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Barre Workouts: Learn the Benefits and Limitations

Barre Workouts: Learn the Benefits and Limitations

by Tara Hackney, PT, DPT, OCS, KTTP1 Comment

Barre workouts have been around for a while. You may be curious; maybe you’ve tried a class; maybe you’re scared to try a class because you aren’t a “ballerina” or, maybe you don’t see the appeal of this workout. Whichever you are, it’s important to learn the concepts of Barre so you know the benefits and limitations of this workout!

Barre workouts combine yoga, Pilates, ballet and strength training.

Benefits of Barre Workouts:

1. The tiny movements can help you get stronger!
The tiny movements are called isometric contractions where the muscle tenses without changing length. Isometric exercise is a way to maintain muscle strength. These small movements can help isolate specific muscles. You may also be able to do more repetitions with these smaller movements as you will fatigue in a different way than typical strength training (ex: squats, bicep curls). These exercises are generally low weight, but high repetition to help with endurance. Isometric contractions also help strengthen muscles with a slightly lower risk of injury compared to traditional strength training due to less strain on tendons and ligaments.1

2. You can target multiple muscle groups at once!
In each move, you can do 2 to 4 movements either holding, pulsing, or stretching. When working all these areas at once you can also raise the heart rate.

3. You can improve the mind body connection!
The smaller movements can enhance your level of body awareness that you may not achieve in normal strength workouts. Barre class can help improve muscle activation for frequently underused muscles.

Limitations of Barre Workouts:

1. You may not gain functional strength
Barre classes can lack compound movements like squats or lunges which use multiple muscle groups and joints. These functional exercises help with strength for movements in everyday life such as stair climbing or carrying groceries. Compound movements also help elevate the heart rate. Many classes have begun adding these compound movements to their workouts now.

2. The heart may not be challenged enough
The cardio in a barre class may not be enough for cardiovascular health. There also is a limit in the post-exercise burn with barre class.2 Other forms of exercise, such as resistance training and high intensity interval training, may be more effective at increasing the calories burned during and after a workout.2

3. You may plateau
Your body can get use to barre class. You can tap out on your potential to get stronger. We must always keep challenging our bodies to prevent this plateau.

A Change in Your Workout:
Barre class is fun and interesting for many people. It is also a great way to change up a traditional strength training routine. Barre classes provide a low impact full body workout. Finding a workout routine that appeals to you is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle! Should an injury occur during workout, schedule an appointment at a nearby Athletico location so we can help you heal.

If you suspect an injury from a work out find your closest Athletico for a free assessment.

Schedule a Free Assessment

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

1. Burgess KE, Connick MJ, Graham-smith P, Pearson SJ. Plyometric vs. isometric training influences on tendon properties and muscle output. J Strength Cond Res. 2007;21(3):986-9.
2. Greer BK, Sirithienthad P, Moffatt RJ, Marcello RT, Panton LB. EPOC Comparison Between Isocaloric Bouts of Steady-State Aerobic, Intermittent Aerobic, and Resistance Training. Res Q Exerc Sport. 2015;86(2):190-5.

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About the Author:
Tara Hackney, a physical therapist in Marion, IA, enjoys working with all patient types, especially gymnasts, cheerleaders, and dancers. She is the prominent blogger for Athletico's Gymnastic/Cheer Program. With an orthopedic specialization and training in dry needling and Graston technique, Tara hopes to answer your questions about injuries and injury prevention in an easy-to-understand manner. She hopes to ease fears surrounding pain and injuries, address concerns about recovery, and provide tips to prevent injury. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her dog, reading, and watching her nephews play sports.

Read more health resources related to these topics:

Exercise and Fitnessbarre classesbarre workoutsbenefits of barreexercise

1 Comment

  1. Rock Steady Boxing Near Me

    Regular exercise is one of the easy ways to keep healthy and fit. It not only improves your body structure but also reduces stress and makes your mind peaceful.

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