What Makes Barre Classes Effective

Before I started barre, almost my entire workout routine consisted of running with a little of what I called “light strength and cross training” but really consisted of only a few push-ups and maybe a day or two a week on a stationary bike and virtually no stretching! My quads were definitely strong, but my weak glutes and hamstrings were starting to contribute to lower back pain. 

Enter barre.  Runners often get discouraged at first when their legs start shaking uncontrollably during thigh exercises in barre class. The experts (Dancing vs. Running) attribute this to the difference between the sustained strength-training work for the thighs in barre classes and the split second rest each leg gets when striding during a run. 

In contrast, barre focuses not only on sustained strength-training for the thighs but also on building strength in the hamstrings and glutes.  This creates strong muscles all the way around each leg.  When the whole leg is strong, it helps prevent injuries because we don’t have stronger muscles pushing the weaker muscles too hard and causing strains or tears. 

Not to mention we don’t let you get out of class without stretching out the quads, hip flexors and hamstrings!  This alleviates tightness throughout the leg muscles — and makes the leg muscles less prone to injury!

– Laura