Pilates Barre classes have been on the fitness trend list for the past few years and have recently become more mainstream, appearing on many gym & health club studio timetables.
The classes fuse together aspects of Pilates & Ballet and incorporate bodyweight exercises, the use of light weight resistance apparatus and deep stretch work, to develop muscular endurance and toning, without bulking, for the whole body.
The Pilates aspect has the practitioner focus on training the smaller stabiliser muscles of the body with precision and control, working within an often limited range of movement, maintaining alignment and emphasising core strength. The ‘Barre’ is taken from the horizontal bar used in ballet to support the practitioner to balance whilst warming up through the positions.
In the case of an at home or online class, the back of a chair or sideboard would suffice.
The class steals inspiration from classical ballet movements performed at the barre, such as pilé’s, arabesques and battement tendu, yet no need to be a dancer or have had any previous ballet experience, as these moves are not literal, only ‘inspired by’ those classical movements, and can be performed at whatever level of skill & flexibility you have. Then there’s the use of light hand weights, resistance bands and bodyweight exercises, included to make a full body workout that will challenge muscles you never knew you had!
Finally deep stretches are incorporated to make sure the muscles are fully lengthened out.
A Pilates Barre class is low impact, yet quick moving from one move to the next, so if jumping around in an aerobics class is not your thing but you want to work hard, this class could be for you?!
Channel your inner ‘Fame’ aspirations wearing slim fitting clothing, such as capri leggings and cami vests (leg warmers optional) so that your posture can be seen by your instructor and look forward to developing a more svelte physique!
Pilates Barre classes are available through Promise Pilates. www.promisepilates.co.uk
– This article has been published in the May edition of Life Magazines – http://www.lifemagazines.co.uk