Barre - It's Not Just for Ballerinas

Clients at a Barre class

Can you explain the difference between first position and second position?

What about a plié versus a releve?

Speechless?  Confused?

Okay, so maybe you’re not an expert in ballet.  Maybe you’ve never set foot in a ballet studio.  For all you know, “rond de jambe” is something you order at a shi-shi French restaurant.  Whatever your experience (or lack thereof), don’t let it stop you from trying a Barre exercise class! 

While the Barre method originates from ballet, it has evolved over several decades to feature a combination of poses inspired by ballet, yoga and Pilates.  Using a ballet barre for balance, you work through a series of standing isometric exercises, focusing on small, controlled movements and high reps to strengthen and tone your glutes, hips, abs and legs.  Barre classes, which typically run 60 minutes, also can incorporate cardio movement, resistance training, core work and stretching segments to offer you a challenging, full-body workout – all set to fun, upbeat music. 

It’s not just for ballerinas, and it doesn’t just cater to athletes – it’s for everyone.

Barre is low impact and kind to your joints.  Through controlled squeezes and pulses, the movements work your muscles hard without straining tendons or ligaments. The strengthening and stretching poses help you sculpt long, lean muscles and improve your range of motion, balance and posture – benefits you can apply to everyday life, your favorite sport and other fitness activities. 

Also, it can be modified to suit every age group and fitness level.  An experienced, certified instructor can simplify movements to accommodate beginners, tone them down to address injuries or limitations, or rev them up to intensify the challenge.

No matter what your age or skill level, an experienced trainer should combine challenging muscle-strengthening exercises with spinal mobility and stretching movements to create the right balance of intensity, safety and fun.   

So don’t worry if you’ve never owned a tutu, pointe shoes or a leotard.  Barre gives you a low-impact, challenging workout – no ballet experience required.