Benefits of Barre
Barre Base fuses elements of ballet barre (French for 'bar') conditioning exercises with pilates, yoga, and functional, body-weight training. Alongside our traditional barre classes, we also offer yoga-fusion classes and stretch and mobility sessions— offering a balanced timetable of classes for our regular clients.
The controlled, body-weight focused exercises within our classes increase muscle endurance and stability — reducing the pressure on your joints, tendons, ligaments and spine. Because of this, barre classes are suitable for all ages and stages and is ideal for those who're prone to injury.
Exercises can always be modified whether you’re a beginner, pregnant or have an injury — but can also be amplified if you’re advanced or looking for a challenge.
Your core is more than just those superficial '6-pack' muscles, and simple barre conditioning and bodyweight exercises can be used to engage all of them. Our classes have a huge focus on strengthening your deep core and pelvic floor muscles.
Learning to better connect with your deep core can improve posture, decrease back pain, give you more confidence with higher-intensity movements, and help improve any weaknesses or pelvic floor dysfunction you may have.
Barre classes have a huge focus on building strength in a safe way. Feeling strong in our bodies is hugely empowering, and learning to find gratitude for the strength we have (irrespective of how our strength “looks” beside someone else’s). Barre classes allow you to grow stronger week to week. From your base level, not some else’s.
Barre training is a great way to enhance your flexibility and mobility while improving strength. Improved flexibility, and having a full range-of-motion, ensures that joints are moving freely, which can lead to improved posture and can reduce the chance of exercise-related injury.
Increases your mind-body connection
Barre classes can improve muscular activation for frequently underused muscles by strengthening the neuromuscular (mind-body) connection. Paying attention to how your body is moving and activating can help you gain so much more out of your workout!
Barre Base allows you the time to take a conscious breath. Time to pause, reflect and perhaps feel your breath inside your body for the first time all day. Exercise and yoga practices are a way to learn how to deal with stress, which can be easier said than done. Like anything, you learn new ways and practices to deal with external stresses, whether that is through a powerful sweat session, or a gentle stretch class. As teachers, we stress mindfulness... but in reality, it isn’t as simple as being conscious at every given point in a class or each session. What exercises teaches us is that we can start to be aware of how things change from practice to practice, and perhaps why on some days it's harder to turn off from our external world than on others. Stress management is a journey, and for many, Barre Base is a sanctuary to explore the best ways of dealing with stressful situations, or, just smashing out with some plies when you may have just had a challenging day!
Tension and stress will never go away totally in our lives. The ebbs and flows of life, the weather or personal experiences bring these feelings on. The learning here, however, is that these classes give you the tools to deal with these feelings. To identify them, to move with them, to breathe and to begin to let them go. Like anything, the more practised you are at doing this, the quicker you’ll find relief each time.
Identify and release tension in the body
Stress is the number one cause of tension. When the body is stressed, muscles tense up. Muscle tension is almost a reflex reaction to stress — the body's way of guarding against injury and pain. When muscles are taut and tense for long periods of time, this may trigger other reactions of the body and even promote stress-related disorders. For example, both tension-type headache and migraine headache are associated with chronic muscle tension in the area of the shoulders, neck and head. Musculoskeletal pain in the low back and upper extremities has also been linked to stress, especially stress from the workplace.
Connective tissue or fascia in the body responds best when we tap into our parasympathetic nervous system (the system that allows our body to rest and digest). One way to tap into this system is to simply breathe! We do a lot of breath work at Barre Base.
Improves body awareness and posture
Good posture and body awareness involves training your body to stand, walk, sit and lie in positions where the least strain is placed on your supporting muscles and ligaments during weight-bearing activities. These weight-bearing activities may include gardening, playing with your children or hanging up the washing. The benefits of having better body awareness and coordination truly extend into all elements of your everyday life.
Building the muscles that support bones and joints prevents muscular pain and decreases abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in arthritis. And more simply, when you stand up straight, you appear and feel more confident!
Time away from devices and daily tasks or expectations
For many of us, it can be hard to put aside time for ourselves! Guilt can often creep in. I 'should' be at home cooking dinner or I 'should' be finishing that proposal. No. You're actually just where you need to be.
Barre Base offers you 60 minutes without devices or expectations. It is 60 minutes inside your body and mind. This time is so incredibly valuable, and once you give yourself this time, you will feel calm, energised, clear and elated all at once! Something that seemed an issue 60 minutes ago now takes on a different meaning (or actually no longer has any meaning). Giving yourself time and space is sometimes all that we need, without the steady bombardment of notifications in your peripheral vision.
The mental strength we gain through exercise is extremely transferable in life. If you can handle 32 more pulses, then you can handle anything. Not really... but the mental strength that results from discipline is invaluable for life! Equally, it's about learning when enough is enough for you. Learn to listen and observe your thoughts. Learn to react in a way that best serves you.
Fitness is like a Petri dish for life — it's an experiment and practice for the ways we navigate through life's challenges. That includes the way we find our inner strength. But also, just as much, about how we learn to trust our bodies and let go. We learn that nothing lasts forever but we also learn to find balance in a world that is constantly shifting. What may have been needed yesterday has shifted today. Embrace it, and learn to read what you need from fitness at any given moment.
Our barre workouts are designed to target the large muscle groups in the body and effectively burn more calories by doing so. By targeting these groups, lean muscle mass will be gained which increases your resting metabolic rate. This means your body will continue to burn calories even once you’ve finished your workout.
However, what is more important is this next point.
Freedom from thinking we should look a certain way
Weight loss may be a result of your workouts and if that was what you were looking for, then great. But we believe what is more important is what you’ve gained in this process. It’s so incredibly freeing when weight loss isn’t at the forefront of our training. Let’s focus on strength, energy, focus, persistence and freedom — both physically and mentally.
What is most exciting about looking into the benefits of Barre Base is that everyone experiences something different. We may share similar benefits to others, yet these experiences are unique and have fulfilled something personal in each and every one of us.