Fun, high-energy, full-body, cardio – Barre classes check a lot of boxes for fitness seekers looking for a challenging, low-impact workout. The original Lotti Burke system has been updated with modern knowledge of the body to form what we now consider Barre classes. Barre is a combination of ballet, Pilates and yoga poses which that strengthens, tones, aligns and keeps you moving. And, the best results start with proper form.
Form is everything.
Good form prevents injury, helps you avoid joint and back tightness and allows you to engage the right muscle groups at the right time. You should feel the burn, but never at the expense of your back, hips, knees or ankles.
Checklist for Success
What’s the difference between good form and not-so- good form? Your Barre instructor is there to help you and should base instruction on the following fundamentals:
- Proper Breathing
- Neutral Pelvis
- Core Muscle Activation
- Abdominal Strengthening
- Dynamic Hip and Pelvic Stability – Keeping control of your hips and pelvis in good alignment during leg movements and larger movements.
- Finding Safe Turnout – When your knees and toes point outward at a comfortable angle – usually about 45 degrees due to hip rotation.
- Safe Knees – Balanced muscle development and proper alignment where your : Knees are aligned over your toes in all leg orientations.
- Foot and Ankle Alignment: No rolling toward the arch or over your pinky toe side.. Think of a tripod supporting your feet: big toe, pinky toe, heel – equally weighted.
- Spinal Strengthening and Mobility
- Shoulder Stability and Mobility
- Head and Neck Integration: Your head and neck are aligned with your spine, not forward.
- Alignment and Posture: means your body is supported, aligned and elongated in all orientations: standing, sitting, all fours.
Attention to these elements allows a trainer to provide you with the safest, most effective Barre workout. Smaller class sizes also let him or her keep a close eye on your form, making adjustments or increasing the challenge based on your individual needs.
Creating the Right Balance Starts with Communication
Remember, the Barre method is flexible. Experienced instructors can modify movements and simplify or intensify positions to create the right balance of work, safety and fun – for any age group and any fitness level.
Before you get started, communicate! Talk to your Barre instructor about joint or back issues, or other limitations, and let him or her help you devise a Barre workout plan that keeps you on the right track.
Let good form serve as your foundation, and great results will follow