Rec department offers barre classes

Are you thinking about trying the newest trend in exercise, but still unsure of what it’s all about? Here’s a quick rundown about barre:

Most barre-based classes use a combination of postures inspired by ballet and other disciplines such as yoga and Pilates. The barre is used as a prop to balance while doing exercises that focus on isometric strength training combined with high reps of small range-of-motion movements.

Don’t be surprised if your class incorporates light handheld weights to bring the burn during reps, as well as mats for core work and yoga-inspired stretching.

Many of us discovered that we crave smaller and more connected classes. Women see results quickly with barre; it’s a one-stop shop that includes all of the essentials of a well-rounded exercise program. The benefits of barre are improved posture, muscle definition, weight loss, increased flexibility and reduced stress. Women at any fitness level can sign up for a class.

Although it’s important to discuss with your doctor, barre classes can be perfectly fine for pregnant women because they aren’t high impact.

You’ll start with a warmup, followed by the use of the ballet barre and your own body weight for resistance to focus on the thigh and seat muscles. Your core will be engaged during the entire class and then targeted at the end. A mini exercise ball will assist in targeting the inner thighs, followed by a combination of upper-body exercises, which include free weights, push-ups, planks and other moves to target the biceps, triceps, chest and back muscles.

For the cooldown, you’ll go through a series of stretches to increase flexibility and allow your muscles to recover.

The Bedford Recreation Department offers barre basics classes from 6-7 p.m. Thursdays at Bedford Memorial School. For more information, visit bedfordreconline.

Submitted by
Angela Costolo, certified barre and yoga instructor