It’s time to sing the praises of one of our favorite workouts: Barre classes!
Those of us with two left feet shouldn’t panic. Barre workouts are less about dancing and more about sculpting a dancer’s physique. Barre focuses on tiny, isometric movements, meaning little to no joint movement and a whole lot of muscle activation. You will hold most of the body very still while also contracting a specific set of muscles. As a general rule, Barre is an anaerobic workout, so it is not designed to get your heart racing like running, cycling, or HIIT. Still, while Barre does not necessarily cover every aspect of a healthy lifestyle, this workout does many things very effectively.
If you’re ready to start strength training, Barre is great at every fitness level. Rather than challenging you to lift more weight, Barre emphasizes perfect form and technique as you methodically move through each muscle group. You may start fairly light with two or three pound dumbbells, but don’t be fooled: after several sets these moves burn. As you get stronger and create muscle memory of that proper form, you can go up in weight or incorporate different strength training styles.
Barre is incredible for improving posture! We are always pushing posture because it is such an important aspect of your health, quality of life, and how lean your body looks. Generally, modern life wreaks havoc on posture–we need to work to correct this. Throughout Barre, the instructor will cue and correct posture and alignment for the most effective workout. The small, precise exercises utilized in Barre classes are intensified by proper posture as you can’t rely on different muscles or momentum to finish the sets.
Barre is extremely low impact, making it a safe exercise option for just about everyone. Fitness novices, pro athletes, and every person in between can benefit from a killer full-body workout that will not strain the joints. For that same reason, Barre is fantastic cross-training, especially for runners. Give your knees and ankles a break while you address a different set of muscles, balance, and stability for a marked improvement in your performance and recovery.
Best of all, Barre is fun! It is a tough workout, but the music is upbeat and the community support will keep you coming back. Barre classes are included in your membership at Annapolis Athletic Club. We urge you to take advantage of these benefits and enjoy the new and improved Mind Body Studio!