The Newest Fitness Trend: Barre Classes

By Julia Vriend
Assistant News Editor

Remember those days of tutus and slippers?

Bring back those childhood ballet skills with the newest fitness trend, Barre classes.

Barre classes the latest exercise trend, infuses yoga, Pilates and dance, creating a new fitness experience with the aid of a ballet barre. Miranda Kerr is one of the many celebrities who’ve credited getting into shape thanks to this new fusion workout.

By combining movements from yoga and dance, this new training method stays true to Pilates by focusing on a lot of core lengthening and strengthening. The classes promise to help develop a “dancer’s body” through body-sculpting movements which emphasize the development of long, toned muscles. Classes vary in intensity, but most incorporate upbeat music, as well as free weights, yoga straps and medicine balls.

Many of these classes promise to bring high energy and increased stamina levels. The Pilates Postures Website states “the barre enables you to use your postural muscles every moment you are at the barre.” Balancing with the aid of the barre, you isolate certain muscle groups, giving you faster results than your average yoga or Pilates class. It’s also a great way to improve posture and build lean muscle.

We gave this latest trend a shot and the end result was nothing short of sore muscles we weren’t used to working. The great thing about barre routines is that you don’t need fancy equipment or a gym membership; all you need is something waist height that can function as a stabilizer. Barre classes haven’t hit Kingston yet, however it’s easily doable at home.

Want to give it a try?
We found this beginner six-step barre class from “Self.com” that’s perfect for first-timers.

1. Stand a full arm's length from your barre or piece of furniture. Then get your feet into a “V” position, with your heels pressed together.

2. Soften both knees and lift one leg (your "working leg"), point your foot and rest it on the floor about 12 inches behind you. Maintain the turn-out in both legs and the slight bend in both knees.

3. Lean forward at your hips as you raise your working leg up until you feel a catch in your seat muscles.

4. Lift your head and upper torso by contracting the muscles just beneath your shoulder blades. Don’t contract your lower back muscles.

5. Raise your working-side hip about an inch higher than your standing hip and square your shoulders.

6. Do 40 one-inch lifts for each leg. Be sure to keep your gaze forward, not downward. Your head is the weight you're using to tone your upper back muscles.

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