The Benefits of Barre for Skiers
Tone and strengthen your way to incredible days on the slopes. Barre fitness is coveted for muscle strengthening and lengthening, low-impact toning and shaping and full-on mind-body sharpening. Skiers and snowboarders: Here’s why you should add barre workouts to your winter fitness lineup.
During a barre workout, tiny one-inch movements are performed repeatedly while focusing on specific muscle groups. You may move from core to arms to legs to glutes, toning as you go. These small isometric movements fire the muscle with contractions that bring on that famous slow-twitch shake. This is the sign of a killer workout! One that’s increasing your stamina and endurance—both key ingredients for a successful powder day.
While you’re sculpting that classic ballerina barre body, you’re engaging and targeting your abdominals. Barre regulars report improved core strength and posture. Some even say they feel taller and have less lower back tension. The high-rep, low-weight, tiny-pulse payoff? A strong midsection, improved balance and a confident grace that naturally transitions from the barre to the mountain.
Barre’s small, uber-controlled pulses and squeezes leave muscles feeling stretched and strengthened. Each muscle group is worked thoroughly to the point of fatigue. Embrace the shake that comes along with exhausting a muscle—it’s totally natural and means that you’re toning and changing underused parts of your body. With this new strength comes increased range of motion. Bonus: Calling on bodyweight or small hand weights, barre’s isometric contractions strengthen muscles without straining tendons or joints. Your knees will thank you when you’re shredding moguls and carving trees.
While you’re holding, engaging and making small alignment corrections, your mind is forced to focus on tiny details and muscles. This heightened level of awareness sharpens mental concentration—an excellent trait to carry over to skiing and snowboarding, especially on steeper challenging terrain. In addition to power, grace, posture, strong thighs and a lifted butt, the best news about barre is that even though it was born from a former ballerina, the workout really is for everyone. No dance experience or sense of rhythm is required. All body shapes and sizes are welcome. But be forewarned: Your ski pants may suddenly be a little baggy after a few of these Studio B sessions.
By Lisa Blake
Lisa is a Summit County-based freelance writer who enjoys writing about health, wellness, dining and skiing. Find her work in Breckenridge Magazine, The Purist, 5280.com, and at lisablakecreative.com.