Barre helps you achieve dancer look

Barre traces its roots to classic ballet, developed by a former ballerina who had suffered a back injury and came up with a rehab routine that incorporated her dance training.

The focus in barre, new to the Waynesboro YMCA, is on muscle endurance, said Y fitness instructor Trish LaGrua.

“You can do something, like a regular squat or a plie squat, or having your feet in first position or second position, and you’ll do a lot of reps without any breaks. It’s about really being able to sustain that pace. The concept is improving your muscle endurance,” said LaGrua, who helped bring barre to the YMCA with classes beginning earlier this year.

The workout incorporates work at the barre – yes, similar to a ballet barre – that focuses on lower-body strength and endurance, while core and upper-body movements are largely done on the mat.

The sum is to bring about a sort of cardio effect to weight training.

“You start sweating immediately, and it kind of catches you by surprise. Because you’ll be doing these little ranges of motion, but you’re doing tons of reps, and you start to sweat, and you really feel it, the muscle burn,” LaGrua said.

The class also focuses on lengthening muscles, not building muscle mass, per se. Think: the dancer look.

“Definitely strengthening. Your body gets stronger, holding reps for that long.”

The classes are offered at the Y on Tuesdays from 5:15-6 p.m. and Fridays from 10:10-11 am.

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