Because of it’s recent influx in popularity, it may seem like Barre is a fairly new addition to the fitness world. Actually, barre classes have been helping men and women alike, tone, lift, and tighten for decades.
In 1959, after suffering a back injury, Lotte Berk combined her ballet barre training with rehabilitative therapy to create The Lotte Berk Method. In 1971 the method was introduced to the United States when Lydia Bach, one of Lotte’s students, opened The Lotte Berk Method Studio in Manhattan.
Today, new interpretations of the workout are surfacing daily as studios and franchises are opening up at alarming rates. But what exactly is a barre class? In theory, Barre is a workout routine that combines elements of ballet, pilates and yoga into an efficient and effective workout. By using your own bodyweight as resistance in while challenging your core stability and balance, barre classes promise to give you the streamlined body of a dancer while reinforcing your strength and muscle tone. Many become hooked due to the fun atmosphere and upbeat music, and as a result of their frequent barre-going they become slimmer, stronger and healthier.
Sounds great right? In theory it is. In practice, however, the rapid growth of the trend has resulted in a lack of attention to the fundamentals of human movement in exchange for a gimmick or a spin to make each workout the “next big thing”.
So that’s our gimmick. That’s our niche. We focus on the way the human body moves and we address it which each element of the BarreFlow program. That’s what allows us to RAISE THE BARRE
How we RAISE THE BARRE
We Address Common Postural Problems
Inactivity, long periods of sitting in cars, wearing heels and sitting in front of a computer all have negative impacts on our posture. Over time, most of us develop varying degrees of the postural abnormalities known as upper and lower crossed syndromes.
Upper-crossed syndrome is characterized by rounded shoulders and a forward head and can, over time, result in neck pain, tension headaches and shoulder issues.
Lower- crossed syndrome is characterized by an anterior pelvic tilt, an arched lower back and what appears to be a pushed out belly. Over time, this can lead to lower back pain, sciatica or knee pain.
The BarreFlow programming has been designed with these common postural deviations in mind and aims to stretch those muscles that are excessively tight or tonic and strengthen those that are weak or over-lengthened. The efficiency of our programming relies heavily on the concept of reciprocal inhibition.
Our Foundation is our Core
A strong and stable core is the cornerstone of efficient movement. The terms core strength and abdominal strength are often used interchangeably in the fitness world. A strong core means so much more than just the ability to do sit-ups. The role of the core musculature is multi-faceted as it stabilizes and protects the spine, the pelvis and even helps to stabilize and protect the shoulder girdle.
We Focus on Integrated Movement
Also known as functional training or multi-joint movement, integrated movement is much more effective and efficient than the isolated training techniques on which the science of bodybuilding is built. Though there are times in our programming that isolation is called for, our general framework is built of movements that involve multiple joints and multiple muscles–often moving through more than one plane of motion. Integrative movement not only results in a higher calorie burn and greater muscle development, but also stimulates more neuromuscular activity. By moving the body in multiple ways at once, we are able to improve coordination, balance and performance and reduce the risk of injury.
One of the unique qualities of BarreFlow is the vinyasa-like structure of the class. Subject to many interpretations, the direct translation is “ to place in a special way”. Though the breath isn’t cued as it would be in a vinyasa yoga sequence, the movement from one pose or position into another without a pause creates space for moving meditation. With steady and flowing movement, we are better able to steady the mind and be truly present in the moment. Continued BarreFlow practice will both increase and channel energy while helping to steady and calm the mind.