Barre is a workout routine that is touted to give a person a ballet dancer's body. It basically uses Pilates, Yoga and Ballet moves to tone the body by lengthening and strengthening muscles. It uses deliberate, slow, concentrated motions (somewhat like tai chi) that target everything from the arms to the toes to give the body a complete workout.
If done correctly, Barre can be a bit overwhelming at first, especially since there are many unused muscles in the body that get a focused workout; it also gets one completely in tune with one’s body. If each pose is held the correct way, it feels like the arms are on fire and the legs start shaking while holding the poses (both of which are very good things actually!). One other positive about Barre is that the process of talking to your body and walking it through terribly difficult yet terribly effective poses can be accomplished without even one bead of sweat!
Of course the pain and the shaking is caused by the muscles that are not strong enough, and once the initial grueling week (or two or three—depending on how un-exercised the body is) goes by, there is actually an addiction to this workout. As your body feels stronger, the core getting tighter, and the ability to bend and unbend becomes easier, it gets more and more difficult to give up this form of workout. The slow movements also make the whole workout meditative, thus helping the mind focus better.
It is recommended that we practice Barre at least three or four times a week to start noticing results. It’s also very important to be very careful while performing Barre movements as the slightest slip can lead to serious injuries in some cases. Also since Barre is not cardio, it is recommended that we perform some other form of Cardio exercise routines, if needed.
The beauty of Barre really lies in the slow and steady tagline, especially as illustrated with the slow concentrated motions. One question sums it all up—has anyone ever seen a fat ballerina?
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