March Exercise of the Month: Barre

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Barre? What is a Barre Workout? Well- as best as I can gather, it is a workout that is inspired by ballet- that also combines a bit of yoga and pilates into the mix. Sometimes the workouts require a bit of equipment (i.e.- a chair and weights) and at other times the workouts require nothing more than a bit of room. It is a toning/strengthening workout that is not your typical 'grab some weights and give me 20 repetitions' type of workout- which I happen to enjoy.

I chose this exercise for March, partially because I felt that it would build on some of the things that I did in yoga last month and partially because I wanted to try something that I have heard about but never tried. Instead of doing a huge synopsis of how I felt- this month I decided to do weekly 'updates' about how I felt about the exercises as a whole and include which workouts I did. This method makes me focus a bit more on what I feel at each stage as opposed to how I feel at the end of the month. If you aren't interested in that, scroll on down to the bottom for overall feedback.

Week 1 Thoughts

I have certain hopes for adding in this type of exercise every other day at this point. I hope that it will help tone my lower body and will also help me get better balance. I have struggled with some balance issues since bruising the bone/ partially tearing ligaments in my left ankle last year. So far- I feel that this sort of exercise will help to strengthen some of those weakened tissues without feeling as if I am putting a huge amount of strain on them. At the same time- I feel that the toning for this type of workout is more appreciably felt than the toning that comes from yoga. I cannot say that I see a huge difference in my body, but I do feel a slight difference in some parts of it. I am hoping that I will continue to feel some of these minor changes and minor soreness throughout the month.

Week1 Workouts:

FitnessBlender: Free 39 Minute Barre Workout, Butt and Thigh Barre Workout- full length, intense strength

POPSUGARFitness: The Look Good Naked Barre Workout- very good for 11 minutes!

Fitness Blender: Butt and Thigh Barre Workout- not as good or as intense as the full 39 minute version of this and not as good as the comparable 11 min POPSUGAR workout

jessicasmithtv: Barre, Exercise, Ballet, Free Full Length Online Barre Workout: Ballet Body- first barre workout done without a chair. Still felt the burn in the legs though.

Week 2 Thoughts

This week I started back to work, which was wonderful, but kinda of threw my workouts for a loop. I switched up barre workouts with yoga each morning and found that I do like this kind of tempo. Switching more difficult toning with stretching days. That being said- on Thursday I started coming down with the crud- thanks to mother nature not being able to decide if it is winter or spring. By Friday night- I was laying on the couch with my cold meds and hoping it would get better. What I thought was a mild cold- knocked me out for the weekend and part of the next week, so sadly I do not have a long list of new workouts to display below.

Week 2 Workouts:

POPSUGARFitness: The Look Good Naked Barre Workout- Yep, it's a repeat and I did it twice. But I definitely think this is the best workout that you can get for 11 minutes.

Week 3 Thoughts

The sickness that waylaid me in Week 2 continued into this week and I hate to admit it, but I did not do nearly as many barre workouts as I did yoga workouts. Frankly- my body was not up for it and even the yoga was a bit too intense for me some days. Towards the end of the week though, I felt a lot better and managed to get in one barre workout.

Week 3 Workouts:

Karena Thek: Short Pilates Barre Unlimited- This workout is only 8 minutes- but there is a good reason for that. I did not realize when I started it that morning that it was only a PARTIAL workout. The part that was in this video was good, but it was not good enough to tempt me to the website to see the full version.

Week 4 Thoughts

In my last week- I did three barre workouts, but I will say that they were three of the better workouts that I have found. Looking back on the weeks and how this workout program worked for me- I do think that it is something I will turn to again for toning. However, I did not fall in love with barre workouts the way that I did with yoga, so I think I will be searching for a 'go to' toning workout still. I will definitely continue to do barre some, but I feel that it will most likely be when I want to torture my legs and inner thighs (in a good way).

Week 4 Workouts:

Pilates Union: Barre Concept- Ultimate 20 minute barre exercise- This is a good workout, it is, but it is also one of the few where you really need a stationary ballet barre as opposed to a chair. The entire ab portion was not really possible because of this equipment issue. If you happen to have a ballet barre just lying around your house- I say go for it. Otherwise, I would not necessarily suggest this exercise again.

BarreBody: Barre Body- Get a Dancer's Body for body+soul- Another 11 minute workout and it is absolutely worth it. Definitely gets the most out of your time, which I find exceedingly important when I am working out at 4:30.

jessicasmithtv: Ballet Body Sculpt- Full 30 Minute Workout (barre workout, fat burning, total body sculpting)- Pretty sure this workout is going to leave me with sore legs, but it is a good kind of sore. I really enjoy the workouts found at jessicasmithtv and even if I don't continue barre as a whole, I do think I will continue to do many of her workouts.

Random Notes

Besides regular workout channels that youtube has that feature one or two bar workouts this channel: jessicasmithtv features a great number of barre workouts of different intensities. It was definitely one of my better finds when it came to searching for barre workouts online. As I said above- I will be going back to this channel for more workouts in the future.

Also, I've gathered all of the videos mentioned above into one, convenient playlist which you can find here. All of the workouts above are listed there, along with several other workouts that I planned to try and have not gotten around to yet.

Overall Takeaway

My overall takeaways from this experience was that it was good to try something different. Even though I am not sure that barre workouts are for me- I would have never found some of the great workouts that I did without giving this a try. Stay tuned for next months Exercise of the Month, which is yet to be decided. If you have any suggestions- feel free to comment below!

Want to see more of my adventures in life? Check me out my blog for anything and everything here. healingsoulwritingcafe.w
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thanks for taking the time to post this, along with analysis of how it affected you (and you it). Having had the requisite ballet classes as a youngster, I'm somewhat of the opinion that girls of a certain body type - including flexibility - benefit more from these types of workouts than others. Interesting to learn about.

    I'll check out your Blog. You're a member of the Writers Team - feel free to post your Blog link in our LINKS. We'd love to have you give some input on the fitness challenges too!
    1519 days ago
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