Looking for a fun way to burn more than 200 or 300 calories in just half an hour? The solution may be right within your reach, if you'll reach for the barre, the ballet barre, that is. A Pure Barre exercise class or DVD workout you can do at home might be just what you need to firm up, tone up and torch calories in a whole new way.
The Pure Barre Experience
Pure Barre is one of several ballet-based fitness programs taking the workout community by storm. Developed by dancer and choreographer Carrie Rezabek in 2001, new franchises and barre classes are cropping up everywhere as fitness fans discover the novel calorie-burning program. The Pure Barre technique pairs simple isometric exercises with upbeat music for an overall low-impact workout almost anyone can do regardless of their fitness level.
A typical class or DVD workout will feature a warm-up of easy stretching moves, like bending at the waist and leaning forward to touch the barre and then repeating the bend and stretch on each side. While the barre is a fun prop used to assist with balance while performing many of the moves, it's not required equipment. You can do the same movements using a wall or the back of a chair for support.
Quiver and Shake
After the warm-up, the instructor will lead you through a series of lengthening and toning moves borrowed from ballet, calisthenics, yoga and dance. Expect several repetitions of exercises like plies or deep-knee bends, calf lifts, squats and lunges. While the movements may not be difficult to do, they can be very challenging because they are done until the muscles are quite fatigued. You'll feel plenty of quivering and shaking, whether you're a fitness newbie or a regular exerciser.
Torch Those Calories
Depending on your weight and the intensity of the workout you can expect to burn between 200 to 300 calories or more in a 30-minute session, thanks to the rapid circuit-like system of moving immediately from one movement to the next, all in time to fast-paced music. While Pure Barre exercises are designed to be low impact and easy on the joints, you will find yourself panting by the end of the session.
Check It Out
Some barre classes add an assortment of equipment to the exercises. Hand weights, balance balls and exercise bands may be used for additional resistance and to help stretch and elongate the muscles. The extra resistance means you will burn even more calories per session. Varied equipment, challenging routines, fun music and calorie torching benefits? It may be time to release your own inner ballerina. Go on, reach for the barre.
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