Barre hop your way to a better body
What’s really going on in the booming barre fitness trend?
Looking to loosen up and relieve some tension? Well, look no further, there is a new barre in town and it has a lot more benefits than that glass of red wine.
Barre classes are the latest craze in fitness, combining a variety of classic ballet movements with a cardiovascular twist to get your heart pumping while toning your body.
Lana Asuchak is a fitness instructor for a variety of different classes and noticed that barre was of high interest in her classes.
Asuchak says a typical barre class concentrates on fine-tuning your entire body “but it really focuses on upper body like the shoulders, the triceps and then the glutes area! It’s lifting the butt and toning the arms.”
She keeps the class moving and pumped up as she leads them through the different exercises along with energetic music that keeps them on their toes.
In ballet, the barre is used for balance as the dancers work on strengthening their ability to stretch their bodies and become more toned and flexible. All these classic movements and postures, which may seem like a minimalist workout to your average gym rat, are actually vital to target several muscles that are not often used. There are so many different ways in which you can use the barre to safely build a foundation and work muscles while toning, lifting and sculpting your body.
Kara Plotnikoff a twenty-year-old Bachelor of Science student at Mount Royal University decided to try barre after having Asuchak as an instructor before. Plotnikoff says that it is a great way to incorporate physical activity into your schedule.
All it takes is 45 minutes out of your day to participate in a class. Asuchak will take you and your body through a series of movements that will get you sweaty, and leave you full of fresh blood and adrenaline. She says that it is unlike any other class, “we do arms and legs then arms and legs so you don’t get that over use (of muscles) and it just really works.”
The best thing is, any one can do a barre class. You can leave the tutu and pointe shoes at home, just come ready to get your heart rate up, work your core and sculpt your body. “It’s not a dance class, and I’m not a dancer, anyone can take it that wants to get toned and sculpted,” Asuchak explains.
You will feel the intensity of the stretches as you flex your muscles and really work into them. The positive energy flowing through the room will make you feel like you’re really getting a great workout.
As a former dancer herself, Plotnikoff notes that she likes barre class because it is not just about cardio, or weights or toning, it’s the great variety of movements that target muscles that you don’t often use and really sculpts your overall physique. She says you are not doing the same thing over and over again and, in that way, the workout becomes fun and one part of your body does not become overworked or sore.
With the summer months fast approaching and vacation opportunities on the rise, barre is a great addition to your workout regime if you are looking to target all areas of your body and work on your overall fitness level.
According to Well+Good online, unlike some other studios, barre doesn’t require a lot of complicated and expensive equipment like spin bikes or treadmills so they are easy to start up.
As well, the website lists reasons such as: fast results, what women (and some men as well) are looking for in their future physique, and the ample variety of kinds of barre classes as top reasons why the trend has grown. In Calgary, there are now almost countless barre classes being offered at different locations throughout the city. One online search yields options all over.
MRU has also jumped on board this trend, bringing in six new Barre classes to Rec. For more information about what is offered, check out Rec Magazine or go online to mtroyal.ca/recreation