New to Barre: 4 things to know before your first Barre class

Chances are you’ve seen a number of Barre studios popping up around your neighbourhood, and you might have even overheard some of your girlfriends chatting about this new exercise phenomenon that combines the flexibility of yoga, the strength building of Pilates, and the grace of ballet.

While it might seem like this is a new trend that has just popped up over the last year or two, Barre classes have actually been around for nearly SIX decades.  Created in 1959 by Lotte Berk, Barre classes have seen a sudden resurgence in popularity – and with very good reason.

So, What Exactly is Barre?

After suffering from a back injury, Lotte Berk designed a workout that would restore movement and strength in to the affected area.  Barre classes were designed to tone, lift, tighten, and strengthen muscles through a combination of ballet poses, yoga positions, and Pilates exercises.  Occasionally utilising hand weights, participants are lead through a series of fluid motions that raise the heart rate, strengthen the body, and create toned lean muscle.

What to Expect on the Barre

In addition to the iconic ballet barre (for which the program derives its name), participants can expect the occasional hand weights and yoga mats to make appearances during their class.  Ultimately, however, Barre relies almost entirely on utilising personal bodyweight to achieve the desired physical fitness goals.

Barre workouts have a large focus on the core and the lower body, especially the hips and butt. Most rely on popular bodyweight moves like the arabesque and the “Tri-cep Can Can”, but certain classes also incorporate weights to help participants feel the burn.

Classes often have upbeat music, encouraging instructors, and a supportive group environment to build.  This comradery and efficient workout often lead Barre participants to a sense of euphoria that translates into improved mood and regular attendance.

What if I’m not a teeny tiny ballerina?

Don’t sweat it! Barre is literally for everyone – no dancing experience is required. If you can hold on to the ballet barre, you can do Barre! Barre is a low-impact workout and can be done by women (and men!) of all shapes, sizes, and ages. While the Pure Barre technique is high intensity, it is very low impact, meaning you’ll get a great workout without putting excessive stress on your joints.

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Okay, I’m convinced – what do I wear and what do I bring

Wear capri length or longer pants, socks, and a workout tank or T-shirt. Wearing pants that are longer keep your muscles warm and help you keep everything concealed when you’re working in front of a mirror. You aren’t required to bring anything to barre classes, but socks with grips can help prevent slipping! And like with any workout a water bottle and a change of clothes – because nobody likes to travel in wet gym gear!

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Barre classes can be a great way to build up core strength, sculpt the lower body, or just break up a training rut. Whatever the reason, prepare to work! Barre classes have a way of targeting muscles like never before.If you haven’t tried it yet, it is high time you check out a Barre class, the new fitness phenomenon that has been changing lives for decades.

Ready to give it a try? Find an amazing Barre studio near you by searching for Barre in the AirActiveApp