Barre mixes functional training with traditional dance moves and some other forms of low-intensity workouts, and it isn’t easy! The form of exercise has been around since the 1950s but has become more popular in the last decade. Express.co.uk chatted to the founder of DEFINE LONDON and Celebrity Trainer, Ashley Verma, to find out everything you need to know about barre.
What is barre?
If you enjoy yoga, pilates and dance, you’ll love barre.
Ashley said: “Barre is a combination of yoga, pilates, functional training and traditional dance moves.
“Using tiny repetitive motions and pulses, known as isometric movements, you target some of the largest muscles in the body.
“Barre movements have great movement in comparison to a traditional pilates session.”
Barre is arguably more effective than yoga, pilates and other fitness classes due to the non-stop sequences in the sessions.
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What are the benefits of barre?
Weight loss isn’t the main focus of barre, but you may find that you lose weight if you combine exercise with a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Ashley said: “I really can’t say enough great things about Barre.
“Barre workouts are high intensity, low impact workouts that use your own body weight as resistance. It’s always fun and extremely effective.
“In our Define London barre classes, we focus on interval overload that gives unmatched results.
“We combine interval training (sprint and recovery) and strength training through non-stop exercise sequences to transform your physique and empower your mind and body.”
There’s a reason you see all the supermodels taking part in barre classes – this form of exercise can transform your figure.
Ashley said: “Barre workouts improve your core strength, your flexibility, your alignment, tone the waistline and life and shape targeted body parts like your arms and legs.
“There are different levels of Barre so something to suit everyone; the most important thing to remember is you won’t get it right the first time and that’s okay.
“Take time to familiarise yourself with key movements and make sure you’re listening properly to the instructor.”
If you want to get stronger, you can absolutely do that with barre as well. Ashley said: “You can definitely build strength by doing barre classes.
“As I mentioned above, in barre sessions we do tiny movements called isometric contractions where the muscle tenses without changing length.
“Isometric exercise is a way to maintain muscle and gain muscle strength. Small movements help isolate specific muscle groups.
“You will also be able to do more repetitions with the lighter weight so you will fatigue in a different way than standard strength training.”
Isometric exercises also help to build endurance and strengthen muscles, with a slightly lower risk of injury compared to traditional strength training due to less strain on tendons and ligaments.
How long before you see a difference with barre?
We all want a quick fix, but this is not completely possible with any form of exercise.
However, according to Ashley, you will likely see results within three weeks if you consistently take barre classes online or in person.
You may even see progress from the very first workout, but the longer you practise the stronger you’ll get.