5 Reasons You Should Try a Barre Workout Cloudy with a chance of wine Inspired by ballet, barre fitness classes combine elements of Pilates, yoga, dance and functional training. In a single barre workout, you’ll use the ballet barre and other equipment such as weighted balls, resistance bands and even hand weights to tone and sculpt your body. The classes aim to strengthen and chisel your muscles, get your heart racing and slim and stretch your entire body. Sounds pretty awesome, right? I started ballet when I was 11 years old, and although it wasn’t my favourite type of dance, I never felt like I got a better workout than I did in ballet class. Even though you aren’t actually doing ballet in during a barre workout (don’t worry, you don’t have to pirouette), you still gain similar benefits. Plus, you can wear really cool ballerina-inspired outfits. So what are you waiting for? The barre exercises are aimed at targeting different muscle groups, and if you take a high-intensity class you’ll be sweating like nobody’s business. You’ll burn calories, boost your metabolism and elevate your heart rate all at once. Intrigued? Read on to find out 5 reasons why you should try a barre workout today! 1. Builds and tones muscle You’ll do small, controlled movements in barre class (isometric contractions), including pulses and squeezes, which are meant to fatigue your muscles. Exhausting the muscles forces them to tone, so you’ll eventually have a nice, sculpted bod. Strong muscles are also important for your joints, bone density and stability. 2. Improves posture I’m not saying I have the best posture in the world, but I definitely don’t have the worst. And it’s all thanks to ballet. By doing regular barre classes, you’ll notice improvement in both your core strength and posture. Good posture keeps you safe from injuries, ensures your bones are properly aligned, and also helps your nervous system function properly. 3. Weight loss Since barre classes target the largest muscle groups in the body (such as the glutes, thighs and quads) you burn more calories – the bigger the muscle, the more calories you’ll work off. Consistent barre workouts will help you build mean muscle mass, which raises your metabolic rate, producing more energy and shaving more cals. 4. Increases flexibility Stretching is a big part of barre workouts, and flexibility is important for overall health and well-being. When you stretch, your muscles are elongated and bulk is reduced so your body can become properly aligned and balanced. Flexibility can decrease your chance of injury and improve your performance with everyday tasks such as bending and reaching. 5. Boosts your endurance Cardio and endurance are extremely important to keep you strong and healthy, and you’ll improve both with constant upbeat barre classes. The small movements done in a fast-paced style are essential for strength training, which helps boost heart rate and endurance. If you can’t find a barre workout class near you, or can’t decide if you’ll enjoy it, try one of these at-home barre workouts! If you’re hooked on the barre workout hype like we are, please share this on Pinterest! And if you’re looking for more health-related tips and tricks, please follow our Health and Fitness board where we share all kinds of fabulousness! Kate is a freelance writer with a background in fashion, beauty and wellness. When she’s not trying out new recipes, taking a hot yoga class, or curled up with a good book, you can find her blogging about lifestyle tips and entrepreneurialism at Layered Indulgence. This is an excerpt from the article 5 Reasons You Should Try a Barre Workout which originally appeared on http://www.cloudywithachanceofwine.com/.