Long and lean: All you need to know about barre workouts
“My fitness goal for 2017 is the same I have every year—to do more and more things that I wasn’t able to do before. Barre helps me do that.” -- Coleen Garcia
Not everyone wants to bulk up at the gym. Whether your goal is to build a long and lean physique, regain lost flexibility, or strengthen certain muscles to prevent injury, barre workouts could be just the thing for you.
Here’s all you need to know.
How it works
Barre workouts get their name from the ballet barre, the main piece of equipment used in the studio. Classes also use a variety of medicine balls, mats and dumbbells in addition to your own body weight.
“Barre workouts target both large and small muscle groups,” says Berns Osias, PlanaFORMA instructor for six years. Their high-intensity classes spend a significant amount of time working on the thighs, core and and seat. “We push the muscles to their limits then stretch them out. That’s how you achieve the long, lean body.”
Cross-training for athletes
Barre workouts strengthen the muscles around the joints, making them useful cross-training for athletes.
“Sa basketball, our training mostly focuses on the large muscle groups and on our strength, hindi masyado sa small muscle groups. Here, I get to work on those areas and I still feel challenged,” shares Bea Daez, former team captain of the UP Lady Maroons. “It makes me more flexible din—eh sa aming mga athletes, when you’re not flexible, you’re more likely to get injured.”
In good company
Miss World 2013 Megan Young and actress Coleen Garcia have both been spotted in barre classes. “I’ve actually been doing barre workouts for several years now,” shares Garcia. “It’s not something I get to do every day, but it’s something I always look for in my routine.”
Garcia adds, “My fitness goal for 2017 is the same I have every year—to do more and more things that I wasn’t able to do before. Barre helps me do that.”
(Photo courtesy of PlanaFORMA)
People of all ages and fitness levels can try barre workouts. At PlanaFORMA, for example, different classes target different needs: some work on endurance and strength, while others build on dance and yoga principles. Once you’re in class, each exercise can be adjusted to make it easier or more challenging.
“I’m 51 years old and you know, some of my classmates at 65, 67 years old,” says Monique, a mother of nine who credits barre workouts with staying in shape. “So any age talaga!”