Since I’ve started teaching Barre I have come across a lot of clients who have heard of Barre but don’t know what it is, or what to expect, so here is the 411…
What is it: Barre is a workout method drawing influence from Ballet, Pilates, Yoga, Dance and bodyweight exercises.
It is done in a studio environment to music using a ballet barre for most of the class.
How do you pronounce it? Like you pronounce Bar, “Barre” is a French word
Do you need to be a dancer to do Barre? Not at all, it is more of a workout than a dance class although I find a lot of people who have danced (myself included) really enjoy the class due to the musicallity and technique.
What should you wear: Its best to wear form fitting clothing as it makes it easier for your instructor to watch and correct your form. In my classes I love for my students to wear crop tops with leggings.
What about your feet? Rubberised grip socks are my number one choice alternatively barefoot.
And finally what to expect in class: As there are many different barre methods the structure may vary from studio to studio but a common class structure will include a warm up, some arm work, then the fun starts at the barre during the barre workout you can expect a lot of :
- Pliés (think ballet squats) which will get your quads and inner thighs firing
- Leg kicking which increases flexibility and stamina
- Pulsing…the dreaded pulsing, this is where you hold a position such as a plié and then do micro (fat burning, character building, swear inducing) pulses!
- Glute work, barre focuses a lot on the stabilizer muscles such as the glutes and Core
- Shaking… expect shaking, embrace the shake because this is where the magic happens
- Abs work and cool down, it is common to do a a cool down at the end of class.
This is what you can expect in your first Barre class, try it, you’ll love it!
PS: Stiffness and soreness in places you have never felt is common after an intense class.