Think a low-impact workout can’t get your heart rate pumping? Then it might be time to learn more about Barre Pilates, an effective way to challenge muscles from head to toe and build strength and flexibility.
Barre Pilates combines aspects of yoga, Pilates, and ballet — all into one exciting, fun, dynamic class. Here, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Barre Pilates and why this workout may be a great addition to your fitness regime.
What Is Barre Pilates?
Barre Pilates is a full-body workout that utilises a ‘barre’ to help provide stability as participants complete a structured series of moves. It’s an excellent workout for beginners and advanced practitioners alike.
Each class is meant to build alignment, strengthen your core, tone and elongate muscles for that coveted “dancer look”.
The Benefits of Barre Pilates
Adding Barre Pilates to your fitness routine will challenge all new muscles and refresh your workouts.
The benefits of Barre workouts include:
- A Tighter Core — The balance and strength needed to complete each move call upon the core muscles for proper alignment, leading to stronger and tighter abdominal muscles.
- Improved Endurance — Although it is a low-impact workout, Barre Pilates still improves stamina and endurance.
- Better Posture — Barre workouts focus heavily on strengthening the chest and shoulder muscles, leading to better posture and protection against slouching.
- Stronger Glutes — Barre Pilates is an effective way to strengthen the glutes. While a tighter, stronger, lifted butt is great for a boost of confidence, stronger glutes also help stabilise the pelvis and take pressure off the hips, knees, and back.
- Improved Focus — Because each Barre move requires a high level of mindfulness to execute proper form and keep the muscles engaged, Barre workouts are almost like a type of meditation. Focusing on each small movement is a great way to feel calmer, ease an overactive mind, and learn to be in the present moment.
- Enhanced Flexibility — With an emphasis on posture, precise movements, and built-in stretching, Barre workouts are excellent for improving flexibility.
- Reduced Stress — Exercise causes the release of endorphins, and feel-good hormones that help you feel calmer, happier, and more balanced so you are better equipped to manage stress.
- Increased Strength — Barre Pilates challenges all the muscle groups from head to toe, ensuring you will improve your overall strength. Whether you use your body weight or add small weights for an additional challenge, Barre workouts are an effective way to build your strength while also improving your flexibility and balance.
Is Barre Pilates Right for Me?
Barre Pilates is ideal for individuals who:
- Want to build long, lean muscle and enhance their balance and flexibility
- Have joint pain, medical conditions, fibromyalgia, or arthritis and need a workout that is gentle and low impact yet incredibly effective
- Sit in traffic often or have a desk job that involves hunching over with poor posture day after day
- Are recovering from an injury and want to rebuild strength and function
- Want a class that is fun, upbeat, and choreographed to music
- Have just had a baby and want to tighten their core and pelvic muscles
Can I Do a Barre Workout at Home?
While it is hard to beat the individual instruction, modification options, and support of a studio Barre workout, you may wish to complement your studio classes by practising Barre Pilates at home.
Here are some essentials you’ll need for barre workouts at home:
- Grip socks for safety and stability
- A high-quality, cushioned, non-slip yoga mat
- Weights (optional — no need to go heavy, 2 lb. weights are typically the ideal option)
- Resistance bands (optional)
- A barre (you can use the back of a sturdy chair, the back of your couch, or a countertop as an alternative to a barre)
- A safe space with plenty of room to perform the Barre moves without objects in the way
Tips for Your First Barre Pilates Class
While Barre Pilates can be an extremely challenging option for advanced practitioners, Barre workouts are also an ideal option for beginners.
If you are new to Barre workouts, here are some tips for your first Barre Pilates class:
- Take your time
- Show yourself grace as you learn
- Enjoy the process and keep progressing
- Focus on core engagement throughout each movement
- Focus on your breath
- Follow modifications as needed and always ask for help if you have a question about a certain move
- Focus on controlled, precise, deliberate movements
If you are new to Pilates in general, check out our Guide to Your First Pilates Class.
Want To Try a Barre Workout or Learn More?
Barre workouts are a fun, unique, and effective way to build full-body strength and significantly improve your flexibility and balance.
We welcome all levels and our experienced instructors will make you feel welcome, ensure you perform each move properly, offer modifications, and keep you safe as you get an incredible full-body workout. We hope to see you soon!