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Is Barre for Men?
Let’s face it, men and women are not built the same. They have varying strengths and weaknesses and generally choose to workout in very different ways. When asked what their go-to workout of choice is, most men don’t typically mention barre class. In fact, most men have an aversion to such a workout because of their preconceived notion that it’s a ballet class “for women” and not designed for a man’s body.
The truth is, there are some incredible benefits of barre for men that might surprise and even encourage you to invite your male counterpart to the barre for a workout.
1. It’s Adaptable:
The Bar Method is based on physical therapy and uses special equipment in its classes to make it adaptable for students with physical limitations and injuries. There are lower barres (stall bars) for students with tight hamstrings, straps to assist in the active stretches, and risers for back support during the abdominal exercises.
2. It’s Non-Impact:
Men love sports and unfortunately, most sports are not so gentle on the joints. As we age, it becomes especially important to choose non-impact workouts that are sustainable, safe, and effective. The Bar Method pays special attention to joint safety and alignment while packing a powerful punch to the muscle groups most responsible for change.
3. Improves Core Strength:
A man’s center of gravity is his chest and shoulders, making it easy for him to “muscle through” upper body exercises, like push-ups. However, The Bar Method teaches students to engage core muscles along with arms, chest and shoulders to become more powerful and controlled during those exercises.
4. Enhances Endurance:
Getting through a barre class from start to finish is similar to running a race; it starts with a warm-up, moves into an endurance round, and finishes with a sprint. The analogy can also be made within each of the individual exercises in class, therefore making it an excellent cross-training activity to improve stamina and endurance for his favorite sports and activities.
5. Improves Flexibility:
Most men have tight, stiff bodies. And most are not stretching enough. Stretching can be boring and tedious when forced into it, which is why most of us don’t do it. But it’s so important in warding off injury. The Bar Method weaves in active and passive stretches throughout the hour-long class making it easier to loosen up tight muscles and improve flexibility little by little and without even realizing it. Most men feel the “shake” right away as their tight hamstrings create resistance for their quads.
6. Relieves Back Pain:
Men (and many women) are no strangers to back pain. Whether we’re very active or not at all, back pain can creep in and disrupt our quality of life. It usually stems from strains, sprains, and spasms in the back muscles caused by stress and muscle tightness. The Bar Method helps with this problem by strengthening students’ cores, stretching the muscles in their backs and legs, and improving their alignment and body mechanics.
Share this article with the men in your life and encourage them to give barre class a try for something different and challenging. It might just be the perfect cross-training for him. Not to mention, it doesn’t hurt to be surrounded by beautiful, strong, confident women!