Barre Benefits: Strengthen & Lengthen
June 10, 2018
We’ve spent decades perfecting our signature technique to provide a safe, challenging, and graceful workout. The benefits of barre are plentiful and in this series of four posts we will explore the benefits of The Bar Method and explain why it’s more than just a full-body workout. The Bar Method is the fastest and most efficient way to strengthen and lengthen the muscles in your body. Here’s how we do it:
In most physical activities, your muscles are able to turn on and off as they contract and relax through a cycle of movement; however, in The Bar Method we challenge the muscle endurance by holding sustained contractions for longer periods of time before coming out to change positions or stretch. These isometric exercises keep you working “in the muscle” long enough to affect change to it in order to reshape your body. Embrace the burn and enjoy “the shake” as it’s an indication that you working hard and getting stronger!
In all of our class formats we target the major muscle groups in the body that are most responsible for changing the look of your body and follow it up with a therapeutic and intense stretching series to lengthen the muscle right when it’s most vulnerable to change. The interval format of intense strength intervals followed by a few minutes of stretching burns more fat in relatively less time and will leave you feeling longer, leaner, and more graceful.
These active stretches involve movement and are typically performed by moving through challenging yet comfortable movements repeatedly. In other words, you are stretching a muscle by actively contracting the muscle opposite to it (hint: round-back). Dynamic stretches are favored by athletes, trainers, and physical therapists because they require you to use and build your own strength while moving through the stretch. These stretches also generate more heat and therefore make the muscle more pliable which is why your thighs burn so much in exercises like water-ski thigh and knee dancing. In these exercises you are using the contraction of your glutes to deepen the stretch for your quads while you repeatedly move from your hips or knees. Finally, evidence suggests that because dynamic-active stretches require muscle activation and contraction, the muscles being stretched are triggered to relax even more than they might during a static-passive stretch, thereby reducing the risk of injury while increasing the functional benefit.
The interval format paired with isometric exercises and dynamic stretches will reshape your entire body. Consistency is key as you begin your journey and fine-tune your form. When you celebrate your strengths, acknowledge your weaknesses, and embrace the challenges you will open your mind and body to the infinite rewards!