5 health benefits of barre classes
A combination of ballet, mat pilates, and yoga, barre is a fitness style that has gained popularity over recent years. While the low-impact exercise may look fairly easy, it is much more demanding than it seems. By incorporating pulsing and other isometric contractions, barre makes your muscles burn and your body shake. It doesn’t matter if you’re an avid gym-goer, cyclist, or runner, the micro-movements performed in barre workouts can be challenging.
Wondering what barre class is good for? This Pacific Prime Thailand article covers five health benefits of barre classes to help motivate you.
1. It makes you stronger
The majority of barre class movements involve isometric contractions, which activate the muscle while maintaining constant length. These movements are completely different from stretching and shortening muscles like you do during strength training. Similarly, these minute movements make it possible to hold the position and constantly engage the muscle while tiny pulsing offers a quick recovery so you can hold it for even longer.
These short pulses make it possible to perform more repetitions and target slow-twitch muscles as well. Moreover, isometric movements don’t strain your ligaments or tendons, making it possible to strengthen your muscles with less risk of injury than traditional strength training. Aside from the physical aspect, barre also improves your mental strength by increasing mind-body awareness and requiring you to focus.
2. It’s the ultimate core workout
During a barre workout, your core is engaged the whole time. The isometric movements that target the small muscles give your entire core a good workout, instead of just the muscles that are worked during ab crunches. Continuously repeating these movements also helps improve endurance. Therefore, you’ll only get better at performing and holding tough positions with every class you go to.
A strong core helps improve your performance in other activities, such as playing sports or carrying heavy objects. On top of that, a stronger core makes it easier to maintain a straight back, which brings us to the next health benefit.
3. It improves your posture
Many movements during barre class require you to keep a straight spine and your shoulders rolled back. In fact, maintaining proper alignment of your head, shoulders, spine, and hips is one of the most important aspects of barre. In fact, some people even think they’ve become taller after barre workouts due to their better posture. Awareness of your posture will also follow you once the class is over. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself noticing when you’re slouching and correcting your posture in your daily life.
4. It burns calories for longer
If you exercise regularly, you’re probably familiar with what is known as the afterburn effect, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). Essentially, this means your body can keep burning calories even after your workout is complete. Even though the number of calories burned varies according to the exercise and intensity, barre and other resistance exercises can create this effect.
As a matter of fact, barre can ramp up your metabolism for up to 48 hours. By elevating your heart rate in intervals, it causes a caloric burn that keeps going once class is over. Many people wonder whether barre is good for losing weight. While losing weight isn’t the focus, those who are looking to shed some pounds may benefit from supplementing their workout regimen and healthy diet with barre classes.
5. It increases your flexibility
If you’ve ever skipped stretching before or after your workout, you’re certainly not the only one. However, we all know how important flexibility is when it comes to overall fitness. Fortunately, barre workouts conveniently incorporate it right in. No matter what barre class you sign up for, it’s guaranteed to consist of various flexibility movements.
What’s more, you don’t need to be flexible to take up a barre workout either. It won’t take long for you to notice improvements if you practice consistently.
Should I try a barre class?
One of the reasons why you should try a barre class is simply because you can. This form of exercise is suitable for any fitness level. In fact, barre could be your first workout ever and you’d still be able to do it. Barre instructors always provide modifications to the movements, which allows you to make it as challenging as necessary. Moreover, these adjustments make it suitable for all ages as well.
As with any form of exercise, it takes commitment and consistency to see results. If you’re wondering how long it takes to see results from barre, the truth is the answer is different for everyone. Factors such as your fitness background, your weight, and your lifestyle habits all come into play. If you’re a beginner and are wondering how many times a week you should do barre, it’s recommendable to do it at least two times a week.
While two times a week at a minimum may sound like a lot, the variations in movements and the ability to modify the intensity keep things interesting. With so many fitness options out there, there’s no point in doing something you don’t enjoy. Fortunately, barre offers numerous health benefits while being enjoyable and rewarding at the same time.
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When she’s not writing, she’s likely searching for a new restaurant or cafe to try, reading or doing yoga.
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