Don’t you just feel a little jealous of those lean bodies dancers have? Ballet dancers, especially…You have to admit; they do look incredibly lithe with those sinewy arms and well-toned legs! And it stands to reason that if they got those enviable firm and fit bodies from dancing, there must be something in their routine that works.
If you’re familiar with ballet, then you know that ballet workouts start with the use of ballet barre. Traditionally, the barre is the most essential equipment when starting to learn ballet. Made of either wood or metal to provide solid and stable support, it’s a handrail used to rest hands and feet while warming up. The barre is usually waist-high and may be attached to the wall or mounted on a free-standing base.
What’s more interesting about the barre is this – although it is generally associated with ballet dancing techniques, this tool actually presents a very effectual workout for fitness enthusiasts as well. And it was most likely in this context that Lotte Berk, a ballet dancer from Germany who eventually became a fitness instructor, figured out that the benefits the barre offers are not exclusive to ballet dancers and students; rather, they are very beneficial to non-dancers as well. So in the 1950’s, she put together a fitness program using the barre as a primary tool and from then on, the ballet barre has been constantly used in various endeavors to develop fitness.
The Benefits of Using the Barre as a Fitness Tool
The ballet barre is mostly used in warming up and stretching routines that work on any part of your body from your feet to your neck and head. However, a lot of exercises that use ballet barre are largely targeted on arms, legs and abs and are focused on movements to help develop a strong core, toned arms, long and lean thighs, and broader range of motion for muscles and joints. It also helps you better understand your own body’s natural poise. What’s more, constant training with this fitness tool can keep your back and hip joints healthy; thus improving alignment and suppleness.
In short, using ballet barre not only helps lengthen and strengthen the body core; but also improves posture, develops greater balance and coordination, enhances overall body flexibility, and increases self-confidence and pride in your body. What better reasons for incorporating the ballet barre into your fitness routine? It is not just simply the right tool for dancers and fitness enthusiasts alike; it is the perfect equipment to go with any fitness program and workout regimen you are into.