How to not get injured in a barre class

Gabriella Yudenich takes a leap during rehearsals for "A Midsummer Night’s Dream," opening March 7. Credit: Alexander Iziliaev
We wonder if Gabriella Yudenich (seen rehearsing for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”) has ever gotten hurt in barre class.
Credit: Alexander Iziliaev

We love taking ballet barre classes (a couple of our faves: Chaise23 and Exhale core fusion). But we’ve got to remember to stay safe and pay attention during class so we don’t wind up hurting afterwards. We spoke with Dr. Elizabeth Manejias at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery, who gave us the low-down on staying safe when you want to get low on the bar.

What should someone taking their first barre class expect?
Your first barre class may seem challenging as the class involves multiple low weight repetitions, without much time allotted for transitions. Some classes either incorporate a ballet barre traditionally used in a ballet class, or a weighted pole to use for balance while executing standing leg positions. Class is usually taken barefoot and in loose clothing to allow for range of motion.

What types of people should NOT take barre?
Barre class is tolerated by most people if attention is given to injuries, proper alignment, and if followed by exercise modifications. Individuals with heart conditions that restrict weight lifting, or those with blood pressure or heart rate guidelines, may want clearance from their physician; however, light weights or the weight of your body are usually the only resistance used.

What injuries are common from class?
The most common injuries I see in my practice following a barre routine involve the knees, lower back and shoulders. Many of the positions used in class are derived from classical ballet positions which often require a turned-out position at the hips, knees and ankles. Overhead activities using light weights and push ups can also place the rotator cuff in a vulnerable position if not performed correctly. Increased stress to the lumbar spine can occur if attention to spinal alignment while either lifting, or performing abdominal exercises, is lacking.

How can people avoid such injuries?
It is important to inform your instructor of any injuries you have prior to class. Most positions and exercises can be modified to accommodate your injury. Proper alignment of the lumbar spine, hips, knees and ankles are crucial to avoid injury. Many individuals taking barre class do not have a dance background and positions requiring turnout of the legs may seem foreign and unnatural. The instructor should pay close attention to technique and form. As the repetitions progress, fatigue may make it difficult to maintain proper form especially when performing upper extremity exercises. It is advised that you perform the exercise without weights rather than sacrifice your ideal shoulder alignment to avoid stressing your rotator cuff.

Remember that barre class is not a competition. It is preferable to work within your capacity and not at the level of those around you. Your instructor is there to help you and you should feel comfortable discussing your concerns.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.