The Barre Method

The Barre Method

Feb 28, 2022 / By Lara Hassan

Barre Body Pulse by Lara

Barre is a low-impact workout that targets every muscle in your body. It is a ballet-inspired workout, kind on the joints, comprised of high repetition exercises, balances, and poses which improve your flexibility and strength while building muscle definition. 

It is a workout, which is suitable for all ages and can be practiced anywhere as a stand-alone workout or to complement other training programs.  

Barre body pulse is my own take on the barre method where I eliminate larger movements which require a lot of flexibility, keeping to a range which 98% of the population can do. When a streamer is working from home I am not with them to correct them; I created the workout with that in mind. 

I emphasize the pulse element, where you hold a contraction and work deeper into the contraction to reshape the muscles into a better shape and that is where the challenge is.  

Barre background

For decades, devotees have transformed their health through this practice, which provides the perfect balance of safe and challenging work through a blend of yoga, Pilates, and ballet. Lotte Berk (a professional ballerina) created this practice when she blended orthopaedic exercises with her dance training while rehabilitating an injury. These days we are seeing an explosion of Lotte Berk-inspired barre programs under a variety of names and it has become the trend and a fitness craze around the globe. 

Benefits of Barre 

Regular practice (three to five times a week) can increase muscle density, decrease body fat, improve flexibility and posture and rev up your metabolism. 

The hour-long class is a blend of strength training with our own body weight or light hand weights, interval cardio, and lots of stretching. The ballet-inspired workout focuses on incredibly efficient tiny movements.  

In a Barre class, we'll spend several minutes holding and working with tiny pulses until our muscles not only burn but also shake with fatigue. Each muscle group is stretched immediately after it is worked which promotes longer, leaner muscles and better recovery so we are less sore the next day. 

The Barre targets the largest muscle groups in the body (like the thighs and glutes) and the small muscle groups supporting your skeletal system. Working larger muscle groups helps you burn calories and the small muscle groups will help prevent injury, improve the quality of your movement, muscular function and control.  

 As you continue to practice Barre, you will begin to build more lean muscle mass, raising your resting metabolic rate, which can help you produce more energy and burn more calories the other 23 hours of the day. Pair the Barre exercise routine with a healthy diet and you will absolutely see results.

Barre and weight loss: perhaps more important than helping you to lose weight – the Barre will help you lose size by redistributing inches on your body as we sculpt, making you appear (and feel!) longer and leaner. 

Other benefits of the Barre: the isometric movements in the Barre protect your bone health, and also increase your percentage of lean muscle mass –  besides reducing your waistline and improving posture.  

A strong core can increase your performance in all other activities in your life, whether you’re playing tennis or just lifting your kids. Without a strong core, your muscles cannot move freely or efficiently, so you will tend to overuse your lower back muscles and put additional stress on all other joints – commonly leading to aches, pains, and injuries.

The beauty of the barre is that we emphasize engaging your core throughout all of the class for compounded results – so even if we are working the arms or thighs, we are always engaging, and therefore strengthening, the core as well. 

Frequently asked questions  

How often should I practice barre? 

I encourage our clients to practice Barre 3–4 times per week to see the most dramatic results and to gain a better understanding of the positions – most clients will certainly notice a change in their body and be able to maintain ‘the Barre’s’ physique in just a few classes a week!  If you are practicing my sculpt workouts, Peach, Legs on fire and Abs sculpt, Barre can be one of your 5 workouts per week to achieve your ultimate goals.  

Will Barre workouts help me lose weight? 

Perhaps more important than helping you lose weight – the Barre will help you lose size by redistributing inches on your body as we sculpt, making you appear (and feel!) longer and leaner. 

Building more lean muscle mass, raising your resting metabolic rate, can help you produce more energy burn by burning more calories. Pair the Barre exercise routine with a healthy diet and you will absolutely see results.

I’m not very flexible. can I do the Barre? 

Certainly, in fact, since increased flexibility is one of the great benefits of Barre exercise, I will offer you modifications that will help to gradually improve your flexibility.

I’ve never taken group exercise before. Can a beginner try a Barre class? 

Absolutely, remember, we are all beginners sometimes! Barre classes are inclusive of anyone at any fitness level, no experience required! The Barre workouts on the Body by Lara Channel are choreographed to suit different levels and abilities. I want you to get exactly what you need out of a class; it is your personal journey.  

Each client can be challenged at their own level in the workout. I will give basic modifications (and challenges!) throughout the class to help you customize your workout to make it exactly what you need. 

What props do I need and what should I wear? 

Some workouts are floor barre-based so you won't need anything. Generally speaking, you will need (bands, light hand weights, and playground balls) and a sturdy chair to use instead of the barre if you are at home. Have water and towels to hand.  

Wear comfortable clothing that is easy to move in, but try not to wear anything too loose-fitting. 

This applies to all the workouts on my channel so have them with you ready to go when needed. 

I’m pregnant, can I do the Barre? 

Absolutely, as long as you consult your doctor before training. However, if you are new to the Barre, I highly recommend that you wait until after your pregnancy to come to class (and try our “new mom Barre special”!), as the Barre can be strenuous if your body is not accustomed.  

If you are already a Barre client when you become pregnant, l will provide you with modifications to help you exercise safely, and have specialized prenatal cushions to give you additional support throughout your hour. As always, take breaks or ask for further modifications if at any point you feel uncomfortable. 

Pregnant moms and post-natal moms have a specific Barre workout in the Body Lab section.

If you are a Barre lover and you are looking for a safe at-home workout which you can do anywhere, sign up to the on-demand library to access a variety of sculpt and Barre training in the Define & Sculpt section.