Exercise that Heals
The term overuse injury is an all too common phrase these days. For those of us who love sport and fitness, the term seems inevitable. After my third overuse injury diagnosis, I discovered a barre class that showed me a fitness alternative that is as challenging as the toughest boot camp workout, without the wear and tear on your body. With careful focus on the muscles and tendons that support joints, barre classes helped me repair my body and as an added bonus, gain a healthier outlook on fitness. After less than a month I saw noticeable changes. I was becoming stronger, leaner and more flexible. The pain was gone.
Barre classes are designed to reverse the effects of the wear and tear that life puts on us each day. There was a time, not long ago when everyday life meant using upper body strength to push pull and lift, and lower body strength to walk, run and climb. People had no choice but to be physically fit. Things are very different today. We get stuck doing the same movements over and over again. Our daily lives involve staring at the computer, typing, talking on the phone and driving. The effects of our daily routines coined with the constant pull of gravity take a painful toll on our bodies. The combination of small isometric movements with larger compound movements and flexibility training improve the daily functional strength and movement required for everyday people living natural lives.
Stretch for the Soul
Flexibility training should be an essential part of any exercise routine. Barre classes take the time to stretch and elongate each muscle group that is worked. This improves range of motion in joints and enables muscles to work more effectively. Stretching also improves posture and pain by lengthening tight muscles that pull the body out of alignment. Stretching is one of the keys to easing stress and tension and connecting your mind to your body.
Connect Body and Mind
I consider barre the foundation of of fitness. In a one-hour session, barre exercisers are encouraged to check in, not out, providing a new, healthier level of body awareness. Using a combination of small movements and isometric contractions, followed immediately by stretching, lean muscle mass increases, bulk is reduced, balance and posture improve, and calories are burned!
Check it Out
Barre classes are designed to build you up, not break you down, which is what fitness is all about! Barre based exercise programs leave you feeling leaner, rejuvenated, and ready to take on your day. Do something good for yourself today. Find a barre class, walk through the door, and begin your journey to transform your body and soul.
Janet is the founder of CenterBarre, lead instructor, and the designer of the CenterBarre workout.