Hi everyone, Zoe here! As an ex professional Ballerina and a Barre instructor, I'm here to share four key tips to maximise your Barre workouts!
Barre classes are an amazing way to tone muscles, build core strength, improve cardiovascular fitness and are so much fun! I personally LOVE doing and teaching barre workouts as the movements are choreographed to the beat of the music – making the whole experience feel like a dance party! As Barre takes inspiration from Ballet, Pilates and HIIT, it can be easy to forget the key aspects of Barre. Below are my key tips to improve your Barre workouts! These tips will maximise your true Barre experience and assist you to get the most out of your workouts!
Quality of movement over Quantity
Bigger is not always better… Sometimes the key to certain exercises/movements is the subtleties!
For example: it can be easy to compare the size of your lunge with other people’s in the class. Instead of thinking about how the movement should look, think about how it should feel. You should be focusing on driving down through the supporting heel, elongating through the spine and driving the navel towards the spine. If you are ever
confused as to what you should be thinking about during a certain movement, make sure you really watch and listen to the instructor as I know that I am constantly giving visual and verbal cues to help clients maximise their movements! Seeing client’s focusing on their form makes me so happy!
Focus on Core Control throughout the whole class
Adding on from the tip before - you can work your core throughout the whole Barre class, not just the dedicated core work at the end! Your core (Transverse Abdominus, Pelvic Floor and Diaphragm) work their best during functional movements. So even if you’re doing a ‘glute’ focused movement, remind yourself to gently draw the navel inwards to work those deep core muscles at the same time! This will also ensure you are preventing any overuse of the global muscles which can lead to injuries.
Breathe, breathe, breathe
I think I tell my clients to breathe about 100 times during a barre class! When certain movements are particularly difficult, sometimes we hold our breath in order to push
through the burn but this actually hinders muscle power and efficiency! Our muscles need oxygen to function, especially for endurance. Try to keep a steady inhale and exhale as you move – I find it helpful to attach my breath to the music, breathing in time with the beat.That way I don’t have to put too much brain power into breathing.
This might be the most important point yet!
Barre classes shouldn’t be too serious and intimidating – they should be super fun! I often tell the class to sing along to the lyrics if they hear a familiar song, that way it makes the exercise seem easier. If you really love music, stand closer to the speaker if possible – it will motivate you to give it your all!
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