Barre – Fusing Yoga, Pilates and Ballet

A new form of fitness has taken shape in Australia. Adopted from the US, several barre-fitness studios have emerged fusing yoga, pilates and ballet using the ballet barre.

A barre is a stationary handrail that is used during ballet warm up exercises. The term also refers to the exercises that are performed at the barre, as well as that part of a ballet class that incorporates barre exercises.

It makes perfect sense to incorporate the most traditional form of dance art, bringing grace back while getting a good workout and recapture some childhood memories for those who have learnt ballet as a child or for those who missed out on ballet in the early days.

Majority of the barre fitness studios in Australia offer similar workout but with different variations. The variations would come in the form of level of difficulty, speed, using equipments like medicine ball, dumbbells, yoga mats, and also different classes that focus on various core areas of muscles and workouts.

Most studios seem to have a consistency of allowing pregnant women to undertake this form of fitness providing they have no serious medical conditions or complications up until the 15th week of pregnancy with some modifications required or special prenatal classes specifically designed. Each studio and class may vary.

Barre fitness improves flexibility, strengthens muscles, bones and helps to align joints. The incorporated yoga with its breathing techniques help to get blood flowing. The relaxations exercises can help with circulations especially in hands and feet.

The classes offered in Australia are quite competitively priced at around $25-30 per class. Students attend classes geared in comfortable stretchable yoga wear without accessories and barefeet. Most studios offer yoga mats with cleaning equipments for the cleanliness and comfort of all students, with dimmed lighting for a serene ambience, gentle instructions and soft meditation music.

How do you pick the best studio? Find the studio closest to work or home. Give it a try, then compare and contrast according to your requirements.

Here are a few studios in Australia that offer barre fitness.

The Booty Barre 

The Booty Barre is the perfect combination of strength and flexibility with an added cardiovascular endurance element utilizing the barre. The method focuses on proper anatomical biomechanics with techniques for a safe and fun class that can be modified for any fitness level.

Barre Body 

Barre Body is a complete body workout fusing ballet barre conditioning, yoga and pilates. Signature Barre Body, Barre Moves and Barre Tone classes are designed to tone the entire body, creating longer, leaner muscles. Ballet & pilates exercises at the barre and on the mat tone muscles, while complementary yoga postures lengthen and shape muscles (think long & lean like a ballet dancer!). The interval training format (raising and lowering the heart rate) means that you get fast results, fat burning is increased and your metabolism is boosted for hours after your workout.

Xtend Barre 

The Xtend Barre Workout offers exercises that can be modified for beginners, prenatal clients or clients with injuries, but that can also be amplified for advanced clients that are looking for an extreme challenge. The Xtend Barre system sculpts the body proportionally so that all body parts are equally challenged. Fusing Pilates and Ballet Barre exercises, this total body workout serves to strengthen, lengthen, and stretch the body from top to bottom, from inside out.

KX Barre

KX Barre is the first studio to utilise 2 barres, taking Barre training to a whole new level! Their 50-minute class tones and strengthen muscles, improve posture and alignment, whilst increasing flexibility and range of movement. It is a challenging, full body workout developed from a mixture of ballet barre exercises, KX Pilates and cardiovascular fitness training resulting in a stronger and leaner physique. The classes combine cardio-based exercises that require intense bursts of energy producing high caloric burn and deep isometric stretches giving you firmer muscle tone.

Barre Attack

There are three sections. Barre Sections: Think modified Ballet and expect to hear terms like 1st position, 2nd position and Plié. In these sessions you’ll generally have one hand on the barre and be giving your legs and butt a serious workout. Elastic Sections: Think large elastic bands looped over the Barre that you then use for resistance. Facing away from the Barre you might punch out while holding the elastic, or hold a lunge while doing an upper body rotation. Cardio Sections: With music flowing different types of cardio intervals are dispersed through the class. This should really help with overall fitness and buring calaries and will certainly get the blood flowing.