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Barre will change your life

10 ways barre will change your life

Words: Melanie Dimmitt

Despite what those infomercials and ad breaks might shout at you, very few things in this world are actually life changing. But with its generous bounty of benefits for body and mind, we can hand-on-heart declare that incorporating barre classes into your life will change it for the better. Here’s why…

  1. It clears your head

The co-ordination required in a barre class is more complicated than your well-worn jog or gym routine, so it forces you to stay fixed in the present moment (don’t we all want to be a bit more mindful?). Exercise and music are also scientifically proven to be a head-clearing combo.

  1. It changes your body

No two barre classes are the same, so your muscles won’t form memories and start slacking off on the job – and those shaking limbs, we might add, are a very good thing. When your body trembles it means you’re fatiguing your muscles and making them change, so embrace that quiver!

  1. It keeps giving

Barre harnesses the power of isometric movements (where the joint angle and muscle length don’t change during contraction) that require deep, undivided attention – and this neuromuscular connection of mind and body will continue to activate underused muscles outside of class.

  1. It improves your posture

With the majority of us spending our working week resembling Quasimodo – and poor posture linked to depression, fatigue and headaches – this one’s a real life-changer. The perfect alignment of hips, spine, shoulders and head required for most barre exercises will see your core strengthen – and you standing (and sitting) taller.

  1. It can be done daily

We know we’re meant to at least ‘find 30’ on the daily, and barre is low impact enough to make frequent exercise a safe and sustainable reality. It’s also perfect if you’re pregnant, post-natal or owner to a dodgy knee, wrist, pinkie finger… what have you, as each move can be modified to your needs.

  1. It ups your energy levels

Feeling tired? Hitting the barre will fare you far better than staying in bed. Research has shown that engaging in regular exercise increases energy levels (even in those of us with chronic medical conditions) – so barre devotees will find themselves functioning on a higher level of buzz.

  1. It makes you flexible

Stretching is a big part of barre, and all that twisting and elongation means your muscles will find it easier to achieve their full range of motion – helping you avoid injuries, back pain and everyday awkwardness, and making you generally better at reaching and bending (and… ahem… in the bedroom).

  1. It makes you better balanced

On the topic of being less unco, when researchers compared the muscle movements of professional ballet dancers to people with no training, they found dancers moved with greater precision and grace – so those pliés (squats) and tendus (leg lifts) you knock out in barre class are killing off your clumsy.

  1. It helps you make friends

Because people go a lot (teachers recommend you come around 3-4 times a week) and everyone and anyone is welcome, there’s a real community vibe at the barre – and there’s arguably nothing more unifying than collectively feeling like your glutes are on fire. Barre Body also hosts wellness retreats each year, where you’re bound to buddy up.

  1. It makes you happy

If happiness is a drug then barre is a generous dealer, and while any form of exercise causes your brain to increase its output of antidepressant chemicals – staving off the blues and keeping your spirits high – Barre Body classes, in particular, are designed to have a lasting positive effect by celebrating your beautiful bod and the amazing things it can do.