By now, we’re sure you’ve heard of the barre workout craze, a form of exercise that aims to tone and shape your body using ballet-inspired moves. For those who haven’t, barre classes combine ballet, Pilates and Vinyasa yoga principles to strengthen, stabilise and stretch your entire body in one workout. It’s earned itself a good reputation thanks to its ability to sculpt the legs, core and arms.

Emma Seibold is the creator of Barre Body, one of Australia’s first and most successful barre offerings. Seibold’s Barre Body studios run a number of different classes daily, all of which utilise the ballet barre in order to give you a complete (and surprisingly challenging) workout.

We sat down with her to talk about the five reasons you should do a Barre Body class.

It’s the ultimate hybrid

With the strengthening effects of Pilates, the form and discipline of ballet and beautiful Vinyasa sequences all rolled into one, a Barre Body class is a varied workout that offers a lot. “It’s totally complete. You’re working the muscles, it’s gentle cardio, you’re getting the flexibility and the core stability,” says Seibold.

It’s a beautiful experience

Seibold explained it to me as a “complete and holistic mind, body, spirit experience.” You can forget about the sweaty smell you might associate with large, chain gyms, upon entering the Barre Body studio you’re met with a beautiful scent that makes you feel like you’ve entered a designer space instead of an exercise studio. The studios themselves are open, clean and bathed in flattering, natural light. Seibold prides her studios for the welcoming experience offered and admits, “you feel like a little ballerina”.

You don’t need to be a dancer

While the Barre concept is based on ballet principles, you don’t need to be a prima ballerina or Beyoncé to take part. “You don’t need to be a dancer, not at all. Should I let them in on the biggest secret of all? I’m not a dancer,” Seibold confides. She explains that the classes are for everyone; with modified moves and levels it’s about enjoying yourself, enjoying the movement and getting better over time.

It complements other fitness disciplines

A Barre class works muscles you might not even know you had. Seibold refers to them as “those little supportive muscles,” ones that many of us probably haven’t activated very often at all. “We have people who run marathons, we have cyclists (who do Barre), even Crossfitters can benefit from using some of these smaller muscle groups,” says Seibold. “It’s really complementary because we’re working the muscles that can make you stronger all round.” So if you’re looking to improve your core and leg strength to better your running, lifting, cycling or swimming, Barre could be your answer.

It’s the perfect post-natal exercise

After having two beautiful babies, Seibold has worked hard to regain her strength with Barre Body. She, like many other women, experienced abdominal separation and says that Barre’s use of the smaller, supportive abdominal muscles helped her repair and strengthen her core. “They say it takes nine months to make a baby and nine months to get your body back post baby. I would say it takes at least nine months and your body will never be the same, it will be different and beautiful,” Seibold says. After many months of work it’s only now that Seibold feels back to full strength and she added, “I have a new respect for my body, because my body isn’t just about me anymore.”

Emma Seibold