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Introduction to Strength Training

An Introduction to Strength Training

Looking to boost your metabolism, increase your strength, and enhance your mental clarity? Enter strength training. When incorporated regularly into your workout routine, strength training can provide many benefits. Let’s explore the basic concepts of strength training and how you can maximize the results and benefits it provides.

What is Strength Training?

Strength training (also known as resistance training) is a form of exercise focused on gaining muscle mass, building strength, and increasing endurance. Strength training encompasses a wide variety of exercises, using bodyweight or equipment, with a focus on building muscle mass in all major muscle groups – upper body, lower body, and core.

Strength training has many forms. Bodyweight exercises like lunges, squats, push ups, and planks are examples of strength training, as are movements that incorporate kettlebells and dumbbells. Resistance and weight machines like leg press, chest press, cables, leg abductors, and pull up machines can all be incorporated into a strength training workout.

Maximizing Results from Strength Training

Warming up your muscles through dynamic stretching before engaging in strength training is important for maximizing your workouts and avoiding injury. Also essential in avoiding injury is proper rest and recovery between strength training sessions. In order to allow muscle recovery between more intense workouts, workout “splits” (focusing on one main muscle group per workout and alternating between them in a pattern) can be beneficial. Regardless of workout intensity, proper stretching and refueling post-workout will assist in muscle growth and recovery.

Health Benefits of Strength Training

The most obvious benefit of strength training is an increase in muscle mass and a toned physique, but this form of exercise also helps build bone density and joint flexibility. Strength training may also be ideal for fat loss as increased muscle mass leads to a higher resting metabolic rate (calories burned at rest). Along with physical benefits, engaging in consistent exercise like strength training contributes to overall health (better sleep!) and mental clarity.

Strength training may seem intimidating at first, but it is a beneficial practice for people at all skill and strength levels. If you’re new to strength training, start with smaller weights or lower reps and increase gradually as you build strength and confidence. Make sure to focus on your warm up, practice proper form, and allow time for recovery to decrease your soreness and maximize your results.

See all the strength training classes we offer at ​yogafevergr.com/classes/strength/

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What is Barre?

What is Barre?

Today we’ll explore the basics of what barre is, the equipment it uses, and discover the unique benefits of this form of exercise.

Barre was created by ballerina Lotte Berk in 1959. After a back injury, Berk began combining her normal ballet routines with her rehabilitative therapy exercises and formed what we know today as barre. So what is barre, exactly? And how different is it from ballet and other forms of exercise?

Basics of Barre

Barre is a form of full-body exercise that combines movements and positions borrowed from ballet with low-impact, repetitive strength exercises, designed to isolate and strengthen muscles. Barre classes often rotate through sections focusing on arms, core/abs, and lower body, repeating small isometric movements targeting one muscle area until muscles are fatigued (yes, you’ll be shaking!) While these movements are the basis of barre exercise, modern barre may include “fusion” classes, incorporating barre movements alongside cardio, HIIT, pilates, and more.

Equipment Used in Barre

Although barre gets its name from the use of the ballet barre, that isn’t the only piece of equipment used in barre exercise. Many barre classes also incorporate resistance bands, sliders, hand or ankle weights, or exercise balls. Body weight movements are often included and, when used, weights are kept light due to the repetitive nature of the exercises. Participants may exercise in bare feet or in socks (socks with special grips may be preferred).

Benefits of Barre

Barre is often praised for its ability to help isolate and tone lean muscle throughout all parts of the body. The slow, repetitive movements used allow you to work muscles in a more focused way than traditional strength training exercises (think squats, push ups, or mountain climbers). The low-impact movements of barre are also significantly easier on your joints than high-impact strength training. In addition to building strength, participants can expect to see increased flexibility and a stronger core. Another benefit? Improved posture and balance. And, like all forms of exercise, barre is beneficial in improving overall health, reducing stress, and increasing mental clarity.

You definitely don’t need a dance background to experience the benefits and fun that barre classes have to offer, so don’t let that intimidate you! In fact, no prior experience or knowledge is required to participate in barre. Whether you’re a total beginner or a former ballerina, barre is a fantastic option for ​anyone​looking to build strength, tone muscle, and increase their mind-body connection.

Schedule your first barre class with us at ​yogafevergr.com/schedule

*Blog post written by Jordan An