Do you think barre fitness classes are dance-based and you need to have a ballerina body to participate? Not even close. At Sphericality, sphereBARRE classes are a recipe for burning fat, increasing metabolism, strengthening and lengthening muscles, and improving posture and balance. And anyone can do it.
What is a sphereBARRE Workout?
Barre fitness classes are often described as “ballet-inspired,” but I can tell you I haven’t done one plie since starting sphereBARRE workouts at Sphericality. If you think barre is a dance-based workout, or that you need to be able to reach your toe to your head to participate, then no worries – I’m here to set the record straight.
While the first barre class was developed by ballerina Lotte Berk in London, it has been through several reinventions, with instructors branching off and creating their own variations of the workout. At Sphericality, sphereBARRE classes are all about small, isolated movements done in challenging positions. Yes, you use a ballet barre, but it’s mainly to keep your body still and balanced while using your own body weight to strengthen a variety of small muscles in very different ways.
For example, squats are pretty effective as a leg-strengthening exercise. But with the help of the barre, you can do a deep squat, raise up on your toes, and pulse up and down, moving just an inch. Oh, the burn you feel deep in those thighs! These tiny, isometric movements have been proven to strengthen muscles without straining tendons or ligaments. There are also no high-impact moves in a barre workout, which further reduces the chance of injury.
The barre is also an excellent tool for stretching, allowing you to lengthen your body and stretch deeper without losing your balance. And barre classes are done in bare feet, allowing you to grip the floor and accentuate the focus on core strength and balance. Put it all together and you’ve got a recipe for burning fat, increasing metabolism, strengthening and lengthening muscles, and improving posture and balance.
A 60-minute sphereBARRE class follows this basic structure:
> Warm up, typically marching in place and light stretching
> Arm exercises with hand weights
> Lower body exercises using your own body weight and sometimes a small ball
> Core engaged throughout the class, and specific back and abdominal exercises are interspersed throughout the workout
> Class ends with gentle stretching and deep breathing
There are variations. For example, sphereBARRE Boot Camp classes offer more cardio with intervals of high intensity exercise followed by short periods of rest, called “tabatas,” mixed in with the usual barre exercises. Sphericality also offers some excellent fusion classes that combine the barre workout with yoga and Pilates movements.
As a beginner to sphereBARRE class, and a woman in my late 40s, I found the workouts easy to follow and easy to customize to my own fitness level. There are no exercises I could not do, at least on a modified level, and the instructors are fantastic at paying attention and helping with form. I’ve noticed my balance getting better after just a few weeks at Sphericality! But most of all, I feel empowered and amazed at what my body CAN do.
If you’re looking for a workout that will increase your strength, balance, and posture – and decrease your stress levels! – come join us for a sphereBARRE class at Sphericality.
— Shannon Entin is a Sphericality member and freelance writer covering travel, adventure, and fitness.