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Breaking Down the Barre Craze: Which Ballet-Inspired Workout is On Pointe for You?

Ballet dancers have flexible bodies conditioned from hours of training. Their specialized workouts create long and lean frames — think Natalie Portman in Black Swan. Their shapely legs, abs, thighs and buttocks come through hybrid weight training, Pilates and cardio workouts with some straight-up ballet pole (barre) stretching.

Their moves are spreading like wildfire, and barre-style workouts are popping up throughout the world with a variety of applications. From sweat-inducing cardio sessions that are hardly a dainty ballet class, to classes that stay true to their ballerina roots, there is a barre workout for you!

If you don’t want to dance in Swan Lake, but do want to get a more toned ballet-ready body, read on as we break down the different methods and tell you which celebrities are on pointe for this craze.

It doesn’t matter which class you choose — you are gonna WORK! 

beyond barre

BEYONDBARRE

Feel the burn and see the results in your core, arms and legs, and the glutes.

You’ll need a ballet barre, a handrail (or a counter top), and a super cool GlideBoard.

Inspired by ballet, ice skating, and intense cardio classes.

Differs from others because of an intense approach that incorporates cardio for fat burning and endurance.

Attend a class at one of a dozen studios in the U.S.

 

barre3

BARRE3

Described as ”ballet meets yoga and Pilates”

Utilizes a 3-step method where poses are held for longer periods with focus on small muscle movements. Session ends with a cardio blast.

Celebrity fans include Madonna, who may be striking a pose beside you at your next Barre3 class.

Required accessories include a yoga mat, small “prop” ball, ballet barre or sturdy chair.

Classes popping up in over 30 US cities, Canada and even the Philippines with more coming soon. DVDs: Seven different workouts sold on the Barre3.com website.


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Madonna’s Famous Arms Beginning to Lose Their Bulk

Whether good or bad, Madonna always makes news. Her music and career tend to be her biggest attention grabbers, however, her arms seem to pull a close second when it comes to attention. Love them or hate them, Madonna’s arms have a career all their own.

In the last 10 years Madonna’s biceps started making an appearance. About five years ago, the artist’s arms were so cut and lean she began to face a lot of criticism. Whether her arms were the punchline of a joke, or a point of contention, they were always news worthy.

A few years ago when Madonna’s arms were notoriously veiny, sports nutritionist Leslie Bonci told ABC News, “When muscles look that way, it’s often the result of pretty restrictive eating and dehydration… With bodybuilders, the goal is to be sinewy, to make everything stand out. How do you get to that goal? You restrict your fluid intake. But then you might collapse on stage.”


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Sadie Lincoln Is the Trainer Behind Barre3 and Madonna’s Hot Bod

barre3 creatorSadie Lincoln gave up on a traditionally successful career at 24 Hour Fitness to start barre3 with her husband Chris Lincoln, but the leap of faith paid off as the program has gained much success.  The classes and at-home workouts have gained popularity and a loyal following across the country. Madonna loves barre3 workouts so much she reportedly flew Lincoln from Portland to New York for workout sessions.

Barre3 combines elements of ballet, yoga and Pilates to create a dynamic workout that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Classes utilize a number of props, including the ballet barre, straps and mats. They’re designed to tone the body, improve posture and relieve stress. Although it’s a full-body workout, it particularly emphasizes the core. “I love coming up with new and effective ways to work the core and improve posture,” says Lincoln.

Lincoln began teaching group fitness classes to support herself when she was a student at UCLA, and soon discovered it was her calling. She attended graduate school at the College of William & Mary, where she studied higher education administration and was awarded a Graduate Assistantship to develop and run a group fitness class. After college, she began working at 24 Hour Fitness, where she met her mentor Mark Mastrov, who would become one of the barre3 co-founders. She opened the first barre3 studio in Southeast Portland in 2008, and had gone on to sell studio 22 franchises in addition to created a DVD series.


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At Age 53, Madonna’s Fit Body Rocked the Super Bowl

Last night’s Super Bowl Halftime Show proved that age is no barrier to good health. The pop superstar Madonna, now 53, stole the show, looking fitter than ever.

Wearing a mini-skirt and fishnets, Madonna danced and performed with many other big names, including LMFAO, Cee-Lo Green, and Nicki Minaj. Many of her dance moves showed off her mastery of balance that she’s learned after years of practicing yoga. The singer does much more than yoga though to look that great at age 53.

Madonna used to train with celeb fitness guru Tracy Anderson. Anderson created a dance workout routine that helped tone and sculpt Madonna’s body. Anderson even toured with Madonna at times to help keep her fit. Recently though, Madonna has been training with Sadie Lincoln, the founder of Barre3. Barre3 is a ballet-inspired exercise that uses elements from yoga, ballet, and Pilates.
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