Review: Barre3 Workouts

Pilates_01I’ve officially reached my month mark of experimenting with barre3 workouts. Here’s what I did: I eschewed my 20 minute HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts and instead committed to 3 hour long barre3 workouts per week and supplemented these workouts with yoga on my off days.I also tried their 10, 30, and 40 minute workouts on random days. To do this, I bought a monthly subscription to barre3 workouts online.

What Barre3 Is

Barre3 advertises itself as a fusion of yoga, pilates, and ballet. It combines these three disciplines to provide a full body workout that it advertises will give clients the lean physique of a dancer’s body. The workout consists of a warm-up and cool-down along with exercises that target the lower body, glutes, core, and upper body. The workout utilizes small isometric movements, whole body resistance, and small hand weights.

Pros

I quickly learned that barre3 is not easy. In fact, it’s very challenging. Most of us are not used to moving our body in small isometric movements. These small movements bring traditional workout poses to a whole new level of difficulty. The movements trick your muscles, and target them in more isolated ways than traditional exercises. This was what I found to be the largest defining feature of barre: the isometric targeted movements.

The next aspect I enjoyed from these workouts were the glutes and core exercises. I have never burned so much in my glutes and core in any other workout. The exercises targeted the muscle groups from every angle. There were several glutes exercises I had to drop out of due to pure exhaustion. I also feel a sense of peace and serenity from these workouts. Barre incorporates some yoga elements, most often focusing on the breath. I would leave the workouts feeling balanced.

Cons

I’m a yoga baby who enjoys intense cardio, so I was ready to be critical about barre from a  yoga standpoint. Ultimately, I found that barre did not compare to yoga for me. Although I enjoyed the isolated muscle work, I found that yoga incorporates more than barre does. Yoga includes flow, breath, balance, strength, flexibility, and meditation. I also get a better cardio workout from my favorite branch of yoga (vinyasa). Barre3 was missing cardio, flow, and meditation for me. It came across a little one sided, so I would not use it as my sole form of exercise.

Final Thoughts, Final Conclusions

I thoroughly enjoyed changing up my exercise routine to try something new. Barre3 was very enjoyable, fun, and challenging. I enjoyed pushing my muscles in new ways. Despite some of the missing elements, for me barre3 is an excellent supplement to other exercise routines. I can see it adding to my yoga practice by strengthening muscles that I use in yoga. For those interested in using barre3 as their main workout, be sure to add cardio workouts along with it. Although I don’t see myself using barre every day, I will continue to do barre workouts to supplement my other routines.

 

Now tell me: have you tried barre? What do you like or dislike about it?

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