So what does Barre have to do with skiing? You know that feeling, the first time you hit the slope each year? Nothing quite fits, you fall and you can’t get up, your thighs burn on every turn, and your pectoral, deltoid & biscep muscles (better known as your armpits) are sore from poling. And then you catch an edge, fall and do what skiers call a “yard sale”. All your equipment lands in different spots and you sheepishly put yourself back together. Nothing like getting that first tumble of the season over.
Well Barre miraculously works on all of this, muscle by muscle. Sayings, like “up an inch, down an inch” bring new meaning to moguls and “make sure your weight is in your toes and you are not leaning back” works on every turn. Heck you can even practice flat back on the chair lift – well, sort of. Barre has helped my skiing more than any conditioning exercise I have ever attempted – even running.
I noticed it first with my strength and endurance. My legs have the ability to handle most runs with little need to stop and rest. Those three sets of thigh work are paying off. Then to my surprise, I felt the benefit of Barre with my balance. Skiing is an art of balance. Think about it, you strap narrow boards on your feet, and attempt to maneuver over boilerplate ice and down some steep trails. And then a dang snow snake wraps around your leg while you are skiing and slaps you into a pile of snow. Well, I have suddenly found I am able to balance with a lot less effort. I credit Barre with this improved ability. My core is stronger. And because we practice balance in some very interesting positions in Barre, my body has learned to balance itself and remain centered.
Lastly, I think I am more flexible now than when I started skiing at age 13. I can ‘almost’ bounce up when I fall without taking my skis off. Please note the qualifier ‘almost’. Not sure “bounce up” is how others describe it. But it sure is easier these days.
Barre will help your skiing at least it helps mine. Now if I can only find a mountain that offers both Barre as well as that après ski bar we all love at the end of a great day of skiing. Happy skiing to all. May the mountains be filled with many feet of beautiful powder this winter.