With food and fitness trends incessantly on the rise, we’re bound to be graced by some fit-spo every now and then. At inspirations peak, we find ourselves making healthier choices and finding the time to get an adequate amount of exercise. When suddenly, the mundanity of our schedules takes over and before you know it you find yourself plagued with laziness. Then the “I'll start tomorrow’s” or “maybe next weeks” creep their way back into our minds and just like that it’s as if all motivation has been sucked into a black hole to never return. Sound familiar? 

Let’s face it. From classes, to studying, to work, and everything in between, developing and getting into a fitness routine can feel like a chore and may seem difficult to maintain. Having moved to a new city and experiencing a transition from one university to another, I too have had my struggles establishing a consistent fitness routine. That is until a close friend introduced me to barre. And let me tell you, I felt the burn real quick

What is Barre? 

Barre is a ballet-inspired fitness regimen that incorporates small,  isometric and low-impact movements combined with stretches in efforts to develop long and lean muscles without bulk. Using the ballet barre as a tool, barre regimens focus on toning your thighs, arms, abs, and glutes--providing the ultimate full body workout. 

What does Barre do?

Essentially, the small isometric or “pulsing” movements performed during a barre workout are geared toward isolating one muscle group at a time to the point of muscle fatigue (you know, the burn), which is then followed by a series of stretches to help lengthen  muscles. A calisthenic (a.k.a. using your own body-weight to build muscle)  exercise in nature, barre workouts are designed to protect your joints by refraining use of high-impact movements such as bouncing or jumping. But don’t be fooled, barre is in deed a form of cardiovascular exercise, its a fat guzzler all right! 

Why I Love Barre

 Before I started doing barre, I found that my previous workouts (which mainly consisted of weight training) were a bit mundane and as a result, I felt my fitness motivation lagging. Once I gave barre a try however, I found a new sense of motivation. Since my very first barre class, I’ve noticed that I've been more engaged with my fitness goals and here’s why. 

 No, you don’t need to be a prima ballerina! Despite its name, barre is designed for pretty much anyone who wants to give it a try. As a former dancer, I was a bit nervous to try a barre class at first as it had been a few years since I was in a dance studio. But to my surprise, no prior ballet/dance training was necessary to succeed in the class. By my next class, I left my intimidation at the door because in the end the sole purpose of my exercise was and still is to render a better version of myself. You don’t need to be an expert, you just need to be YOU. 

Since barre workouts revolve around performing small movements, much mental and physical focus is needed. Life can be overwhelming at times and it’s easy to get swooned in stress. That’s why I’ve found the discipline involved in a barre workout to be extremely beneficial. With a little determination and concentration, your worries are sure to melt away to the beat of the music, along with your unwanted calories.

Working out can seem intimidating but it most definitely doesn’t have to be. If there’s anything I’ve learned from experience with barre is that it’s imperative to include workouts/activities into your fitness routine that you enjoy. Not only will it make your path to achieving your fitness goals more enjoyable, but it will also feed you the motivation you need to stay on track. So get those heels clicking and hips tucking. What have you got to lose, a few calories? Let go and let barre, I promise you won’t regret it!