The Short Answer is YES!
You hear me say it all the time, SMALLER IS BETTER, or, I just have you HOLD a position, but why...well, small movements and powerful holds increase your heart rate, because you are asking your muscles to stabilize, which requires the heart to work hard. Think about a high plank, even though there is little to no movement, your muscles are firing like crazy to hold your body in that posture, which requires a full body engagement. Conversely, if you think about a bicep curl, as you press your weight away, the bicep gets a little breather, while the triceps engage- in our barre work, we don't allow the muscles any breather, they are under constant tension/load which is why those tiny little movements are so hard, yet so effective.
Cardio does not always mean faster and harder!! Our barre classes are high intensity, but low impact, making them gentle and safe on your body, and super effective at giving you a functional and fun workout, that includes cardiovascular training.
Is it ok to run, spin, CrossFit or HIIT? Absolutely- it's all about balance my friends.