A government employee during the day and Pilates instructor/fitness after work. This blog is to share my LOVE for fitness, especially Pilates. Here is a space to share tips, workouts, fashion finds and more. If you are looking to learn more about how Pilates can change your workouts and life, follow me.
Barre has been big for over a year now, and it's continuing to grow. So why are consumers and even some professionals making the same old assumptions about barre workouts?
Here are 3 Big Myths About Barre that We Need to Correct...
1. It's a Ballet Workout
While many barre workouts include exercises on a ballet bar, and some movements are derived from the choreography that dancers do, barre is inherently different from ballet. The barre format in and of itself is a fusion format, blending yoga, Pilates, strength conditioning, aerobics, and elements of ballet. So it's easy to see that barre cannot be categorized into one of these modalities. While certain programs may lean towards a particular fusion, and you may take a barre class with one instructor that feels much more "ballet" than that of another instructor, a true barre workout should be highly focused on all of the above fitness formats.
2. You Shouldn't Sweat
And maybe you don't want to. That's okay! Many of our students love barre because they can go in, get an effective and efficient workout, and leave without feeling like they need a full shower. It's considered the perfect "lunch break workout" for a lot of participants.
However, a highly effective barre instructor challenges participants and provides a key focus on the warm up to elevate the heart rate, work in all 3 planes of motion, and prepare the body for work.
"I always try to make sure the majority of my students have a little sweat by the time our warm up is done, because this means our bodies are prepped enough to continue. It basically means I did my job." Madden understands that while her class includes many regulars and and younger, fit crowd, she knows not everyone is looking for this.
"Audiences are different, and you need to take your students' fitness levels into account, but my students in particular usually want their butt kicked a little. I don't kill them, but they want to see and feel physical improvements over time. I design my classes specifically to help them accomplish that."
3. You Need to Look Like the Models in Ads, or Look the Part
This stereotype is so disappointing! Barre is for all bodies. Instructors and participants alike come in all shapes and sizes, as they should! Fitness levels also vary, and that is why good barre programs offer progressions and regressions for each exercise. These should be cued as different options, rather than "beginner" or "advanced" because those cues are not motivating. No one wants to be put in the "beginner" category!
We need to start thinking about the 80% of of consumers....not just the 10% who are already fitness enthusiasts. Our classes should be inclusive and should appear welcoming to all types of participants, from those who already take barre classes to those who are coming to the health club for the very first time.
"I've have players from the high school football team in my same Barre Above®class as a 67 year-old woman. It's truly amazing and so wonderful to see that I am bringing all types of people together," says other Barre Above® Co-Creator Leslee Bender.
"You'd be surprised at the friendships formed all though the connection of fitness, and I think we're getting closer to slowly breaking down those stereotypes of what people think barre is, and who in particular takes barre classes."