Any athlete should strive for a balanced and strong physique. This is especially true for runners. Obviously, this is easier said that done. It takes time, energy, discipline and consistency. I (Allison) have been a life long running. My father set me down this path shortly after I learned how to walk. We spent countless weekends at road races…he ran marathons.
About five years ago, I started teaching Barre class. Barre is a core strength class that uses a ballet bar. It was obvious these hard classes would strengthen my body and help with running.
I have had several runners decided that Barre classes needed to be a regular part of their training. So many great runners are guilty of doing nothing but running which is often the rate limiting factor in their success. It takes more effort to drive to a Barre workout rather than run out the front door, but it is a necessity. Not to mention the classes are a blast!
Here is how Barre classes help my running.
- Barre classes focus on strengthening core muscles. Core strength is used to run faster. Just pick up a Runner’s World or ask any running coach.
- Barre classes incorporate stretching. By taking 2 classes a week you get some consistent stretching.
- Here is one benefit you may not have thought of: foot strength. Stronger feet, ankles and toes will undoubtably help your running.
- Barre also helps improve balance. Many of the exercises in Barre are done along the ballet bar in releve (on the toes). It takes a ton of balance to hold these poses with one hand. For an added challenge these positions are done hands free!
- For part of barre class, we use light weights for arm strength.
- I believe that barre classes have a meditative quality. I know we play really loud music and you are working really hard, but the classes have a definite inward focus. The small range of motion paired with the difficulty of the class focuses you mentally.
- As a runner, my body gets plenty of high impact, joint rattling exercise. Barre is very kind to my body.
- Barre classes help my running stamina. My body is more efficient when I run because it is balanced and stronger.