Ballet Barre Health

Why is barre fitness so good for men?

Barre fitness, unfortunately, has still a reputation to be a “girly” sport, designed only for women. However, more and more men are taking barre classes. Surprisingly, I was so happy to hear that professional athletes such as football and rugby players, now do barre workouts as well, breaking the stereotypes associated with ballet and men. So why is barre fitness so good for men too?

Let’s break men’s preconceived beliefs about a barre workout

  • It’s like taking a dance class

It is true that several professional football players and athletes actually do take real ballet classes but barre fitness is different from ballet training.

It is a dynamic whole-body fitness workout inspired by ballet moves, mixing them with bodyweight, Yoga, and Pilates exercises. It uses core ballet techniques and adapts them to the format of a fitness class.

There is indeed a ballet barre involved… and some of the vocabulary used for the moves is still in French such as “plié” for a squat.

  • I am not enough flexible

One of the main reasons why men believe they can’t do barre is that they think that they are not flexible enough to perform the stretches. They are right! However, you don’t get flexible overnight and barre fitness helps you become more flexible. The key to seeing results is consistency.

  • Stretching is boring

Where is the fun in holding a certain position for 30 seconds? Well, stretching is not about having fun like playing a football game, I must admit. But over time, as you start feeling the positive changes in your body and health benefits to your joints, you get addicted to it and start asking for more because being inflexible is too painful in the first place.

Read here “why is stretching so important?”

  • It’s too easy and not challenging enough for me

There is only one answer to this belief: just try it, at least once in your lifetime! I have read that many guys are very surprised at how hard and challenging a barre workout is.

A lot of the exercises are isolated movements that target specific muscles that are “hard-to-hit” muscles. It is an intense workout with almost no rest between exercises, a bunch of repetitions on your toes, isometric holds, and quick pulses that set your quads and calves on fire and make you shake like crazy, yet relieving joint pain.

Barre fitness is a great addition to complement your gym workout routine. As an example, many exercises in barre target the mid-glutes and if your mid-glutes are weak while doing your squats, that’s when you injure your back.

Barre will improve all your compound moves like deadlifts. You will work out the insides of your legs which are often forgotten at the gym.

You will also learn how to engage your core, focusing more effectively on your stabilizing muscles.

  • To get a good upper-body workout, you need heavy weight lifting

If your goal is to get huge “Hulk-like” arms, yes for sure! Barre fitness does not aim at getting you to look bulky but it does challenge your arms and core, hitting all those intrinsic muscles that you don’t target at the gym and neither use in everyday life. It is a brutal arm workout that makes you feel so sore.

The shaking that you experience while trying to maintain various positions, fires up your twitching muscle fibers, causing so much discomfort and pain. However, the trembling is how your body builds strength by breaking down muscle fibers.

Read here “why do muscles shake during a workout? is it a good thing?”

Why footballers and other professional athletes take ballet classes?

Improved flexibility

It can never be overemphasized how important flexibility is. On a football field, it helps players catch passes, avoid defenders, and decrease their chances to get injured.

Enhanced stability

Ballet dancers need a good balance to perform all those jumps, poses, and turns.

In the same way, a great balance helps the players stay stable when opponents try to tackle them and it optimizes those leaping catches.

Targets deep ignored muscles

Practicing ballet or barre fitness strengthens muscles that are not used during a traditional body training.

Increased focus

Ballet improves your focus. Dancers need twice the concentration to perform challenging precise movements that appear effortless and gracious. Football players can only benefit from it on the field!

Optimized endurance

Ballet is an intense aerobic “HIIT workout” that requires great stamina. Players need a lot of endurance to keep them running on the field!

Improved running Speed

Strong legs, knees, and ankles boost up your running speed. A lot of exercises in ballet are done on your toes, thus reinforcing those ankles. Speed is decisive on the field!

Read here “what is ballet barre fitness?” to learn some more about this subject.

Bottom line

I hope you understand better now why a barre workout is super beneficial to men and athletes of all kinds. What is most interesting to me is that it highly complements any traditional gym fitness routine because it targets smaller muscle groups (deeper muscles) that are missed.

What about you? have your preconceived opinions (if you had any) been broken? I am curious to know your thoughts on this subject, so please don’t hesitate to leave your comments below.

Also, if you’ve found this article helpful, why not share and pin it for later?

Barre fitness-a fit healthy man in black shorts

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  1. I have not yet tried a barre class though I have friends who are absolutely hooked on the practice (one just took her 1,000th class!). I hadn’t really thought of it as a practice that would appeal more to men or women, but it’s good to be aware of what pre-conceived notions might be floating out there. This really looks like a great way to get fit and strong without bulking up. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Thank you! That’s right, barre fitness is a great way to get fit without bulking up. You should try it!

  2. Enrique says:

    HI, Anne-Caroline,

    I’ve never practiced barre fitness, but I must admit I’ve been curious about it. I don’t think there is such a thing as workouts for men or women. They can all be adapted.

    In my experience, I practiced Pilates for years, something which is considered a workout for women. In fact, most of the people I knew that did Pilates were women. There was only a handful of men. However, the benefits you get from it are tremendous. You get to work your “powerhouse” (your core), develop lean, sculpted muscles, and increase your flexibility and coordination. I can attest to the many benefits.

    What do you recommend for a newbie? Is this something I can do at home? Do I need any special equipment? I’d love to know.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Hello, you can definitely practice barre at home and you only need a chair to replace “the barre” used in the studio. The benefits you get from a barre workout is very similar to the ones from Pilates (sculpted lean muscles, increased flexibility, and coordination). Thank you for your comment!

  3. Misael H says:

    Thank you so much for providing this for us men. I don’t know how many other men need to hear this but Barre Fitness is EXTREMELY good for you! I have been doing it for a month and it has done nothing but good to my body. I will be sharing this article on my social media so that more men understand this. Thank you for sharing 

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Thank you!! 

  4. Nuttanee says:

    I personally think that all types of work outs are great for anyone and also for any gender as well. As long as you get yourself moving and have some variation it is great for you. No wonder why the barre workout is great for men and athletes. I am going to share your post with my male friends. 

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Absolutely!! It is essential to diversify and engage all the muscles in your body. Thank you for your comment!

  5. Sunny says:

    Thank you for such a great introduction to barre fitness. I have been seeing ads for this kind of exercise for a while now and I am glad I learned what a great experience it can be. I will try to find it on a beach body. Maybe they have a program there? Or maybe you have a recommendation for a trainer I could follow? 


    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      You are welcome! Yes, you can find a barre fitness studio near you I am sure. You could also find free workouts on youtube as well. 

  6. Do you have any more posts on this subject? This was really useful

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