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Behind the Scenes: Total Barre® Principles – Part 1

Ballet barre workouts continue to be one of the hottest forms of fitness, with no shortage of programs available on the market. However, as its popularity increases, so do the number of injuries among exercisers, specifically around the knees, lower back and shoulders. With so many programs out there, choosing the most effective and responsible barre class is paramount.

Behind the Scenes: Total Barre

Today, we’re giving you a sneak peek into three of the Total Barre Principles and why it’s ‘the smarter barre’.

Employing a series of biomechanical body awareness protocols, the principles work together to create a synthesis of movement quality for the body that delivers results. Ensuring that clients develop a good understanding of these principles at an early stage helps create an awareness of how their bodies function and enhances their ability and mindfulness.

  1. Breathing Principle: Breath pattern should contribute to movement, not hinder it. By placing emphasis on three-dimensional breathing, especially into the posterior and lateral aspects of the rib cage, blood will be oxygenated, muscles will be relaxed and mental concentration will be facilitated. Not only will an emphasis on breathing affect the body as a whole, but also the flow of movement during the class.
  2. Pelvic Placement Principle: As the majority of a Total Barre class is performed standing, it’s important that the spine is stabilized in the most optimal shock absorbing position. Focus is placed on stabilization of the pelvis and lumber spine in a number of positions but most often in a neutral position in the sagittal plane. This is a good place to promote efficient movement patterns and allows for muscles supporting the hip joint to work effectively through different ranges of movement.
  3. Rib Cage Placement & Stabilization: Did you know that there’s a direct relationship between arm movements and the placement of the rib cage and thoracic spine? Anatomically, the abdominal wall attaches to the lower ribs. Often the rib cage will elevate or deviate forward when standing so during inhalation or while performing arm gestures overhead, there should be an awareness that the abdominal muscles support the movement without restricting it.

Look forward to an upcoming post exploring the final three principles, separating Total Barre from the pack!

Update: Part 2 of this article has been posted. Continue to part 2.

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