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Barre – What it’s Like, the Benefits, and How it Teaches Mindfulness

I am definitely not a dancer. Don’t get me wrong, I love to jam out to my favorite songs on full blast alone in my room, or to Disney hits with my roommates, but choreographed dances are not my forte — I’m sure there are many of you out there like me. Because of this, I was pretty skeptical of barre, but I am so glad I attempted this seemingly intimidating workout; it’s turned out to be both fun & effective. With a focus on balance and strength, you’ll feel refreshed and empowered after trying this out. Plus, it rarely requires more equipment than a yoga mat!

So, what is Barre and what is the workout like?

Barre is a strength and conditioning workout that’s usually done in an instructed class at a studio, the gym, or through YouTube videos in your room. What’s special about Barre is that its strength training methods are derived from ballet & dance. Barre works your entire body with different parts of the workout focusing on specific muscle groups like abs, legs, glutes and arms. Sometimes there’s even a little cardio mixed in. You’ll probably find that much of barre is about small, repetitive movements that get your heartrate up and your blood pumping.

Women’s Health reports, “Think: pulsing in a squat to target the glutes and quads, cranking out as many triceps kickbacks as possible with three pound weights, or moving through a lively plank sequence.”

Barre’s Major BenefitsAccording to SHAPE, the major benefits of doing a barre workout include improved posture, flexibility, weight loss, muscle definition and even reduced stress(!!). If you’re still feeling a little unsure about Barre, try doing a video in your own room to get used to the types of movements that are involved. You can also sign up for an instructed class at a studio near you! Some in the Madison area include: barre3, Barre District & Dragonfly Hot Yoga

Barre & MindfulnessBarre not only keeps you feeling fit and empowered, it can also helps with breathwork & even your ability to handle stress. I’ve found that barre started out by changing my mentality about exercising; though running on the treadmill or biking for 30 minutes is a great way to get cardio, barre incorporates mindful techniques that will make you feel more in touch with your body and its movement on days a trip to the gym doesn’t seem appealing. I’ve also learned to apply the breathing techniques incorporated into the workouts to my everyday life, whether it’s while studying for an exam or completing a project.  

So, if you’re looking for a new and fun way to get fit, you’ll not only get real sweaty from barre, you’ll also feel empowered & refreshed.

Cate Wilkinson

Wisconsin '20

Cate graduated from UW - Madison in May 2020 with a degree in Microbiology with a certificate in French. She is very passionate about health, wellness, sustainability and communication about these topics!
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