We’re all stressed, overworked and over-trained. After months of home HIIT and incessant running, many of us have injuries and a general boredom with fitness. To get reenergised, you’ve got to switch up your fitness regime and there’s no better workout to pick up than barre.
Barre is the full-body, low-impact workout that’s designed to strengthen and lengthen through minute movements. It’s simple but brutal: those tiny lifts and tweaks target muscles that all those lockdown miles never touched.
That’s what I thought, the first time I sidled up to a class with a running friend. Both of us were long-time gymmers and we decided to try a barre session out before work as a kind of ‘soothing’ way to start the day. Within a matter of minutes, I had to take off my vest because the sweat was pouring down my chest and the DOMS the next day were like I’d spent the previous morning pushing a static bus down the road.
Barre for muscular endurance and low injury risk
Barre is all about low weights, high reps. Often, we talk about the power of lifting heavy – lifting as much as we can for only a handful of reps. Barre takes the opposite approach, limiting the injury risk and making movements more accessible. There’s plenty of evidence out there on the benefits of that kind of training.
We tend to think that in order to build muscle, you’ve got to use heavy weights… but that’s just not true. A study published in the Journal of Strength Conditioning Research found that lifting heavy for fewer reps and lifting lighter for higher reps both result in muscular hypertrophy (the process of building stronger muscle fibres).
Those high reps are designed to boost your muscular endurance rather than promote raw power.