There is definitely something to the saying “no pain, no gain.” The workout that tops our list of hurting so good is none other than barre class. We head to the studio to get that dancer bod that’s strong, limber and lean. And it’s there that we tuck, plank and pulse to muscle exhaustion (oh the pain!).
What is it all about?
Barre workouts focus on isometric movements that isolate the muscle group. According to Women’s Health Magazine, “When a dancer holds her leg up, the main muscles recruit other, smaller muscle fibers that are often neglected in dynamic exercises. Strengthening these fibers gives them better range of motion, making them more flexible and less prone to injury.”
Holding and pulsing for an extended period of time, exhausts the muscles causing you to shake and feel a burn. Those are signs the movements are working!
So what can you do to ease the pain from your favorite barre workout?
When we say pain, we don’t mean PAIN. You should feel some discomfort (after all, that’s where the change happens), but if there is severe pain you must back off to avoid injury. Backing off doesn’t mean are missing the benefit of the exercise - modifying while keeping form and technique still gives you results.
The best defense for your moment of unpleasant pulsing is to just smile. Smiling alerts the brain to release endorphins, which is a natural pain reliever. Voila!
Rising up to your toes for relevé is commonly done in barre class. Holding relevé tones the tush, quads and calves. It’s a miracle move that also causes your feet to scream, especially at the metatarsal head. Alleviate this discomfort by wearing barre socks designed to cushion and protect this space on your foot.
Try the three barre sock styles ToeSox has designed with a perfectly placed leather pad made for dancers and barre babes.
Don’t let a little bit of discomfort stop you from transforming your body and building your self confidence. The more you go to barre class and practice these pain-relieving tips, the better you will be at mastering the barre moves. And just remember – it never gets easy, you’ll just better at it.