Call to Arms: how Barre Attack Classes will give you Arms you want to Flaunt this Summer
The abs and butt get a whole lot of attention and glory in barre fitness classes but as a barre instructor you’ll also get to see how much satisfaction your clients get from developing beautifully strong, chiselled arms and shoulders. A sculpted arm doesn’t just look fabulous in a summery tank top or a cute halter neck, strong arms make getting through the day that much easier. Whether you are carrying a child, hauling your groceries home, moving furniture, gardening or any other multitude of daily tasks, strong, fit arms will help you get stuff done like a boss and with less chance of aches and injuries.
The biceps is a two-headed muscle that lies between your shoulder and elbow. The long head of the muscle is the outer portion which originates in the shoulder while the short head of the muscle is the internal portion. The biceps crosses both the shoulder and elbow but its primary function is at the elbow where it both flexes and supinates the forearm (turns the palm upwards). Some of your women barre clients might be worried that their biceps will get overdeveloped –you can reassure them that this is highly unlikely. Barre attack exercises are designed to create long, lean strength, not bulk.
The triceps is on the posterior part of the arms and provide the counterforce that allows us to straighten our arms and also to work them in that straightened position. It is a three-headed muscle, the long portion of which originates in the scapula and plays an important role in stabilising the shoulders –hello steady planks!
The forearm is between the wrist and elbow and is packed full of muscles that help flex, rotate and supinate the hand and arm. Want to open that jar without asking for help? Want to rock your new arm tattoo for as many years as possible? Then get those forearms toned, trim and terrific!
Our shoulders do so much of the heavy lifting of our daily lives. In fact, they are involved in just about every upper body exercise we do. Keeping them strong will make upper body movements easier and more fluid and will help prevent injuries. All the muscles and joints that make up our shoulders need to be flexible enough to accommodate a big range of movement and stable enough to help us lift, push and pull. For example, you might not think rotator cuffs are the sexiest body part ever but consider the job they are doing! All the muscles of the rotator cuff are working overtime to keep the head of the arm bone right in the socket of the shoulder.
Barre fitness is a fantastic way to train all the different components of our arms and as a Barre Attack instructor you’ll come up with all kinds of ways to get the biceps working, the triceps quivering and the shoulders strengthening. Here are a few of our favourite Barre Attack arm exercises:
Waiter arms: this is a fantastic one for strengthening the rotator cuffs but only if done properly! Some of your barre fitness clients will be frustrated by how limited this movement is and will want to make it bigger and easier by lifting their elbows away from their sides. Don’t let them! Sometimes small and perfectly formed is best.
Arm work with thera band or elastic in an extended lunge: boxing, reaching and overhead tricep extensions with the elastic ensures the entire arm gets an amazing workout. The added resistance of the elastic makes it extra challenging and working in a lunge will help keep your arm movements focussed and precise so you stay balanced. Plus boxing is a great way to fire up the cardio componenet when you really want to get your Barre Attack class sweating.
Low row, high rows and reverse fly with the elastic: make sure your barre clients don’t let those shoulders creep up around the ears. The focus should be on keeping the shoulders open and dropped. These are a sure fire way to get the upper back, shoulders and triceps burning.
For arms to rival Michelle Obama’s, you can’t beat Barre Attack.