Ballet and Pilates Micro-Movements Can Have Macro Effects

Many high-intensity interval training programs promote themselves as the way to your ultimate fitness goals. Yet, have you ever tried to take a bodybuilder and get him to plie? If you have participated in several different workout regimens, you may have wondered how these seemingly less demanding ballet-inspired classes still make you shake, sweat, and feel the burn. BFW explores the differences and why classic strength-training moves are in no way less impactful. 

With a typical strength or cardio workout where exercises such as leg extension, squats, or push-ups are common, the movement is taking your joints through a full range of motion. With this, you can increase muscle faster, but also fatigue it quicker. However, with planks or single-leg balances that are common in ballet-inspired classes, there is little or no joint movement. The benefit is that you are focusing on very specific muscles and using your body weight as resistance. Besides, these workouts enlist different types of muscle fibers. The movements, referred to as Isometric contractions provide a low force output but can keep working the muscle for an extended period. The muscle fibers used here are what we use to maintain our posture, joint position, and even walk for long distances. 

Does it mean that these types of micro-movements have micro-effects? Since you are performing many reps of the same movement involving specific muscles in barre or Pilates, you’re working those muscles to exhaustion, which means you’re going past your comfort zone—and you’re going to feel it. These moves lead to muscle endurance that improves your overall fitness levels and will improve everything from running a 5k to just climbing a flight of stairs without feeling a quick burn. 

Other benefits to barre classes are that balance and flexibility are essential to the movements and that is not something that is typically highlighted in standard cardio or strength workouts. You are also really engaging your core muscles that are assisting to stabilize your entire body, really making these workouts a total-body exercise. Why don’t you experience for yourself the benefits of these amazing routines by signing up for one of BFW’s virtual classes so you can obtain the total-body workout with dance.


What are you waiting for? Have you signed up for any of our Ballet Fitness Classes? See the full lineup HERE.