How I transformed my strength and fitness with a switch from HIIT to home Barre

Maybe it’s the hustle and bustle of city life or the demands of juggling work and personal life, but lately, my go-to high-intensity workouts just haven’t been giving me the energy boost I crave. In the past, a quick home HIIT session was my remedy for shaking off the day’s stress, but recently, I’ve been looking for something different. Enter ballet barre for home workouts.

As a woman constantly on the move, I’ve come to realise that my high-intensity exercise routine may not be doing me any favours. Research from 2021 and other studies suggest that while HIIT has mental health benefits, overdoing it can stress the body, slow metabolism, and increase cortisol levels. With this in mind, I set out to find a workout that not only keeps me fit but also aligns with my body’s needs.

Surprisingly, the answer for me was found in the ballet studio. Despite thinking I’d retired my ballet shoes years ago, barre workouts at home have become my new favourite way to break a sweat.

Barre, a fusion of ballet, Pilates, and traditional strength training, has proven to be a game-changer. It’s low-impact, effective, and, believe it or not, fun. And it seems I’m not alone in this discovery; online searches for home barre classes are skyrocketing, as many of us ditch traditional high-intensity workouts for a more graceful and accessible alternative.

Curious about my experience? Keep reading to find out how swapping HIIT for ballet barre worked for me.

What is Barre?

According to Jen Brown, Barre expert and founder of the online Barre platform Meet you at the Barre, Barre is a fusion of ballet, Pilates, and strength training. While each instructor adds their flair, all Barre classes focus on small, pulsing movements with an emphasis on form, alignment, and core engagement.

The best part? No need for leg warmers or a leotard—Barre requires minimal equipment, just a hip-height object for balance, like the back of a chair or sturdy furniture.

@katecookfit I know it looks easy but I promise it burns 🥵 🔥 this set from @Alo is a dream 🥹🤎 #armworkoutathome #barrearms #barrearmsworkout #barreworkout #armsworkout #armworkoutforwomen #katecookfit #katecookfitness ♬ Stuck In The Middle – Tai Verdes

Why Barre Might Be Your New Go-To Workout

1. It’s accessible: Despite its dance origins, Barre is incredibly accessible, catering to all fitness levels. Even if you’re not the most coordinated dancer, you’ll find Barre’s movements familiar and achievable.

2. Full-body workout: Barre combines cardio, strength, and functional fitness, providing a comprehensive workout. Be prepared for the infamous “Barre burn” that targets every muscle group and leaves you feeling stronger.

3. Great for mental health: The combination of feel-good music, mindfulness, and the endorphin rush creates a positive impact on mental health. It’s not just a workout; it’s a mental and emotional boost.

4. Time-efficient: Just like HIIT, Barre doesn’t require hours of your time. Shorter, more frequent sessions can still deliver noticeable benefits, making it easy to fit into a busy schedule.

5. Aids ageing gracefully: Barre improves posture, balance, strength, and flexibility, making it an excellent choice as we age. It’s low-impact yet high-intensity, providing results without triggering the stress response associated with traditional high-impact workouts.

Ready to give it a try? With the abundance of online classes available, you can easily find one that suits your style, many even offering free trial periods. Barre might just become your new favourite workout—try it out and thank me later.

@sierra_joost Do each exercise for 30s snd repeat 3x! #homeworkout #noequipmentworkout #barreworkout #workout #fitness ♬ Cruel Summer – Taylor Swift

My Journey: Swapping HIIT for Barre

Week one:

As a Pilates enthusiast, I tackled beginner-level full-body Barre classes. Admittedly, it wasn’t a walk in the park. I had to set aside my ego and embrace modifications, but the challenge was invigorating. The “Barre burn” was real, targeting muscles I never knew I had.

Week two:

With the basics mastered, I focused on improving my balance, an essential aspect of Barre. As my posture improved, so did my core strength, and those initial wobbles became a thing of the past.

Week three:

Fully immersed in the routine, I extended my practice to longer and more frequent sessions. Barre seamlessly integrated into my weekly workout routine, complementing my other physical activities.

Week four:

By the fourth week, I was hooked. Logging in became a daily ritual, and the benefits were undeniable. Despite the ongoing challenge, the joy of the workout kept me coming back for more. According to Jen Brown, Barre is a practice—it doesn’t get easier; you just get better. And that’s exactly what I experienced.

Will I continue with Barre? Absolutely. It has become more than just a workout; it’s a transformative and enjoyable practice that I can’t wait to continue. Give Barre a shot—you might just find your new fitness obsession.

This article was syndicated from Marie Claire UK
Translated and adapted by Praise Vandeh, Marie Claire Nigeria Content Writer

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