At Barreworks, our clients range in age from 20-75, often in the same class – and often with the older clients ‘out-performing’ the younger ones!
Lotte Berk, the doyenne of barre workouts was still teaching aged 93. The method is so versatile and adaptable, it really can suit any age or level of ability. The barre ‘community’ is supportive and empowering for women (and men!) of all ages and we know that friendships are made and nurtured at the barre which is of huge appeal to anyone living on their own who may want company from like-minded barre enthusiasts!
And aside from the social benefits, barre brings a myriad of health and fitness benefits too.
As we age, our movement becomes less fluid and dynamic. Joints can stiffen and flexibility may be lost. Although there is a natural degeneration, there is a lot we can do to slow this process down to hold onto our freedom, independence, and youthfulness for as long as possible.
Barre places a lot of focus on joint health, ensuring smooth, fluid movements that release synovial fluid. This provides the joints with nourishment to support the muscles through all movement.
If you have played competitive sports through your life, you may find that targeted strength training in certain areas of the body leads to tightness and immobility later in life. It’s all about balance – and it’s never too late to address movement limitation. You just have to work on it!
Lotte Berk, the doyenne of barre workouts was still teaching aged 93
As we age, we also lose muscle mass and bone density (women faster than men) so it’s vital that we place an increased focus on resistance training. In order to build strength, you have to use a force that causes a training effect, so if it’s manageable, you’ll never progress.
Barre uses light weights and resistance bands, but we also use high repetitions and we take you to fatigue every time.
The movements in barre are designed to challenge your strength and stability in the supporting hip, shoulder or at the pelvis or spine, so every movement or sequence will help build your strength in those key muscle groups – you just have to be prepared to go out of your comfort zone!
- Mental Fortitude
I credit Barre for giving me the mental resilience to reach the finals (and through 8 hours of interrogation) on Channel 4’s SAS Who Dares Wins.
Many clients also credit it for giving them the mental stamina to get through marathons and other endurance events. Many of the positions and movements are essentially ’stress positions’ that you have to maintain correct posture whilst executing. It takes a huge amount of focus and determination.
And not only that, but we teach you the skills of maintaining perfect ‘zen-like’ calm – as you would see in the facial expressions and body language of a dancer.
Dance and dance-based workouts have also been cited as being beneficial for mental health generally – and specifically for delaying symptoms of early-onset Alzheimers.
- Balance & posture
Ever seen a ballet dancer with poor balance or posture? No, didn’t think so! Ballet requires tremendous poise, control and alignment. Barre will help you develop all of those things and more.
The beauty of the method is that unlike many activities, sports and even gym workouts, barre highlights even the smallest imbalances in your body (which all affect posture and balance).
And don’t let that put you off – the key to addressing those imbalances is in being aware of them in the first place!
Postural imbalances affect nearly all of us to some degree or other – and our bodies get VERY good at compensating for them – which can lead to bigger problems down the line. Barre will teach you great techniques for spotting and correcting misalignments and give you a heightened ‘proprioceptive’ ability (ie brain/body awareness).
Barre is a disciplined workout – thanks to its roots in ballet, so there’s no time or allowance for resting or chatting and no distraction from the sequences and positions. But that doesn’t mean you don’t get to share knowing glances with your fellow barre-enthusiasts, or form close friendships with people you meet (and shake with!).
Barre & Brunch is really a ’thing’ and you’ll have plenty to talk about, dissecting the class you have just pushed yourself through…the best and worst parts!
Of course, all exercise is an endorphin release, but the intensity of a barre class is pure exhilaration. Like nothing you’ve experienced before.
You’ll leave the Studio with a spring in your step and a huge sense of achievement that only other barre clients will understand. Think of it as a secret fraternity, exchanging nods in the street or local café and recognising each other from the beautiful physique you have sculpted at the barre.
Contact Vicki at Barreworks to learn more!
A keen athlete, Vicki discovered the benefits of a dancer’s workout over 10 years ago. She found that not only did it improve her own shape, muscle tone and flexibility beyond recognition, but that it increased her strength and stamina for other sports.
In 2008, Vicki trained in the Lotte Berk Exercise Method and has since gained significant experience teaching classes on a group and private basis in a variety of locations across London, including at the Lotte Berk Studio, Fulham. With overwhelming demand for her classes, Vicki opened Barreworks Studio in Richmond in February 2010.
In August 2010, Vicki trained and qualified as a fully licensed instructor of the New York City Ballet Workout. This highly-esteemed and world-renowned method has inspired the creation of the Barreworks Ballet Workout – an entirely unique programme incorporating aspects from standing barre, floor barre, deep core exercises and simple, choreographed movement combinations.
Vicki’s theoretical learning includes the in-depth study of anatomy, physiology (including the specific physiology of stretching), study of the skeletal muscles, posture, core stability and pre and post natal exercise.
Vicki has strong links in the well-established barre scene in New York and has completed advanced-level Instructor training with the founders of one of the biggest barre Studio networks in the U.S, Exhale.