If you have yet to try the rapidly growing fitness phenomenon Barre (pronounced BAR), you are probably in for a big surprise. Contrary to popular belief, even though part of the class may utilize the Ballet Barre, this is no way near a Ballet class, nor is it only for already long lean women that are current or former Ballet dancers. In fact, just the opposite-EVERYONE can join a Barre class! The old, young, men, women, the inflexible, the bad knees, the achy back, that’s right-literally everyone can find this class beneficial for multiple reasons!
During a typical Barre class, the highly trained instructor will begin with large, fluid, flowing dynamic movements to properly warm up the temperature of the muscle fibers and prepare them for the class. Once the warm up is complete, the class participants may grab some light hand weights, a small rubber Pilates ball, gliders, yoga blocks, the Pilates Ring, or rubber bands to complete sets of smaller movements with deep muscle contractions that tone the upper body, entire abdominal wall, back, and entire lower body. Motivating, high energy music is playing and modifications are given out for those that need them. Before you realize it, you’ve completed a fun, full body workout and are enjoying the final stretches to lengthen the muscles. No equipment is necessary, just comfortable clothing and a smile! Previous training is not required to attend, and all fitness levels are welcome! The class IS challenging, but enjoyable and will keep you coming back and getting more toned with every class! Class members have the choice of wearing athletic shoes, participating barefoot, or wearing grip socks.
What makes this low impact, invigorating class so fun is the fact that you are next to your classmates (socially distant) at the Barre, or on your mat, doing the same movements together, enjoying the upbeat music, laughing, smiling and getting toned - together! Naturally, the class motivates each other! There are many different formats of Barre including Barre Burn, BarreLESS, Hip Hop Barre, Pilates Barre, Cardio Barre and Aqua Barre to name a few.
“Barre has really risen in popularity over the last few years in the community and even here in our club as one of our Fee Based Classes. It’s a fun class and different style workout that has really benefited numerous people. We are excited to offer it as a FREE option in our regular group exercise class schedule so we can have even more people experience it’s benefits," says L.J. Mattraw, Wellness Manager. Barre was introduced to Franciscan Health Fitness Centers in 2017 as an option on our Small Group Training menu. Beginning March 1st, it a free, value-added benefit for all Members with two classes a week offered in Chesterton. Barre is not available at Chicago Heights at this time.
All Members are welcome and encouraged to come to the class...We’ll save you a “chair” at the Barre!
Thanks to Lisa Crowder for contributing to this blog.