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November 26, 2010 at 1:00 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Fitness Trend: Exercise with Ballet Barres

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

Dancers are used to the exercises performed on the ballet barre. They are intended to develop balance, strength, and flexibility - all things that dancers rely on during their routines. Recently, attention has been brought to the ballet barres for their potential in delivering an effective workout for non-dancers. Whether a person is studying dance or just looking for an interesting fitness program, the ballet barre is something to consider.

History and Benefits

Using a ballet barre as a type of exercise is not exactly a new concept. In the 1950s, the dancer Lotte Berk designed an exercise method that incorporated the ballet barre. Since then, workout trends have been invented and the barre is still being included. One of the advantages is that the exercises are low-impact, making them suitable for virtually all ages and fitness levels.

Another positive aspect of barre training is the flow of motion. The various movements and positions are performed one after the other with little rest in between. Heart rates are increased and the cardiovascular system benefits from the improved heart and lung capabilities. Ballet dancers do plenty of stretching, so their muscles and joints are always prepared. Exercises designed to imitate a dancer's program will likely have similar effects. Generally, a ballet barre workout is something that can tone and strengthen most of the major muscle groups while burning calories simultaneously.

For Men and Women

If you watch an actual fitness class that is done with a ballet barre, the forms and positions might seem intimidating. They appear somewhat difficult and painful because of the way the body is held for a certain length of time. Each repetition can allow the person to really feel how it is working. Although this type of exercising may not be for everyone, it can be done by men and women.

For women, the lean, toned physique of a ballet dancer is impressive. They look to a ballet barre to achieve those results. Without question, it takes a lot of work to maintain a dancer's body, and non-dancing women do not necessarily have to train in the same way. Basically, a dancer's purpose is to support their dance moves, while a non-dancer's purpose is to stay in shape. The two might use a shared method, but the degree of the training can vary.

Men that would like to be less bulky can try the ballet barre exercises too. For those that are seeking a more sleek upper body, there is always the ballet barre. Often, the movements will assist them in playing other sports, such as tennis or golf.

How to Get Started

Ballet barre exercising is a total body workout. It is gaining popularity and people are even starting to do the workouts at home. A chair, table, or other piece of furniture that has the same function as a barre makes the routines easy to replicate away from the dance studio. There are videos available that show the proper techniques and forms of the movements. Resistance tubing can be added to the workout as an extra challenge in strength training and conditioning.

Remember to talk with your doctor before starting any new fitness program. Ballet dancing itself is a great form of exercise. The exercising with the ballet barres trend just might encourage more people to dance as well.

Sources:

http://travel.nytimes.com/2010/09/24/travel/24urbathlete.html?ref=exercise

http://www.livestrong.com/article/23147-ballet-barre-exercises-non-dancers/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/237002-ballet-barre-exercises-at-home/

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