Warm Up The warm up is performed in the centre of the room, away from the barre. Movements including knee raises, tendus and small plies are performed to upbeat music in order to warm up the body, mobilise the joints and increase heart rate and cardiovascular efficiency. Arm and feet movements should be included that reflect the basic five basic ballet positions. Barre Work The main bulk of the class (at least half of the lesson) is spent at the barre.
The main concentration of this section is focused on the legs and butt, although there are a few upper body exercises that may be performed here as well. In a traditional ballet class, the exercises performed at the barre are viewed as a preparation for the work done afterwards in the centre of the room. However, in a Barre class, the work done at the barre is viewed as the main workout and so follows a different emphasis and structure.
In the Centre Once the barre exercises have been completed, the workout then moves into the centre. This is where small, light hand weights may be included to work the upper body in terns of strength and endurance. Hand weight exercises are usually performed in conjunction with a leg movement in order to increase the heart rate and stamina. Power movements may be included at the end of the floorwork section such as ballet jumps in first or second position in order to burn body fat and increase stamina.
Floor Work Since there is limited upper body work and abdominal exercises that can be done at the barre, this work is included in the floor work section. Leg and butt work may also be included in this section although less emphasis is needed for these muscle groups, since the majority of the exercises involving those muscle groups have been performed already at the barre. Final Stretches Developmental stretches are performed at the end of the session, particularly for the legs and butt. Stretches for the arms are included where upper body work has been executed during the floor work section. Repetitions and Sets The number of repetitions performed for a given exercise is usually eight.
These are generally performed slowly and with great control similar to the Pilates method. Following the slow repetitions, certain exercises will involve twenty further repetitions, usually performed within a very small range of movement. Theses are generally performed right at the end of the range of movement with a pulsing type of muscular action similar to some sports conditioning techniques. Following the small pulses, certain exercises will then require a static hold similar to holding a yoga pose.
Slow, deep yoga type breathing is done during the static hold. This final position is usually held for around ten seconds, although may be more/ less depending upon the ability of the client group. A minimum of one set as performed above is required. Depending upon the ability, needs and wants of the client group, up to two more sets may be done as necessary. A typical exercise will therefore be performed as follows: Full range repetitions Small end range pulse contractions Static hold Stretch