It’s causing quite a stir in the world of health and fitness in recent years, despite being around for over 50 years… but what is a barre workout?
Barre draws on a combination of ballet, Pilates and yoga concepts. And it utilizes them in a series of movements to help improve your range of motion, strength, and flexibility. All of which are great for your bones too!
As far as ballet is concerned, the most notable influence in barre is the barre itself. (That’s the handrail ballerinas use to stretch and perfect their technique). Many barre exercises use the barre handrail in one way or another. But there are also barre workouts you can do without a barre handrail too, as you’ll see in our workout videos a little further down the page.
Now, barre, as it’s known today, was developed by German-born ballet dancer Lotte Berk.¹ Berk employed elements of ballet training to help her recover from a back injury and saw a wider scope for her new workout. After moving to England, Berk set up her own studio offering barre classes in the 1950s. Before long, Berk had celebrity clientele, including Bond girl Britt Ekland! By the 70s barre had crossed the Atlantic, and has continued to grow in popularity amongst women and men of all ages and fitness levels since.
That’s why we’ve put together five barre workout videos for you! An introductory workout video led by our very own Bone Health Expert Lara Pizzorno. And a four-part workout series led by Barre3 Studios instructor Mary Lytle! But first, let’s check out the benefits of barre…
- Lee Batchelor. (n.d.) The Ultimate Design in Body Exercise. Retrieved from https://www.lotte-berk.com/
- Harvard Health Publishing. (n.d.). The importance of stretching. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-importance-of-stretching
- Howell, M. L., Kimoto, R., Morford, W. R. (1962). Effect of isometric and isotonic exercise programs upon muscular endurance. American Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation, 33(4), 536-540. doi:10.1080/10671188.1962.10762104
- McGill, S. M., Grenier, S., Kavcic, N., Cholewicki, J. (2003). Coordination of muscle activity to assure stability of the lumbar spine. J Electromyogr. Kinesiol. 13(4), 353-9. doi:10.1016/s1050-6411(03)00043-9
- Jeong, U. C., Sim, J. H., Kim, C. Y., Hwang-Bo, G., Nam, C. W. (2015). The effects of gluteus muscle strengthening exercise and lumbar stabilization exercise on lumbar muscle strength and balance in chronic low back pain patients. Journal of physical therapy science, 27(12), 3813–3816. doi:10.1589/jpts.27.3813
- van der Jagt-Willems, H. C., de Groot, M. H., van Campen, J. P., Lamoth, C. J., Lems, W. F. (2015). Associations between vertebral fractures, increased thoracic kyphosis, a flexed posture and falls in older adults: a prospective cohort study. BMC geriatrics, 15, 34. doi:10.1186/s12877-015-0018-z