A form of exercise that incorporates ballet technique, Pilates and exercise is an ideal way to increase body coordination, improve strength and slim your figure. Learn the principles of barre training!
The origins of barre training can be traced back to the 1970s when dance fitness classes became extremely popular in the United States. The greatest international interest in this type of activity began after the release of the Oscar-nominated film “Black Swan”. Mary Helen Bowers, in charge of appropriate physical preparation and teaching technical solutions to Natalie Portman, who plays the main role in the production, created a system of exercises that strengthen the muscles of the whole body, improve the sense of balance and teach the basics of dance skills.
As the instructors leading the barre training emphasize, the classes are for everyone – regardless of age, physical condition or dance technique.
The name of the set of exercises refers to the barre, at which ballet dancers normally train. Training takes place with the use of this equipment. Additionally, dumbbells, pound balls or mats are also used as part of the equipment during the workout.
Apart from elements taken from classical ballet, barre training combines yoga and Pilates techniques, thanks to which the participants strengthen their muscles and improve their motor coordination without exhausting their bodies with the intensity of the exercises. During classes, precision in performing specific sequences is key, more so than the number of repetitions or the speed at which exercises are performed. The purpose of barre training is to adapt ballet classes to group fitness conditions.
Exercises are adjusted to the capabilities of each participant and can be easily performed also at home, for example supporting oneself on a chair, wall, railing or windowsill. Systematic training has many benefits for the work and appearance of the whole body, in particular it helps burn calories and build muscle tissue.
Barre training is ideal for women who do not want to deal with classic fitness, but want to strengthen the body and work on muscle parts. A standard workout lasts from 30 to 60 minutes. During its duration, muscles are tensed and relaxed in sessions of several dozen seconds.
This type of exercise does not expand the muscle tissue in the same way as, for example, strength training, but it affects the local muscles, i.e. those parts that directly surround the joints. Thanks to their strengthening, the movements performed are smoother, the strength of muscles is improved, their appearance is slenderized and modeled, and the stabilization of joints is changed, which reduces the risk of injury or trauma.
Barre training does not directly affect the construction of muscle tissue, but it can strengthen it and improve its quality, which is as important as their actual volume.
Techniques taken from yoga and Pilates help strengthen the upper body, improve posture, and properly align the spine. The noticeable change is mostly in the upright posture and lightness in specific movements.
Elements of ballet improve overall control over the body, strengthen the sense of balance and help to model the shape of the figure. Muscle parts which are particularly worked during classes with the use of a bar are glutes, thighs, calves and arms. Exercising these key muscles allows you to give your body a feminine shape and emphasize your athletic figure. Exercises also improve breathing capacity, improve mood and teach basic techniques of several sports at the same time. According to statistics, an hour of barre training can burn about 300 calories.
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