Barre Fitness - What's it all about?
Barre class involves movements inspired by ballet technique. Unsurprisingly, Barre was first developed by a dancer, Lotte Berk. After injuring her back, Berk came up with the idea to combine her dance training with her rehabilitative therapy and thus Barre was born.
I, myself, have spent most of my life in dance studios. I performed as a lead soloist with the Monica Loughman Ballet company, with whom I performed the lead role in the company's production of the Nutcracker and was fortunate enough to travel to St Petersburg, Russia, to receive training from top ballet mentors.
I have taken my knowledge and love of ballet fitness, training and discipline and made it accessible to the public, explaining the technique and benefits of each exercise. You do not need any dance experience to feel the benefits of Powered Barre.
Barre Sculpt vs. Barre Sweat
What's the difference? In Powered Barre Sculpt class, we will move through isolated movements targeting specific muscle groups, we work on balance, posture, flexibility and strength. This class is all about the shake and the burn.
In Powered Barre Sweat class, our attention is on getting our hearts pumping and working up a sweat. The class runs like an aerobics dance class. Simple dance routines are demonstrated and class participants follow along with the help of mirrors. “Getting the moves right” is neither important nor the main focus. It’s about treating your inner child. Jump around and play. What do we want? To move, sweat & laugh with no judgement.
Long and Lean
The majority of the exercises in Powered Barre Sculpt are tiny one-inch increments known 'isometric movements'. When we increase the number of repetitions but decrease the weight and reduce the range of motion, we fatigue the muscles in a different way. This form of training targets our slow-twitch muscles to improve muscular endurance without adding bulk, working towards that lean, sculpted dancer's body that clients always ask me about. We always joke in class that the tiniest weights can feel like the heaviest dumbbells after we complete our reps!
Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC)
This is also known as the "afterburn effect". Clients often ask me how many calories they'll burn during a class. I encourage them to think less about the 60 minute class as an isolated "erasure of cakes and biscuits" and more about their day-to-day life and activities. The good news is, the more regularly you participate in heart-pumping exercise sessions, the more calories your body will burn at rest. However, the word "regularly" is the key here. Our specific Powered Barre Sweat classes are designed to get you to 70-85% of your max heart rate in short bursts of movement with regular brief recovery periods, in a HIIT style. So even after your Powered Barre Sweat session, when you're at home in front of the TV, your body is using energy more efficiently than if you'd never gotten off the couch.
Heart Health and Stamina
The American Heart Association recommends a total of 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic activity a week. The Powered Barre Sweat workout continuously raises and lowers your heart rate, strengthening the muscles around your heart, improving vascular function, and training your body to clear fat and sugar from the bloodstream more efficiently. The arteries expand and contract increasing their elasticity. This means your heart doesn't have to work so hard, thus lowering your blood pressure. Who knew that bopping around to cheesy pop tunes could be so good for your inner health as well as your inner diva?
Releasing Endorphins, Reducing Stress
During exercise, our body naturally releases feel-good hormones called 'endorphins'. These endorphins make you feel energised during and after the workout, ensuring you bounce out of the studio with a pink, shiny grin. You will likely sleep better and wake up refreshed. Inactivity fuels inactivity, energy fuels more energy. In short, the more you give to your exercise sessions, the more benefits you will reap in your everyday life. Our catchy playlists and groovy moves and shakes will have you laughing and forgetting your stresses in minutes. Socks on. Music up. World off.