Looking for a completely new way to work out? Doing the same workout every time you hit the gym can get monotonous and potentially derail your workout plans. Try a “barre” workout, a different and exciting way to tone muscles. Barre is a ballet-inspired workout that is great for developing lean muscle mass and improving balance. This type of workout has become popular among A-list stars like Madonna, Kelly Ripa and Natalie Portman!
Barre can cure the boredom that may occur when you are in an exercise rut. The class is structured by working different areas of the body with small, repetitive ballet moves. Most classes have real ballet bars to hold on to so that participants can focus on the moves rather than worry about balancing issues. Alexis Lahr, Junior, George Mason University says that she enjoys, “the emphasis on body awareness” that barre forces. She also says, “the extreme focus to do the movements correctly makes for a ‘zen’ experience because you don’t really have the capacity to let your mind wander like it might on the elliptical.”
You can really feel the burn from the motions in a barre workout, a sure sign of strengthening muscles. Classes start with a short warm-up, move into some light weight exercises for the upper body, then incorporate 20-30 minutes of barre exercises for the lower body. Many classes are different, but they generally end with floor work for abdonimal toning.. Danielle Linowes loves how “many of the moves challenge certain parts of [her] body that are weaker, and barre feels more like strength training than other workouts.” These classes often contain a cardio component, but don’t necessarily get the heart rate up like running would. Barre workouts are fantastic way to positively affect energy and fitness levels.
Barre classes at the gym or in a studio can get pricey, but it is easy to do these workouts at home too! Many college students on a budget can look for barre DVDs, YouTube videos, or magazine workouts to do in a dorm room. Kevin Goldberg, Junior, University of Michigan, says, “I like barre because I like doing ballet. I like the convenience of doing it in your home and the fun of sharing the experience with friends.” Instead of using a ballet bar, people at home can hold on to the back of a sturdy couch or chair .
Try a barre workout for a unique experience. The results are impressive!