Barre Based Fitness: Enliven and Energize
You don’t have to be a prima ballerina, leap across the floor or twirl pirouettes on one foot to enjoy the benefits of barre based fitness. In fact, there’s no ballet background required to use the barre as a prop for strength, flexibility, and balance. Although a lot of the moves are ballet inspired like plie, arabesque, pointed toes and barre stretching, today’s barre based fitness classes infuse elements of floor based pilates and yoga poses. There are some key characteristics that make barre fitness a unique and effective workout.
Barre Fitness Benefits:
-Improved posture, dancer’s posture
-Muscle definition and tone
The trend of barre fitness originated by German born dancer and teacher Lotte Berk had a cult following of celebrities including Joan Collins and Barbara Streisand who swore by her technique to get their figures red carpet ready. In the 1950’s she developed a series of exercises based on her experience with dancing and the help of an osteopath which became known as The Lotte Berk Method using the Lotte Berk Technique. She continued to teach her method of exercise well into her 80’s. Lotte died January 2003 and her daughter Esther continues to teach her mother’s authentic original method. Today’s derivatives of her method are now offered in studios and gyms throughout the world as barre classes and remain popular for their fun energetic vibe and transformative results.
“Fall in love with process and the results will come.” -Unknown
What to expect in barre based workout routines:
-Strength training with light weights for upper body
-High number of repetitions
-small micro movements in targeted muscle group
-Soothing stretches utilizing the barre
-Abdominal work on the mat
-Emphasis on pelvic tilt, a.k.a. “tuck”
Although the moves and poses are simple, when done continuously with increased repetition and higher weights the results are high impact. The workouts are full body as the class moves through targeting specific muscle groups and it’s accessible and sustainable as students manage their own intensity, modifications and endurance levels.