Hit the Barre in Michigan to Tone Up

If you’re looking for a low-impact exercise that will tone your body, barre workouts may be the answer. Known to increase your strength, increase flexibility, improve posture and reduce stress, barre workouts pack a punch in one compact class. Barre workouts are a combination of ballet, yoga, Pilates and strength training offering a unique workout experience that is sure to make you shake and burn.

While not a new phenomenon (this workout has been around for more than 40 years), barre classes have become wildly popular in Michigan in recent years. One reason why: You don’t need to be an advanced athlete or have any previous experience as a dancer to benefit from the workout.

If you’ve never taken one before, Barre workouts are different than a regular strength training class. The concept of barre is based on tiny, small pulses called isometric movements to strengthen your body to target and tone the small muscles. These small movements help you hold your posture while continuously engaging the muscle. Even without a single weight you’ll quickly feel the burn. The movements are focused and are intended to bring attention to the overlooked muscles in your body.

During the class, you stand near a barre (a bar that runs around the sides of the room) and use your own body weight to work your muscles. The instructor will lead the class through a routine that targets certain areas like glutes, calves, shoulders and hamstrings. You’ll be reminded to keep your core engaged during the whole class and usually the class will end with additional core work on a mat.

As for wardrobe, you don’t need any special gear. Come dressed in comfortable clothes that allow you to move. Most people wear yoga clothes and bare feet. Grip socks are also encouraged (special socks with grips on the bottom) to help your feet stabilize during the exercises.

Ready to try it out for yourself? Head to any of these studios around Michigan:

  • The Barre Code: Locations in Rochester Hills, Ann Arbor and Birmingham
  • Pure Barre: Locations in Ann Arbor, Birmingham, Brighton, Grosse Pointe, Novi, Okemos, Saginaw, Grand Rapids and Rochester

Looking to tone your body in other ways? These blogs are full of helpful tips:

Photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski

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