A few years ago the thought of adults donning ballet clothes and heading back to the barre might have never crossed your mind. After all, many of us did ballet as little girls but very few of us continued into our teenage years or even adulthood. But the Ballet Barre trend that exploded globally in 2015 shows no signs of abating. Nowadays, adults are swarming into ballet studios in droves, driven by the desire to develop long lean muscles in a fun and non-threatening environment that’s inspired by dance.
What exactly is Ballet Barre?
Ballet Barre (pronounced “bar” – but with not a tequila in sight) uses a waist-level bar that users hold on to while doing various forms of exercises. Don’t stress if you can’t imagine yourself doing pirouettes though! Most of the movements are very basic and easy to follow and after your first lesson, you’ll easily get the hang of it.
How does it strengthen and tone the body?
Instead of larger movements like squats or shoulder presses, Ballet Barre uses smaller movements (called isometric movements), that you then repeat multiple times. You’re literally going up and down an inch at a time but targeting very specific muscles, so you’re firing them up but with less risk of tearing or damaging them. This is also combined with stretching exercises inspired by yoga or Pilates movements, which helps lengthen the muscles.
What are the results?
Barre fans claim to see results in anything from three weeks to three months, depending on your starting fitness levels. Besides making you stronger, leaner and fitter, Ballet Barre can also improve your posture, make you more graceful (yes please!) and give you a stronger core. It also pumps those endorphins, leaving you feeling energised and happier.
What should I wear?
Tempted to wear a tutu? Not so fast. Here’s the lowdown on the kit you’ll need for your Ballet Barre class:
Where can I do it?
There are many different studios offering various forms of Barre. Check out Xtend Barre or Barre Body and find a studio near you. Then, prepare to point your toes, feel your legs shaking and have a whole lot of fun, leaving the studio exhilarated and fitter than you were to start with.