Fitness Swellness: Barre Beautiful

April 16, 2013 at 6:26 PM Leave a comment

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I struggle when it comes to including more to my fitness regimen than running. And although I may have found another cardio workout I could excel in (tee hee), I really do need to add strength training, core work and stretching into the mix. So I tried out a Classic Barre class at Barre Beautiful and had a chat with the studio’s founder Voula Floros about the workout. Here’s what I discovered.

A barre class will not make me or you into a ballerina.
“It’s not a full ballet class. A portion of the class is similar to the barre work that a ballet dancer would do when beginning a class–the exercises that train the dancer to dance. We don’t really get to the dance part except for in our Adult Ballet class and our Barre Moves Class,” says Voula, who is a certified fitness instructor.

“Our workout takes classical dance ‘training’ moves and fuses them with Pilates moves and principles (Pilates and dance have always been closely linked as many dancers practice Pilates) to create a workout that focuses on building muscular strength control and endurance and increasing flexibility. Our exercises focus on lengthening and extending as you work. Targeted muscle work—micro-contractions and isometric contractions that strengthen and tone muscles not typically used in exercise.

All this while focusing on proper spinal alignment and strengthening the postural muscles of the back spine and abdominals. One of the most important things you’ll get out of our classes is improved mind body awareness also inspired by dance training but so important to us all as we learn to move effectively and efficiently in our everyday lives, learning to avoid injury and bringing awareness to poor movement habits.”

While one’s ballerina dreams won’t be coming true, everyone can benefit from a barre class.
“The benefits include increased mind body awareness, postural improvement, enhanced range of motion and movement, weight management or loss, muscular endurance and improved coordination, stress release, improved cardiovascular health and increased bone density are just a few of the benefits that a barre workout offers,” says Voula.

“The workouts are also low impact so easy on the joints and perfect for participants with special considerations. A runner, hockey player, a triathlete, a weight lifter or even a yoga follower can all benefit. Exercise science and studies have proven that the more varied our exercise activities the better our overall health and the more effective our workouts,” she says.

Why everyone’s hitting the barre nowadays.
“Fitness is constantly evolving, and workout methods are constantly changing, as we learn to train more effectively, efficiently and safely. Barre workouts are a product of this evolution. Fusing one of the most classic forms of movement, ballet, with one of the most biomechanically sound fitness approaches, Pilates, to create an amazingly effective, sound and even romantic form of exercise,” says Voula of the popularity of barre workouts.

Want to try classes at Barre Beautiful? Stay tuned for a giveaway on Health & Swellness!

Barre Beautiful, 2156 Yonge St., Toronto, 647-748-2156

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