Barre classes are the latest fitness trend with studios popping up all over the country. The workout trend exploded after Natalie Portman’s performance in Black Swan and her crediting ballet workouts for her “dancers body.”
Is it just a ballet class with stretching? Not really it’s so much more.
Barre classes are a fusion of pilates, ballet, and light weight training with the goal of creating a dancers body, without having to be a dancer. And boy does it work.
I have been taking Barre Classes for over a year and I’m still addicted. I’ve tried almost all of them: Pure Barre, Bar Method, Pop Physique, and most recently Physique 57. I feel pretty lucky to live in LA as boutique fitness studios are everywhere!
So what do you do?
You will work your entire body and it’s going to be tough. Sequencing during class varies depending on where you are taking, but generally you will work shoulders, triceps, biceps, quads, butt, and abs. You will use light weights (2,3 or 5#’s to start), some theraband, or a squishy ball. The classes follow the philosophy of strengthen (with small isometric movements) and stretch. The result? A sculpted and lean body.
Tips For First Timers
Wear Socks- Most studios have socks available for purchase, but if you don’t want to spend the money bring thick socks that help with gripping on the floor.
Shaking is Okay- This is the goal throughout the workout. When your body shakes, you are exhausting and challenging your muscles. The shake = change.
Wear Pants that pass your knee: You are going to doing lots of stretching and work on the floor so shorts aren’t the best choice.
Focus on Small Movements- This will be reiterated throughout class, but most exercises are small and very concentrated.
As with any new exercise class, arrive early 15 minutes early and chat with the instructor beforehand letting him/her know that you are new.
Most studios suggest you come to class 3-5x/week for the best results. As with anything, do what works best for you. If coming 5x/week is what works for you then go for it. If you like once/week, then do that.
For me, I still love to run (don’t plan on stopping that anytime soon) so I typically go to a barre class 2-3x a week and leave 2 days for cardio workouts.
You may ask which is my favorite? Honestly I have found the best instruction with Bar Method (And that is consistent in Seattle and here in LA). The teachers make a point to learn your name and are extremely hands on and specific during class. But I like switching up my routine, so I try to add in a Pop or Physique 57 class every other week.
Want to try one yourself? Try these links below and find a studio close to you. (PB and BM are the most widespread across the country)
Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! Can’t believe its basically the middle of February already. Craziness.