Friday, August 1, 2014

Why I love barre workouts as a triathlete...

For the past 3 years, I have been a regular at my local barre studio - iNSiDE Out - in Ottawa.  I also recently started teaching barre classes there, and I love it!  For triathletes and non-triathletes alike, barre is an awesome low-impact workout with high-impact results.  My body shape transformed once I started taking barre classes.  The combination of isometric movements and body weight resistance, as well as some mental toughness, helped to reshape, strengthen and lengthen my muscles.  I truly believe that barre has been a beneficial part of my triathlon training, and here is why...

  • Barre creates strong, toned muscles without bulk, which is great for runners. 
  • Barre classes can be tough. Your muscles are shaking and all you want to do is quit.  The mental strength you gain from challenging yourself in a barre class translates to the mental strength needed to push yourself on race day!
  • Barre improves your posture!  Swimmer slouch be gone!
  • The movements in barre help to strengthen the small muscles around your joints.  This is hugely beneficial for stability.  For runners especially, barre targets your quads, glutes, core, and hamstrings in a way that helps to strengthen and stabilize your hips, knees, and ankles. 
  • Barre is a full 60-minute core workout and a strong core benefits all aspects of triathlon - running, biking, and swimming!
  • iNSiDE Out prides itself on being an injury-free workout. The last thing you want in the middle of your triathlon season is an injury induced by your cross-training.  Barre classes will help you get to the finish line stronger and injury-free.
  • Barre helps you make a mind-muscle connection teaching you to activate and fire specific muscles - like your glutes. 
  • Barre classes include a significant amount of stretching, which is obviously beneficial for triathletes.  I love the stretch portion, and it's impossible to skip, since it is built right into the class.
  • Finally, barre makes me happy!  I love the studio and all of the guests. Everyone is friendly and inspiring. It is hard to leave class without a smile on your face!  And, since we have so many other runners and triathletes attending classes, you're sure to see some familiar faces.

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