The ballet barre makes a hot comeback as the fitness tool of choice for balance, slimming, strength, great posture, and grace - not to mention a great butt. Who says you have to be a dancer to have a "dancer's body"? According to Richard Giorla, author of the new fitness book, Raise the Barre (HarperCollins 2006), "Anyone can learn, at their own pace, the techniques used by dancers to develop the body of a dancer."
Richard maintains that Cardio Barre, his workout program, will also help to increase your sense of balance, timing, coordination, grace, elegance, improved posture, and core strength, while promoting longer and leaner muscles. Of course, genetics play a major role in the shape and structure of your body and its formation of muscles. The rate at which your body metabolizes food is also key in how lean your figure is. But, with the right heart-pumping, muscle-flexing exercises, you can dramatically improve on what you have. "Dancers are known to have the most beautiful butts and legs, and they walk with a certain poise that is easily recognizable," asserts Richard. "They work hard to maintain their slender and supple figures with elegance and grace."
For most dancers, daily training consists of long, rigorous two-to-eight hour workouts and rehearsals. Obviously, the average, non-dancers couldn't even imagine dedicating that much time each day to their workouts. But, according to Richard, even one hour a day - a very efficient and effective hour, that is - will help shape your body similar to that of a dancer.
Belly up to the barre
Enter the ballet barre. Fast becoming the hottest fitness tool du jour, barres are popping up in an array of classes at gyms and spas across the country. Using the barre promotes stability, helps you focus on the core, and allows controlled isometric movements that force fast-twitch muscles (which develop strength and speed) to repeatedly fire. The result is a taut and tip body.
... Richard Giorla's Cardio Barre, currently offered only at the Cardio Barre studio in Los Angeles keeps students moving to upbeat, fast-paced, vibrating, loud music that motivates you to keep going even during the most muscles-screaming sets of fat-blasting exercises. The class combines movements traditionally found in ballet, hip-hop, Tae Bo, Pilates, yoga, resistance, and "ab attack" classes.