What is it?
Barre is a form of exercise that looks very much like ballet. But this is not ballet though it is ballet inspired and was developed by a ballerina long back in the early of 19th century. This energized work out uses a mix of elements from pilates, yoga and dance. You do not need to have a dancing experience in order to go for this workout.
Though it is a combination of ballet, dance, pirouettes and yoga, but no such experience is required in all those skills for starting the barre work out classes. It brings speedy changes in the body after attending only few classes. Age and weight is not a bar here rather all can go for this workout. The only main difference between barre workout and the traditional strength training is that, barre workout involves small movements just 1 inch up and down whereas the strength training involves various large and compound movements.
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The key exercises and how do you do it?
Barre workout is much easier than other exercise forms while it is able to perfectly fire up the muscles by making them elastic. The main key exercises and way to do them are explained here.
Sumo cats/ cows:
This is a great warm up for the spine, core and lower body part. Here what you are required to do is stand at the feet by keeping them bit apart while the toes should be pointed at the 11 and 1 o clock. Now draw your hips behind and put the body weight on the heels. Look forward. Now scoop your core and make it round through the spine when you exhale. Come back to the previous position as you inhale.
Simple toe taps:
This step warm ups the muscles all through the body. Stand straight on feet wide. Now bend the knees, ensures that the spine is long, hips come to the square position while the feet should be stayed at floor. Straight the legs, lean on the right while tapping the left toe. Again bend the knees in the centre and this time lean to the left while straightening the legs.
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This is another step to heats up the lower body while stretching the upper body and hips. Keep the right foot behind and bend the left knee. Make sure the ankle stays on the heel while bending the left knee. Now stretch the right leg more and lift the arms. Interlace the palms over head. Now bend the right knee and round the upper back while pushing up the palms down and forward as you exhale. Come back to the previous position as you inhale.
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Here the seat muscles, front legs and hamstrings are targeted. Stand on wide feet and draw the hips behind. Spine should be long with wide shoulders. Hold the breath for 5 minutes.
Now bring the palms in the centre, lean back on heels and lower it 1 inch. Again press on heels and lift 1 inch.
Next press on the feet to stand straight, brings the palms side and get back to the squat position again.
This workout is intended to shape the entire legs, the inner and outer thigh.
Stand on feet and they should be 4 inches apart to give an exact ‘V’ shape. Now bend the knees slightly while pressing on the heels. The heels will be hovered a bit off the floor. You can use a chair for support or else have the two hands in prayer position. Just narrow the pile 1 inch and then lift 1 inch. Later increase the motion and seat at the heels, after which lift up fully for squeezing the inner thighs together.
Standing seat work
This is very simple which is done to enhance the balance along with shaping up the back of the core, legs and spine. Have a chair and place two hands on it. Sweep the right feet behind the hip then lift it 1 inch up and hold it till you feel that your seat is engaged. Next, press on the left foot and lift up and out the right hip. Lift the leg again 1 inch and lower it 1 inch. Repeat the process.
This is another useful workout that requires a chair. Hold the chair and lift the heels, then bend the knees and put pressure on the toes to be in a square position. Hips should be leveled and core firmed. Hold the position for few seconds and lift 1 inch. Repeat the process.
These are just some examples. There are so many barre workouts that you will be able to learn gradually.
What equipment is needed?
Barre workout does not require any equipment as such. It is all about small movements that involve just 1 inch up and 1 inch down. However, some mini-balls and small hand weights are used for some exercises.
Whether you want to develop a long and lean muscles without bulk, want to achieve a ballerina’s body or dancer’s figure, want to enhance flexibility or improve the balance, Barre workout is just perfect to help you achieve all those desired body shape.
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