Warming up for Pilates Barre is essential says Inner Strength Pilates MD

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It’s important to warm up properly prior to embarking on a series of Pilates Barre exercises, warns leading Adelaide Pilates instructor Tamara Gollan in her latest article.

Warming up for barre classes is essential

Warming up prior to Barre classes

This exercise doesn’t just warm up the body and get the heart rate going, it also strengthens your body’s core muscle groups.

In How to Properly Warm Up: Barre Class Exercises with Plie to Tone, Lengthen and Strengthen Thighs and Butt Gollan insists it’s essential to get the heart rate high then goes on to demonstrate exactly how to achieve that in the accompanying video.

The exercise employs several ballet movements, one of which involves brushing the leg from a 90 degree angle or higher. Another incorporated dance movement is a plie which involves bending and mounting the knees. The outcome is to lengthen and strengthen both the thighs and butt.

Gollan encourages her students to take a look at the three minute and 46 second video titled Barre Class Exercises with plie to tone, lengthen and strengthen thighs and butt to get a better idea of what is involved prior to attending one of her company’s Barre classes.

The exercise can be practiced at home and begins with the legs displayed in what is termed ‘second position.’ The toes are made to point outwards and the weight is displaced evenly on both feet.

Forming the body into the plie position and bending the knees it’s important that the body remains upright. This means avoiding leaning forward where the butt is left to stick out. From the side the body should be straight.

The next step is to attempt to push the knees out over the toes, again ensuring that they don’t lean forward. The body should be lengthened through the crown of the head.

Next it’s a case of crossing the hands in front of the body, undertaking a plie and, on the outward breath, taking the body’s weight on just one leg. The other leg should be kicked up in the air at a 90 degrees angle, ensuring it is level with the hip bone or, preferably, higher. The core muscle group should also be engaged to ensure the body remains straight and in a stable position.

Breathing in, the next stage is to get back down in the plie position, breathe out and once again lift the leg in a 90 degrees position.

The Barre exercise is repeated a number of times quickly in succession in order to speed up the heart rate. This is achieved by encouraging the blood to circulate throughout the body which has the result of warming it up.

Gollan says: “The really great thing about this exercise is that it doesn’t just warm up the body and get the heart rate going, but it’s also excellent at strengthening your body’s core muscle groups.

"Another plus is that it’ll tone your legs as you go into that bend. The kick meanwhile strengthens the quads, glutes and hamstrings of the supporting leg. So really, it’s a great all-rounder.”

The former professional dancer goes on to warn that it’s important to do the exercise slowly at first to ensure the correct technique is picked up. Once this has been achieved the routine should then be increased to a comfortable speed.

To find out more about other warm-up exercises or to see what is involved in a Barre and Pilates class then take a look at the Inner Strength Pilates website here. It's also possible to pre-book and pay for an individual session or a block of classes using the website’s online timetable facility.

Meanwhile a live chat feature offers immediate answers from one of the company’s Pilates instructors. Alternatively take a look at the company’s FAQ page, Facebook or Google Plus accounts.

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Tamara Abdilla

Tamara Abdilla
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