If you’re thinking about trying a new workout but you don’t want to spend a lot of money on equipment, you should consider Barre! No, you don’t have to have been a ballerina in a former life. You don’t even need to be very flexible! This low-impact workout has been getting a lot of attention over the years, and for good reason. It doesn’t require expensive equipment and people of all ages can do it. Keep reading for more information on Barre, and the many benefits of Barre for mature women.
Barre is derived from ballet movements and other positions drawn from yoga and pilates. The classes usually involve small pulsing movements with an emphasis on form, alignment, and core engagement. These small movements seem easy at first, but you’ll quickly realize it’s more difficult than it looks.
This form of physical exercise was created in 1959 by London-based ballerina Lotte Berk. After injuring her back, Berk combined her ballet barre routines with her physical therapy to form the exercise system. She opened her own studio, The Lotte Berk Studio, in her West End home. The exercises quickly caught on, with celebrities like Joan Collins and Barbra Streisand joining her
There isn’t a lot of barre-specific research to support weight loss. However, barre can improve strength. And any strength training routine can create a sustained increase in metabolism. Cardio-focused barre workouts can help you build muscle and burn calories — just make sure you stick with it!
Everyone can enjoy the benefits of attending Barre class, but women over 40 are especially at an advantage of trying this low-impact workout. Keep reading for the benefits of Barre for mature women:
Did you know that many physical therapists recommend Barre to those anxious to return to exercising? The small range of motion makes it a great option for the joints and those that have a limited range of movement. There are also modifications to each exercise that allow for a greater sense of stability.
Many Barre exercises are done standing on one leg, with the fingers lighting resting (not gripping) the barre. This allows our balance skills to be constantly tested and works to improve our stability.
Barre trains your muscles in a variety of ways — a range of motion, varying tempos during reps, and time under tension. So keep up with your pliés, relevés and squats and you’ll notice improved strength and endurance. This workout even helps runners improve speed and distance!
You don’t have to be a bendy ballerina to enjoy Barre, but it will make you more flexible. Each class involves lots of stretching to reduce your risk of injury. As a result, you’ll be able to get through your day with less tension and tightness in your muscles.
Barre doesn’t just exercise our bodies — it also works our brains! This workout keeps our cognitive skills sharp with new exercises, quickly changing directions, and following fast instructions.
Dealing with general back pain? If you sit at a computer all day, it could be the result of a weaker core. In Barre, your core muscles will be engaged for the duration of the class. As you keep going, you’ll notice that you’ll be able to sit longer and stand taller with less stress and tension.
We can all agree that it’s easier to work out when you’re also going to see your friends. After all, it’s good for your health and your mood! And you may have bonded with your friends in other workouts, but there’s no bond stronger than that of a group of women whose thighs are about to fall off.
We may all be excited and ready to get our bodies moving during quarantine, but skip the every day Barre classes. Whether it’s your first week or not, your muscles will need time to recover from any strengthening exercises. However, if you’d like to treat your tired muscles to a stretching class or yoga session, go for it! You could also alternate your days to include HIIT training or cardio. Think of Barre as a complementary workout — not a replacement for everything else you’re doing.
We’ve partnered with Barre instructor and fitness expert Karen Fortune to bring you a series of 5-minute Barre videos to challenge and inspire! All you need is five minutes! Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get a new video every week.
Related Article: If you think Barre will make you bulky, think again. Not even heavy weight lifting will do that! Women actually need strength training to keep our muscles and bones strong. Read more about why it’s important for women to lift heavy weights.