There is one common misconception about barre, the workout that incorporates low-impact and isolated movements where you hold poses until your muscles shake and burn. Barre is not a dance class, though it takes some positions and movements from ballet.
Janna Proctor is among the many who thought barre was a dance-based fitness regimen – until she tried a class. During her college years at the University of Kentucky, Janna was part of the competitive dance team before two ACL surgeries on the same knee left her unable to perform. A few years later, she saw a Pure Barre studio in Lexington and decided to give it a try. She became so addicted that she eventually opened a Pure Barre in Mason in 2011, and a Centerville location a year later. Pure Barre Dayton, located at 62 W. Franklin St. in uptown Centerville, is her emphasis today.
“It’s deceptively hard, and the low impact allows people of any fitness level to participate, even if you’ve had an injury,” said Janna, who earned degrees in education from UK and Eastern Kentucky University and worked in special education before devoting her full focus to Pure Barre Dayton. “The small focused movements can get you to the point where you should be shaking. That’s where we want you to be. That means you’re changing your muscles, but it doesn’t put any extra pressure on your knees or hips.”
Simply put, Pure Barre offers an effective total body workout focused on low-impact, high intensity movements that lift and tone muscles to improve strength, agility and flexibility, Janna explains.
“People tend to confuse it with dance because barre takes some of the movements and positions from ballet, and incorporates the ballet barre, but it is completely difference from a dance class,” Janna said. “A barre workout includes a series of strengthening exercises targeting your core, arms, legs, and your seat. Add the music and an enthusiastic instructor, and you have an effective full-body workout.”
Barre is not solely for women. Even some NFL players include Pure Barre into their training regimens, as well as men and women alike who also participate in other sports and activities.
“Pure Barre is an ideal complement for other sports and fitness regimens,” Janna said. “The increased flexibility, core strength and low impact nature of Pure Barre helps prevent injury and improve endurance for those who are cross training for a sport or a race.
Among the benefits of Pure Barre are:
1. Strength and Definition
When you work your thighs in a barre class, you target that muscle group from all angles. Three thigh exercises will work to fatigue the front, inner, and outer thighs. This strengthens muscles from joint to joint. It is the same for your seat, abs, arms, and back. By strengthening each muscle group thoroughly, you create amazing definition, and strengthen muscles that are often underused and underdeveloped.
Each barre class includes different types of movements, but most are known for their use of isometric contractions and small isotonic movements. Isometric contractions tighten or contract the muscle without changing its length. Think of a plank position or those poses where you hold completely still as your legs start to quiver and shake. These contractions utilize slow-twitch muscle fibers that can increase stamina and improve your endurance, two benefits of barre you might not expect.
You don’t need to be flexible to achieve the benefits of barre, but the amount of stretching in each class can help improve your overall range of motion and reduce your risk of injury. Tension and tightness in your muscles and the tendons around them can result in back pain and poor posture. This can make everyday tasks like bending down to tie your shoes more difficult. Stretching out your muscles will help relieve stress and help you maneuver through your day with greater ease.
Core muscles are engaged throughout the class, from start to finish, and they can be used for the primary focus of an exercise or for stability as you perform a move that targets your thighs or seat. Weak core muscles and hours spent sitting at the computer lead to back pain for many people. As you strengthen your core, you will notice the benefits of barre outside of class. You’ll be able to sit and stand taller and your lower back will take less stress and tension throughout the day.
5. Mind-Body Connection
Barre classes challenge you to not only go through the motions of the workout but to focus your thoughts on each and every tiny muscle you are working. Feel your mind starting to stray? Your teacher will give you step-by-step instructions on where to position your body while also offering hands-on corrections to adjust your alignment.
Pure Barre Dayton classes include:
- Pure Foundations, a 50-minute class is taught in a small group setting where the basic movements of Pure Barre are introduced at a slower pace.
Pure Barre Classic is the studio’s original barre class and the foundation of our proprietary technique. It is the fastest, most effective, full body workout offered. The 50-minute class guides you through a series of low-impact high-intensity movements designed to strengthen and tone.
Pure Empower is a 45-minute cardio-centric total body workout that blends Pure Barre Classic with cardio-centric movements using ankle weights and a 6-inch plyometrics box to elevate your heart rate and improve cardiorespiratory fitness
- Pure Reform is a total body workout that uses resistance-based training to target all major muscle groups. The 50-minute Reform class marries the Classic Pure Barre technique with strength, coordination and balance movements using resistance bands, sliders and the barre.
“Pure Barre is not only effective because of the full-body workout that is low impact, and is ideal for every age and fitness level. It’s also rewarding because of the camaraderie and the sense of community among the instructors and the members,” Janna explained. “Many members develop lasting friendships. Pure Barre is an inspiring fitness c