Unless you’ve been living under a rock since the early ’00s, you’ve probably heard someone raving about the benefits of barre workouts.
The low-impact workout has gained a reputation as an effective way to achieve a lean, strong physique.
But can you also use barre for weight loss? Here’s what you need to know.
Is Barre Good for Weight Loss?
When it comes to weight loss, there’s not a whole lot of barre-specific research out there.
A focused strength training routine is typically the better bet for fat loss and weight maintenance because it creates a more sustained increase in metabolism.
But a cardio-focused barre workout can help you build muscle and burn calories — and if you enjoy it, you’re more likely to stick it out for the long haul.
Here are four things to consider if you want to use barre for weight loss.
1. Barre can improve strength
The idea of working muscles until they are fatigued — which is the basis of a killer barre workout — can be an effective way to build muscle.
Barre’s high-rep sets can help you get stronger, and “muscle is crucial for weight loss,” says Kellie Davis, personal trainer and founder of Fit Thrive.
The more muscle you have, Davis explains, the more energy your body uses day to day — and that can contribute to weight loss.
2. Barre is beginner-friendly
If you’re just beginning your fitness journey or returning to the world of exercise after a significant break, barre could be a great starting point.
A traditional barre workout uses a ballet barre and light free weights, combined with low-impact, isometric movements — though each studio or streaming barre workout may differ slightly in technique.
3. Cardio-focused barre can spur weight loss even further
Some barre workouts bump up the intensity to really get your heart pumping.
“We amplify results with a strong cardio component,” says Andrea Rogers, creator of Xtend Barre, a 30-minute cardio mix of Pilates and ballet barre. “You will sweat.”
After an intense barre workout — one where you really push your limits — you may also burn additional calories from a process known as the afterburn effect.
4. Barre can build your fitness community
“There’s something extremely special about working out with a community and being in a group of women all motivating and empowering each other,” Rogers says.
Not into the gym? Good news — research suggests you can still get the benefits of group exercise via digital tech.
You can find your own fitness community with BODgroups. BODgroups is BODi’s community-based platform that will help you stay motivated, accountable, and connected.
How Does Barre Fit Into a Workout Schedule?
If you want to try barre for weight loss, it’s important to switch it up so you’re not doing the same exact workout every day.
“If a person takes the same exact barre class week after week, for months or years on end, the effects might get lost,” Davis says. “The more you move in a variety of different ways, the more success you will have along your weight-loss journey.”
Your best bet when using barre for weight loss: Follow a workout program that combines barre with strength training and high-intensity workouts.
Can Barre Help With Weight Management?
Yes. Barre can be effective when you’re looking to get your heart pumping, build strength, lose some weight, or all of the above.
Here are three ways barre may help you manage your weight:
1. It’s fun
If you enjoy barre, chances are you’ll actually stick with it. And weight management is all about leading a healthy lifestyle, not resorting to fads or quick fixes.
“The more we love what we are doing, the more likely we will see results from it,” Davis says.
Whereas if you sign up for a workout that you absolutely hate just because someone else lost weight doing it, you may not see the same results.
2. It’s low-impact
Barre can also be a great option for staying active while dealing with an injury. Because barre is low-impact, it is likely a safer bet than a higher-impact exercise like running or plyo.
But to avoid aggravating an injury, you should definitely talk to your doctor before trying any new workout.
3. It’s great for all fitness levels
Barre can be a great stepping stone to embark on your fitness journey.
As long as you challenge yourself—either by upping your weight, trying a more advanced barre workout, or alternating barre classes with other forms of exercise — chances are, you’ll see the results you want.