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8 Health Benefits of Barre Workouts

  • 5 min read


by Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN

Barre workouts have surged in popularity, ranking as the fifth most popular fitness trend in 2023, as per this report. Despite its roots in ballet, barre offers a versatile and accessible exercise regimen suitable for individuals of all ages and fitness levels.

With ballet, pilates, and yoga movements, it delivers a comprehensive, low-impact workout that provides notable benefits.

Barre workouts go beyond the traditional ballet studio imagery. They contribute to enhanced flexibility, improved posture, and strong core muscles, which not only promote a deeper mind-body connection but also inspire a sense of physical empowerment.

It’s no wonder that barre workouts have gathered acclaim from celebrities, athletes, and fitness enthusiasts alike.

In this article, we will dive deeper and learn more about barre workouts and their many benefits.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition. It is recommended that you speak with your doctor before starting an exercise program, making changes to your nutrition plan, or adding any supplements to your current regimen.

What is a Barre Workout?

Barre originated from the innovative mind of Lotte Berk, a ballet dancer from Germany, who devised it as part of her recovery regimen from a back injury. Upon relocating to London, Berk established her own barre studio, blending her ballet expertise with insights from physical therapy.

Her aim was to craft a gentle yet effective program targeting core stability, posture enhancement, and overall strength improvement.

Today, barre classes integrate elements from ballet, yoga, and pilates, offering a holistic approach to enhancing flexibility, muscle strength, and cardiovascular health.

It’s worth noting that participation in a barre class doesn’t necessitate prior knowledge or experience in dance or ballet.

8 Health Benefits of Barre

Although barre hasn’t undergone the same level of scrutiny as yoga, pilates, and ballet, it definitely provides many health benefits. Below are some of the most notable benefits you can experience when doing barre workouts:

1.     It reduces stress

While it’s widely recognized that most forms of exercise help in stress reduction and endorphin release, the unique mind-body connection in a barre class stands out.

By concentrating on precise muscle movements and maintaining proper form, distractions are reduced. With the multitude of cues to follow simultaneously, like gripping the barre, rising onto the balls of your feet, squatting, aligning, tucking, and pulsing — it becomes challenging for the mind to wander.

Barre focuses on full presence and awareness in the body. When fully immersed in the moment, stress tends to disappear.

2.     Rehabilitation and injury prevention

The National Safety Council (NSC) reports a rise in injuries, particularly in bicycling, with 425,920 incidents recorded in 2020. Additionally, 377,939 injuries occurred during exercises, both with and without equipment, within the same year.

Barre workouts, characterized by low-impact exercises, serve to reduce joint compression, thereby decreasing the likelihood of injury.

Having sufficient warm-up routines ensures the entire body is adequately primed for activity, further reducing the risk of muscle soreness.

3.     Barre workouts improve flexibility

Barre workouts may improve flexibility, which refers to the capacity of muscles, ligaments, and tendons to stretch passively. As your soft tissues gain the ability to move within their proper range, you might observe that routine activities such as bending to pick up objects or checking blind spots while driving become easier.

According to the ACE, many individuals experience a decline in flexibility as they age due to a combination of sedentary lifestyles and the natural aging process.

4.     Barre workouts make you stronger

The combination of ballet, yoga, and pilates in barre strengthens our whole body, but it mostly targets the following:

  • Glutes
  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves
  • Feet

A barre workout also strengthens your core and the rotator cuff, which are mostly overlooked in standard strength routines.

5.     Barre is a low-impact workout

Low-impact exercise involves movements that don’t strain your joints. It’s ideal for individuals with joint concerns or those seeking gentler options to complement high-impact activities such as running or jumping rope.

Barre workouts eliminate jumping or pounding, making them accessible and beneficial for joint health.

While barre doesn’t ask you to push beyond limits, it still enhances endurance and improves your heart rate through swift transitions.

6.     It improves posture

Ballet dancers always prioritize elegance, which can only be achieved through proper posture and body alignment. Barre workouts feature exercises targeting abdominal and back muscles.

Strengthening the abdomen and glutes improves excessive backward pelvis tilting or back flattening. Strong postural muscles enable maintaining good posture and reducing muscle fatigue.

7.     It boosts metabolism

By targeting major muscle groups and engaging in continuous sets lasting 30 to 45 minutes, barre workouts effectively burn calories.

When combined with resistance and cardiorespiratory training, regular participation promotes the development of lean muscles and boosts metabolic rate.

8.     It is a fun and fast workout

Besides stress relief and strength-building, barre workout classes offer an enjoyable experience.

Who wouldn’t want to tap into their inner ballerina during this ballet-inspired workout?

The fast-paced movements ensure that time flies by; unlike workouts where minutes drag, barre sessions tend to be over before you know it.