continuing education. This year the STOTT Total Barre program was offered and I signed up mostly to get my credits completed to keep my certification.

They had me at the music. My mind flashed back to dance class and recitals in glitzy costumes. But really it’s nothing like that. Barre is a combination of postures from ballet, pilates and yoga. All three disciplines lengthen and strengthen opposing muscle groups to restore postural balance. Barre has more of a dance component than yoga or pilates. If you don’t like to dance, you probably won’t like Barre.

Exercises are done on the mat or using a ballet barre for stability. Movements are generally small and isometric targeting specific muscle groups (think glutes) alternating with tracks that are intended for cardiovascular benefit. Repetitions are done to the beat of the music with some segments highly choreographed. Each class offers a full body work out, and hand weights are incorporated to increase the intensity of the exercises.

Barre is a work out. It gets your heart rate up and certain muscle groups will definitely be “feeling a burn”. The choreography can be challenging but tracks remain set without changing for a period of time. The music is motivating and the exercises are lots of fun.

Barre is not a replacement for a solid pilates practice but rather a nice extension to your training program. If you like dance, you will like Barre.

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