Why are so many people going to the barre?
In short because “barre” is an exhilarating mix of power and elegance!
There’s no other fitness class out there where you stand tall and straight at a ballet barre (haven’t most little girls taken a ballet class or two?) and work every muscle in your body!
The great thing about barre is that you don’t need any experience at all (so maybe you didn’t take ballet classes -that’s a-ok!) AND you don’t need to be in tip top shape either! Barre’s the thing because it’s a TOTAL BODY WORKOUT that combines some strength training, some cardio and lots stretching that will absolutely improve your endurance, strength, balance and flexibility.
And barre’s fun to boot!
What exactly goes on in barre?
Well first you take off those sneakers. Free those toes or grab a pair of cute grippy socks and belly up.
In a nutshell:
In every energizing barre class you will work each muscle group with a series of small, intense movements, referred to as “pulses” using the “barre” for balance.
Your instructor will also incorporate various pieces of equipment usually associated with barre classes such as light hand weights, slightly squishy stability balls, Pilates circles and resistance bands – all designed to define and strengthen every muscle in your body. Then you will hit the mat to work your abs and entire core to burn even more fat and calories! The result? A longer, leaner, stronger you!
if I had to break it down in terms of how much of this and how much of that you’ll get out of a barre class it would go something like this:
40% strength training, 30% cardio, 15% balance and 15% flexibility. Your heart rate during the class will range from 40% to 70% of your maximum recommended, depending on your fitness level and effort. These percentages of course are a rough estimate and all classes will vary!
Some more nutshells!
Barre is a unique and fast paced strength training workout where you will focus on building long, strong, lean muscles with exercises that are carefully planned (choreographed – think dance routines that you never have to memorize because your instructor guides you through it all!) to create a full body workout that will activate every muscle in your body!
In this challenging workout you will target your arms, abs, hips, butt and thighs with lower body drills at the barre (ballet barre securely attached to the mirror so you can be sure you’re doing your exercises in perfect form!) You will also participate a mat-based portion of each class targeting your whole core, abs and arms that includes (but not limited to!) planks, push-ups, various other arm exercises (there will most likely include light hand weights and other cool equipment like Pilates circles and squishy balls!)
In all Zing barre classes you work out to motivating high energy music which is carefully chosen and arranged by our instructors, and many of the drills are performed to the beat to create for you the most fun yet challenging fitness class
A Little history and a lot more detail!
Even though “barre” was originally developed in the 1950’s by Lotte Berk – a German dancer – it does not require any dancing skills and everyone can participate in classes regardless of fitness level, or gender!
Women AND men alike can benefit from barre classes, and everyone at any fitness level, will definitely find these classes challenging and very beneficial!
Say what? In these exercises, your muscles tense up, but don’t actually move! Imagine pressing your hands together as hard as you can for 10 seconds. You’ll feel tension in your chest and arms, yet your arms did not move at all. You just did an isometric exercise, which is the foundation of barre. Isometric training exercises were popularized by the famous Alexander Zass. Alexander used isometric training while imprisoned during World War I. The strength he developed from this training helped him to escape from captivity. He became known as “The amazing Samson”, and is considered one of the strongest men in history.
Don’t let the name barre mislead you – Isometric training is an amazing way to build strong sculpted muscles. You’ll discover muscles you never knew you had, and you’ll feel those muscles! With isometrics (barre classes!) you can take a break from jumping on boxes, lifting heavy weights or doing endless crunches (your lower back will thank you!). The best part? Isometrics (barre classes!) have been found to help take off inches around your waist, increase overall strength and may even decrease high blood pressure.
The main difference between a barre class and a HIIT or strength training class is the range of movement. Barre classes focus on short (some only one to two inches) repeated movement that focus on a specific muscle or groups of muscles.
These short movements (or pulses) are designed to work the targeted muscles without changing its length. In positions like these the muscle fibers are activated but since there are equal forces against each other, there is no movement. These “pulses” create an efficient workout that keeps the muscle engaged through the repetitions, as opposed to long movement which “rest” one part of the muscle while working the other. Confused? Here’s an example: Compare picking up a 20 pound dumbbell to do full bicep curls to using it in the same position to only moving the weight 2 inches up and down in the middle. The force of the weight keep your muscles continuously engaged without the “rest” at the end of full bicep curls.
The results of these targeted isometric training drills are amaZing strength and endurance building of the slow-twitching muscles, while toning and sculpting the targeted areas. Some of the moves are designed to target a few muscles at a time, all working in tandem with carefully designed short, repeated movements.
The nature of these short movements also reduces risk of injury as it puts less strain on tendons and ligaments compared to other strength training methods.
So in conclusion!
Shake and “burn” are buzz verbs synonymous to barre! Yes you will shake (your muscles that is!) and yes you MAY even “feel the burn” but please don’t let this prevent you from trying (and continuing to try) a barre class. Why? What you are feeling is your body responding to hard work! Work hard and get rewarded for your hard work. Your reward is a lean, toned, sculpted, fit, and healthier you! So belly up to the barre and find out for yourself what all the buzz is about!
Meet your instructors!
At ZingroupX, our amaZing trained instructors skillfully guide you through every class and work with you to help achieve the best results, in a safe and fun environment! Please do not hesitate to ask of your instructor or ANY of our friendly and knowledgeable staff any questions you may have, or to consult with us for the best suggestions for maximizing your workouts to help you with those goals!
Cristy SyCip will meet you at the barre, and take you flawlessly through an elegant but intense full-body workout. You’ll sweat it out , pulse it out, and challenge your muscles to fun, high-energy music!
Click to see Cristy’s classes this week.
As with any workout, cross training is recommended to achieve an overall well balanced fitness result. Barre classes can be complemented by higher intensity cardiovascular workouts such as spin, and DanceFit, as well as other strength training and flexibility workouts such as Pilates, Butts and Guts and yoga. Cardio barre and Warrior Boot Camp along with these other classes can all be found on www.zingcycle.com