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Health

I Tried Barre So You Didn’t Have To

As a weightlifting and general exercise fan, I am always trying to find the best and more efficient workouts that I can accomplish in my bedroom with minimal equipment. Since quarantine started, I had developed a stringent workout routine to stay sane and I was initially worried I would miss the weight rack at my regular gym. With a newfound sense of curiosity for weightlifting alternatives, I decided to try a workout technique called barre which focuses on different muscle groups with low-impact and high-intensity movements. What makes it so unique and absolutely terrifying at the same time are the super high number of repetitions of each of these movements. With minimal to no equipment necessary barre seemed like a great alternative during COVID isolation.

I need to preface the rest of this review with the following warning: barre burns your muscles like nothing I have ever experienced before. The killer of barre are the high reps which cause burning in all your muscles, for example, pulsing squats to set your quads and glutes on fire. Your body will shake during the workout and will probably shake for a while even after you have started. I love a workout that pushes me to my limits, and I feel that the high reps do that every single time. Increasing my muscle endurance has always been a goal of mine and with barre, you can literally feel your muscles getting stronger and tougher each week. Also, a great part of barre is that you can also get in a great cardio workout with certain movements during your favourite routine.

Now let’s cut to the chase, what results did I find after doing barre two-to-three times a week with some yoga and weightlifting sprinkled in between. Besides increased muscle endurance, I was really thrilled by the improvement in my balance and range of motion. Being inspired from ballet training, barre is great for testing your balance and flexibility. I’ve also definitely noticed a bit more definition in my legs, but overall, my legs, core and back feel stronger. It feels amazing to be able to feel your muscles burning a little less with every workout and your body being able to support you through other types of exercise. As someone who has lifted weights for the past five years, it’s nice to feel like I’m balancing out areas of my overall fitness that can be neglected by only doing cardio or weightlifting. Most importantly, having a consistent routine and online barre classes to do on YouTube on my own schedule has been amazing for my mental health during the pandemic. It’s so important to move your body and not become sedentary to try and relieve the stress and anxiety of school and being alive during this shit show.

Emma Christie

Carleton '22

1st year Master's Student in Political Science at Carleton University. My interests are watching too many movies, global affairs, and being a cat lady in training.
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