11:25 am

Benefits of a Barre Body Core

Barre Body Core

At Barre Body Studio we talk about the core A LOT! When we talk about The Core, we are not referring to the downtown YYC shopping center. Instead we are referring to the group of muscles with in our bodies that promote full body strength, energy and power. We are talking about the muscles the help prevent injuries and that help to improve posture. We talk about the core muscles a lot because we think they are a big deal. (Did you know a strong core can make you look taller?).

In modern day fitness, core training has become synonymous with abdominals conditioning. However in truth the core is a much bigger grouping of muscles than just the abdominals. The core is a group of muscles that aids in muscle and joint stability. The job of the “core” muscles is to aid in internal body functions as well as to assist the body in the physical acts of heavy lifting and pushing. The core is the muscle group that supports the back, spine and shoulders. Core strength helps prevent injuries and increases balance.

The core muscles are way more than just the “abs”.  Anatomically, the core muscle group begins just below the arm pit and runs down to the top of the lower torso. Basically the core is everything but the arms, legs and head. The core group of muscle includes:

  • The Gluteus Muscle Group (gluteus medius, minimus, and maximus and hamstring muscles).
  • The Hip Muscle Group: (hip flexors and hip abductors).
  • The Abdominal Muscle Group: (external and internal obliques, traverse abdominals and the rectus abdominals)
  • The Spinae Muscle Group: (erector spinae and multifidus)

The strength and power of our body is fired up by the core muscles. When the trunk, pelvis and torso of the body are strong and stable; power from the core is transferred to other muscles groups outside of the core. When the core is strong, the body is strong.  The benefits of core training are esthetic (improved posture combined with flat abs), functional (improved balance, strength and mobility) and mental (increased self-confidence and body confidence).  A Barre Body strong core will help you run faster, cycle stronger and ski longer.

At Barre Body studio some of our favourite core exercises are:

  • Barre Body Mountain Climber: This engages the entire trunk of the body to stay balanced. When we bring our knees to meet our chest we engage the front, side and back oblique muscles as well as the hip flexors.
  • Barre Body Pelvic Tucks: This move engages the pelvic floor, traverse abs and the glutes. The glutes work to support the body while the pelvic muscle contracts and releases.
  • Barre Body Standing Oblique Knee Crunches: This engages the obliques, the hip abductor, the glutes, the hamstrings and the rectus abdominals. As we crunch our knee to our elbow we are focusing on the exterior oblique crunch. To perform the move the entire core has to fire up in order to maintain muscle balance.

If you want to try more of our favourite core moves, meet us at the Barre.

10:41 am

What is Isometric Exercise?

[caption id="attachment_896" align="alignnone" width="1200"]....AND Hold!! ....AND Hold!![/caption]

What is Isometric Exercise?

If you have been to class, you probably recognize Isometric Exercise as, "... and hold."

Isometric Exercise occurs when the joint angle and muscle length don't change. Basically, hold, don't move and feel the burn! At Barre Body Studio we have developed our classes around the principles of isometric exercise.

Isometrics and "pulses" allow the muscles of our body to contract to their deepest point. Research has shown that because of the reduced blood flow during prolonged muscle tension, numerous growth factors remain in the muscle tissue longer and actually stimulate muscle growth. When you work in isometric motions you not only blast calories but also build strength. By focusing on "teeny-tiny movements," you rev up those smaller muscles, (which act to support the larger muscle groups).

At Barre Body Studio we pulse and hold because it works to exhaust and engage both the accessory muscles as well as the larger muscles. We credit the "Pulse and Hold" for the barre results we love. You know: defining that long, lean and more toned look.

Oh, and the shaking? Well, that's your larger muscles being pushed to their limits! The shake is where change happens; the smaller muscles kick in to help the larger muscles balance. So the next time you hear "... and hold," know that you are sculpting a stronger, leaner you!