I started doing ballet when I was three years old. My goal in life was to wear lots of pink and become a professional ballerina. That dream died a long time ago (when I turned eight and discovered soccer), but I wouldn’t mind having the body of a ballet dancer.
The barre workout is an exercise program that works towards this exact goal. There are different variations of the barre workout, but all of these include ballet, yoga, and Pilates, which combined are designed to give you a long, lean dancer’s body.
In a barre workout, you rely mostly on your own body weight to create resistance, or can use props like stretch bands, light weights, and playground balls. The workout does not actually involve any dancing, so you don’t need to worry about being extremely coordinated to participate.
The workout usually lasts an hour, with a 10 minute warm up, 10-15 minutes of light weights, 20-30 minutes of barre exercises, and 10 minutes of floor work. Each section of the workout targets a section of the body, so by the end every muscle has been toned.
The barre workout was first developed in the 1970s by the German dancer Lotte Berk, but it has been expanded and redeveloped since then. There are several different companies, like Xtend Barre or Barre 3, who have produced barre workout videos or have chains across the nation. There are also smaller studios that promote their own version of the barre workout.
The barre workout has become extremely popular with celebrities such as Madonna and Kelly Ripa. It does not include any cardio exercise, though, so if you do try out the barre exercise, plan on running a few miles on your off days so that you will see the full results of all your hard work.
To get a better idea of what a real barre workout looks like, click here.
By Fiona O’Connor