Barre workouts are inspired by the sleek, toned bodies of ballerinas. Barre workouts aren’t as trendy as they used to be, but you still might not know what to expect. You don’t have to be a ballerina to attend a barre fitness class, but there are a few things you should know before your first class.
1. Be There Early
Before the class begins, the instructor will want to explain some of the terminology to you and the rest of the beginners. While most people might know some ballet positions when they see them, you might not know what they’re called. When the instructor calls for “releve,” you’re going to be confused. Even if you forget what some of the positions are called, you can follow along with the instructor and others in the class.
2. What to Bring and Wear
If you enjoy barre classes, you’ll want to invest in a pair of grippy socks. They’ll have small rubber balls on the bottom to grip the barre as well as the floor during stretches and movements. Wear form-fitting but stretchy clothing to class to ensure that you can move without restrictions. Yoga pants or comfortable capris and a tight tank top are a good choice. The instructor will see your form better with tight clothing. Have water to keep you hydrated and a sweat towel because you’ll definitely need it.
3. Small Movements
Most fitness classes are focused on gaining the biggest range of motion possible. In the barre class, the instructor will introduce you to small, isometric movements. This allows you to target the exact muscle you want to tone. Whether it’s the calves, thighs or buttocks, the movements are as small as an inch to tone these areas. You’ll be pulsing and holding some of the positions, which uses your body weight to tone.
4. Be Aware of Your Posture
Instead of focusing on the language of the instructor, watch her posture and movements. The key to a good workout in barre class is maintaining good posture. This involves engaging the core and keeping your shoulders down throughout the workout. When you use your core, you’re engaging your abdomen instead of your back. A strong set of abdomen muscles means you won’t have back pain in the future.
5. Close Your Eyes
When you close your eyes, you’re not going to be distracted by others in the room. After checking that you’re doing the correct movement, close your eyes to really focus on the muscle and get that mind-body connection that makes a workout more successful. You’ll be able to feel that you have the right muscle and if you’re losing your form, the instructor will be watching to help you.
6. Your Muscles Will Shake
When you have targeted the right muscle, the pain and fatigue will make the muscle twitch and shake. Many first-time attendees are embarrassed to find their legs shaking during the class, but everyone knows that it’s a desirable result. It means you’re working the muscle hard and challenging it to become stronger and toner.
7. Exercises Not Always at the Barre
While many of the exercises you’ll perform are at the barre, there are many done while lying on the floor or standing in the middle of the room. It’ll depend on the exercise to be performed, so don’t expect to be at the barre the entire time. At the first class, it’ll be tough to know where each exercise will take you. By the time you feel like you have mastered a pose, the instructor will have you move on to another.
8. Expect to be Sore
After a barre workout, expect that you’ll feel pain in parts of your body that you never knew existed. This means that the workout was successful. While you should take a day or two to recover, you should never sit too long. Becoming stiff from sitting can make the pain worse. After a few days of recovery, get back into the class to loosen and work the muscles again.
“Barre workouts are a great way to tone muscles that will give you a long, lean body like a ballerina” says Pure Barre. They’ll make you more flexible too. There are quite a few benefits to a barre, ballerina-inspired workout.