8 Health Benefits of Barre Exercise

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by Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN

Barre workouts have grown in popularity, ranking as the fifth most popular fitness trend in 2023, according to the report. Despite its roots in ballet, barre offers a flexible and accessible form of exercise suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels.

With movements from ballet, pilates, and yoga, it delivers a complete, low-impact workout that delivers tangible benefits.

Barre workouts go beyond the typical ballet studio image. They contribute to improved flexibility, improved posture, and stronger core muscles, which not only encourage a deeper mind-body connection but also promote a sense of physical strength.

It’s no surprise that barre workouts have garnered praise from celebrities, athletes, and fitness enthusiasts alike.

In this article, we will dive deep and learn more about the bare bones workout and its many benefits.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to treat or diagnose any condition. It is recommended that you speak with your doctor before starting an exercise program, making changes to your nutrition plan, or adding any supplements to your current regimen.

What is a Barre Workout?

Barre is a brainchild of Lotte Berk, a German ballet dancer, who invented it as part of her recovery plan from a back injury. When she moved to London, Berk established her own barre studio, combining her ballet expertise with physical therapy expertise.

His goal was to create a gentle yet effective program that targets core stability, posture improvement, and strength improvement.

Today, barre classes incorporate elements from ballet, yoga, and pilates, providing a holistic approach to improving flexibility, muscle strength, and cardiovascular health.

It is important to note that participating in a bare-bones class does not require prior knowledge or experience of dance or ballet.

8 Health Benefits of Barre

Although barre has not been tested to the same extent as yoga, pilates, and ballet, it offers many health benefits. Below are some of the most notable benefits you can get when you do a bare-bones workout:

1. Reduce stress

While it is widely known that many forms of exercise help reduce stress and release endorphins, the unique mind-body connection in a barre class stands out.

By focusing on proper muscle movement and maintaining proper form, distractions are minimized. With so many cues to follow at once, such as holding the barre, coming up onto the balls of your feet, lunging, aligning, pulling, and punching – it becomes challenging for the mind to wander.

Barre focuses on full presence and awareness of the body. When you are fully immersed in the moment, stress often disappears.

2. Rehabilitation and injury prevention

The National Safety Council (NSC) reports an increase in injuries, especially in cycling, with 425,920 incidents recorded in 2020. Additionally, 377,939 injuries occurred during exercise, both with and without equipment, during the same year.

Barre training, characterized by low-impact exercises, helps reduce stress on the joints, thus reducing the likelihood of injury.

Having adequate warm-up routines ensures that the whole body is ready for action, which further reduces the risk of muscle soreness.

3. Exercise improves flexibility

Barre exercises can improve flexibility, which refers to the ability of muscles, ligaments, and tendons to stretch passively. As your muscles gain the ability to move within a reasonable range, you may find that normal tasks like bending over to pick up things or checking blind spots while driving become easier.

According to ACE, most people experience a decline in flexibility as they age due to a combination of a sedentary lifestyle and the natural aging process.

4. Exercising makes you stronger

The combination of ballet, yoga, and pilates at the barre strengthens our entire body, but mainly targets the following:

  • Glutes
  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves
  • The feet

Barefoot exercises also strengthen your core and rotator cuff, which are often neglected in standard strength routines.

5. Barre is a low-impact workout

Low-impact exercise involves movements that don’t stress your joints. It’s perfect for people with joint problems or those looking for softer options to complete high-impact activities like running or jumping rope.

Barre exercises eliminate jumping or punching, making it accessible and beneficial for joint health.

Although barre doesn’t ask you to push yourself beyond the limits, it still builds endurance and gets your heart rate up with a quick transition.

6. Improves posture

Ballet dancers always prioritize beauty, which can only be achieved through proper posture and body alignment. Barre workouts include exercises that target the abdominal and back muscles.

Strengthening the abdominals and glutes improves excessive posterior pelvic tilt or back prolapse. Strong postural muscles help maintain good posture and reduce muscle fatigue.

7. Improves the body

By targeting major muscle groups and engaging in continuous sets that last 30 to 45 minutes, bare-bones workouts burn calories effectively.

When combined with cardiorespiratory resistance training, regular participation promotes lean muscle development and increases metabolic rate.

8. A fun and fast workout

Apart from stress relief and strength building, exercise classes provide an enjoyable experience.

Who wouldn’t want to tap into their inner ballerina during this ballet-inspired workout?

Fast movement ensures that time flies; unlike workouts where the minutes drag on, empty sessions are often over before you know it.

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