One thing that brings people back to the barre is the BURN! But what happens when the burn turns to burnout or even worse, injury? As a barre-tender myself, I want people to enjoy the benefits of this amazing workout without fear of getting hurt or feeling left behind. Here are 3 ways to help keep the burn going without compromising the benefits.

Neutral Pelvis

When it comes to lower back pain or strain, tucking can further aggravate or worsen any issues that may be occurring. Taking out the “tuck” and maintaining a neutral pelvic position will alleviate compression in the lower spine. An alternative move would be to go into an anterior tilt instead when doing “back dancing.” 

Forearms > Flat Back

Having issues with the hip flexors? Instead of doing Flat Back on the wall, prop up on forearms on the floor (like a reverse forearm plank). This will allow for an increase in abdominal support when lifting the legs. Being in an upright position creates a shortened angle between the legs and hips, making it difficult for any leg flexion. The hip flexors have to work much harder and overworking this muscle group can cause fatigue, strain and even pain. Swap for forearms and you won’t miss a beat!

Have a ball!

High C Curve can put an unwanted load on the lower back if experiencing pain in that area. A way to take off some of the stress, and make this position more comfortable, try placing a ball behind the lower spine. Leaning back into the ball will offer support for the back while allowing the abdominals to work harder. The goal is not to be in pain, but to work the core, so using this prop will ensure for a burn without burnout.

It is important for longevity in barre classes to not push through the pain. Modifying, adjusting a set-up, or replacing an exercise is not a sign of weakness but intelligence. Not every group class is designed with our bodies in mind, so having options in your back pocket are important to make the right choices for yourself. Enjoy these tips so you can keep feeling the burn without burning out!

About the Author

Michelle DuVall is the creator of Barre Variations, a compressive method and manual with an expanded syllabus of choreography and technique. She is also a passionate motivator who creates inclusive experiences for her community through movement sessions, wellness events and retreats.

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