If you have been reading the Right Fits for awhile, you know that I’m a fan of barre classes. I think they are a great workout for both runners and non-runners a like. Yet there are a lot of reasons why you should try a barre class if you are a runner. With their focus on strengthening core, butt, and thighs, barre classes might just be what the doctor ordered to prevent running injuries. In fact, often times some of the moves mirror the moves that you do in physical therapy, but set to fun music in an energizing environment.
Barre classes include a ton of core work. Every barre class I have taken starts with planks and only gets harder from there. It’s definitely a solid core workout, and core strength is incredibly important for runners. Pick up any Runner’s World Magazine or talk to any running coach and they’ll stress the importance of a strong core. By doing barre regularly, you’ll notice a remarkable improvement in your core strength which will improve your running.
Barre classes always incorporate some stretching. They don’t include as much stretching as a yoga class, but I still leave each class feeling like I got a good stretch. With regular barre classes, you can expect increased flexibility. Through focused stretching, an improved range-of-motion is one of the greatest benefits of barre exercise. They often include a lot of hip opening work that helps with tight hips and IT band issues.
All Levels Welcome:
If you’ve only been running lately and are worried about your ability to keep up in a class, don’t be! There is no experience required. The friendly instructors will guide you through the movements and offer helpful feedback. Modifications will always be offered.
Work Your Muscles to Failure:
Barre’s tiny motions, many reps, intentional squeezes and pulses (otherwise known as isometric moves) are designed to fatigue muscles to failure (similar to the solidcore classes I love!) There is a lot of science behind why this works that I won’t try to explain, but the bottom line is that you will become stronger by working your muscles to failure.
Barre classes will increase your foot and ankle strength. A lot of the moves are done “releve” or on your toes. Building strength here can help to prevent plantar fasciitis or other common foot injuries for runners.
Barre Offers a No Impact Workout:
Give your joints a break. Barre classes are hard on muscles, kind on joints. The small, super-controlled movements that take place in barre classes reduce pressure on your joints, tendons, ligaments and spine.
Happy Byproduct- toned arms!
Toned triceps and shoulders might not be necessary to be a strong runner, but its a nice bonus of taking barre classes!
If you live in the Twin Cities, check out this post for a full review of all the different barre studios. We are fortunate to have a ton of great options to choose from. I bet there is a studio location and schedule that works for you. Try one out and let me know what you think!
…and an extra plug for my FAVORITE barre studio of the moment, the barre at 50th/France!