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Barre Myths: Debunked
Have you hesitated to try barre because you don’t have a dancing background? Are you worried about your lack of flexibility or convinced that barre doesn’t really burn calories? Have you heard that you can’t develop real, visible muscles by doing barre? Have you ever asked yourself, what is barre? We’ve heard it all before and we’re here to debunk some of the most common myths associated with barre workouts once and for all.
1. Barre is Only for Dancers
We get it. With a workout called “barre,” it comes as no surprise that many people assume this form of exercise is meant for prima ballerinas. While barre does incorporate elements of ballet, you don’t need to be a dancer to reap its benefits, in fact—the opposite is true. When you enter a Bar Method studio, you’ll see people from a wide range of backgrounds – from professional athletes to exercise newbies and the movements and exercises might feel foreign to your body at first, even for experienced barre students. That’s completely normal! No matter your background or fitness level, our expert instructors (all of whom have over six months of extensive training), will guide you through each exercise and provide both verbal and hands-on adjustments to ensure your form is correct and you’re getting the full benefits from each movement. Trust us, barre is for everyone and anyone who wants to try it – the more barre-lovers in the world, the better!
2. Barre Doesn’t Burn Enough Calories
There’s a widespread misconception in the fitness community that you need to push your body beyond its limit in order to get a “good” workout in. No sweat, no glory. But the truth? You don’t have to take things to the extreme to get incredible, transformative results. At The Bar Method, our exercises are rooted in an interval training format. We work each muscle group to exhaustion during every class, which raises your heart rate and puts your strength and stamina to the test. In our Bar Move class, we move at a faster pace with exercises that feature a large range of movement, resulting in an additional cardio boost. The real proof is in the numbers. Bar Method clients can burn over 300 calories in a single class with no treadmill required.
3. Barre is Too Easy
Anyone who’s taken a Bar Method class will tell you, barre is anything but easy. In fact, our students are consistently amazed at how challenging The Method remains over time. What makes The Bar Method so unique in the barre world is that our technique was created in collaboration with a team of physical therapists as well as kinesiologists and is always being refined as we continue to elevate your barre experience. Our high-repetition movements will make your muscles shake, improving your endurance and shaping, toning and sculpting your body as you go.
4. Barre is for Women
There’s a common misconception that men and barre workouts don’t mix, but that’s simply untrue. Men can (and do!) benefit from barre workouts in the same way women do, and The Bar Method’s emphasis on isometric movements actually conditions the body for other sports making barre a compelling complement to your overall fitness journey. Weightlifters can utilize barre workouts to improve their form during deadlifts and squats, while NFL players do barre to boost their agility out on the field. John H. of Bar Method Salt Lake City started taking classes a few years ago when his wife brought him to the studio after suffering a running injury. By combining his running routine with The Bar Method, our classes have kept John completely injury-free. John even credits The Bar Method for giving him additional core strength and hip mobility, both of which have significantly improved his running performance.
5. You Have to Be Flexible to Do Barre
Does barre involve stretching? Absolutely. Do you need to be super flexible to take a class? Not at all. At The Bar Method, we work different muscles to the point of fatigue and follow our strength work with stretching which results in long, lean muscles. While stretching does play a key role in all of our classes, you don’t need to be ultra flexible prior to trying a class. Which brings us to the best part of all: The Bar Method is actually ideal for those who lack flexibility, because it helps improve your flexibility! Take it from Bar Method Southlake client, Liz, who says, “I’m 40 years old with three littles and today – after nearly two years with Bar Method Southlake – I’ve found my splits on BOTH sides!” Our program helps you develop more flexibility over time, which ultimately helps protect you against potential injuries. If you’re worried about trying barre classes due to the stretching involved, come as you are and we’ll take it from there.
6. Barre Won’t Help You Gain Muscle
Since barre is often seen as more of a “sculpting” workout, many falsely believe that it won’t help you gain real muscle. In a typical Bar Method class, every muscle group is worked one by one to exhaustion. When you try your first barre class you may experience the amazing and transformative phenomena we like to call, “the shake”. When you start to feel your muscles shake, that’s the exact moment you need to push through. This is what makes barre both impactful and challenging, but for good reason! Building muscle doesn’t need to mean lifting heavy weights. While our classes do incorporate light hand weights, barre heavily focuses on stabilizing muscles which helps to build your endurance. Many clients see increased muscle definition in both their upper body and thighs after only a month of consistently taking Bar Method classes. So just know every time you start to feel the burn in class, that’s just your muscles getting stronger, leaner and longer.
7. There’s No Cardio in Barre
A common assumption about barre is that every class moves at a slow pace and there’s little to no cardio involved. It’s true that barre is a low-impact fitness style that focuses on both your breath and smaller isometric movements. However, what many don’t know is that there are different class types at The Bar Method that offer elements of cardio. A typical barre class might not have you dripping sweat, but your muscles will be shaking and burning like they never have before. If you’re craving some cardio in your fitness routine, try our Bar Move class! It’s a fast-paced aerobic workout that will increase your heart rate and keep it up. Through bursts of large, active movements you’ll detoxify your body with this cardio challenge and give it a much-needed endorphin rush! Read more about our different class variations.
8. Barre Isn’t for All Ages
Contrary to popular belief, barre isn’t a workout restricted to Gen Z. In fact, many of our clients discover barre later in life. The Bar Method uses low-impact exercises that are gentle on your joints and therefore ideal for all ages. Plus, our emphasis on stretching increases your flexibility and helps prevent age-related injuries. The beauty of The Bar Method lies in its ability to meet you right where you are on your fitness journey. We even have clients that take Bar Method classes throughout their entire pregnancy! Our exercises are easily modified to accommodate various age ranges and skill levels to help you make the most of each and every class.
9. You Need a Ballet Barre
One of the most common myths about barre is that you need to have your very own ballet barre in order to complete barre workouts at home. While having a barre is definitely helpful and there’s certainly nothing like in-studio classes, you don’t need one if you want to take a livestream or on-demand class with The Bar Method – especially when you’re just starting out. In fact, there’s at-home versions of a “barre” all over your house! Try reaching for a chair or utilizing a countertop or windowsill. These can provide the same support a ballet barre would (minus the cost). After all, ballet barres are mainly used for balance, so anything sturdy and right around hip level should suffice.
10. All Barre Studios Are the Same
Not all barre studios are created equal. The Bar Method technique takes low-impact, high-repetition training to another level thanks to a team of physical therapists who work to ensure our practice is both safe and effective for students spanning a wide range of abilities. This includes those who may have physical limitations or prior injuries. Unlike other barre workouts, our instructors undergo rigorous barre training that includes anatomy lessons and hands-on as well as verbal adjustments. We also require that our instructors take annual certification exams to ensure the highest standards are upheld across the entire teaching community. What makes The Bar Method so special is that our students receive personalized adjustments, modifications, and encouragement to get the most out of every class meaning you’ll get 1:1 support in a group fitness environment. The best of both worlds are here for you at The Bar Method.
When you start incorporating elements of Pilates, yoga, and other strength training workouts, our barre routine will sculpt your body, improve your flexibility and boost your endurance in a way that only The Bar Method can. Are you ready for your first barre class? Find a Bar Method studio near you to get started or sign up for online classes here. We can’t wait to see you at the barre!