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3 Reasons Barre is Awesome for Runners

I love barre classes. I’ve been doing barre for years and I largely credit it for remaining (*knock on wood*) injury-free. Back when I first starting running and had the crazy idea to run a marathon after just a few months, I had some minor IT band issues. I got myself to regular barre classes and those issues faded away within a week or two. I haven’t had problems since and I’m sure it’s because I’m good about hitting the barre regularly.

There are so many reasons I love barre, but here are my top three:

1. It increases flexibility – Flexible runners are healthy runners. Flexibility improves joint mobility, which in turn, keeps things running (literally) smoothly out on the road. Whether it’s your IT band or your hamstrings, keeping those muscles flexible can keep away a host of knee and foot problems, like runner’s knee or plantar fasciitis, especially if you’re one of those runners who doesn’t bother to stretch immediately after a run, something which I’m guilty of more often than not.

2. It builds strength – Strong runners are faster runners. Study after study has proven that building strength also increases speed. If you’re looking to improve your race times, try adding in strength work instead of just logging more miles. And you don’t have to do a ton of sessions to see improvements. Just twice a week should do it.

3. It’s a low-impact counterpoint to the high-impact of running – Logging lots of miles on the road means lots of impact on joints and muscles, and balancing all of that impact out with something lower impact gives those joints and muscles a break. In addition to the physical break, barre provides a mental break, too. Changing up workouts helps keep boredom at bay. If you’re one of those people (like me) who likes a change of pace a few times a week, barre is the perfect choice.

 

I often hear from runners who express apprehension about trying barre because they think it’s dance and they aren’t coordinated enough. But don’t worry, you do not have to be a dancer or have a ballet background to do barre classes. While the classes are inspired by ballet, they aren’t dance classes. If you’re concerned about your coordination (or lack thereof), don’t be! Barre is for just about everyone and if you’re a runner and stick with barre consistently, it can lead to running improvements.

Any other runners out there love their barre workouts, too? If you haven’t tried it, what’s stopping you? If you have tried it, what do you love most about it?

Contributed by BE Ambassador, Christine Esoldo. Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor or therapist and this isn’t meant to be medical advice. It’s just my personal story about how barre classes benefit me as a runner.