If you've never tried a barre class before, then read these beginner tips, shared by our friends at Self!
With all the trendy barre studios popping up everywhere, it may seem like ballet-inspired workouts are just the latest fitness fad. But in fact, barre classes have been around since the '50s, when former dancer Lotte Burke opened her first studio in London.
Fast forward half a century(!) and Burke-inspired barre classes are more popular than ever. And tomorrow, Exhale Spas nationwide are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their signature class, Core Fusion Barre, with a day of free classes! Never taken a barre class before? Core Fusion cofounder Fred DeVito offers five things you should know.
- Think quality over quantity. "This is not Insanity; this is not CrossFit," says DeVito. "We're not about how many reps you can do in a minute or how many pounds you can lift." Rather, most barre classes focus on precision and proper form; you'll do smaller, slower movements, but you'll definitely feel them because you're isolating specific muscle groups you're not used to using.
- If you're doing it right, then you're going to shake — and feel that burn. "You're not going to look supergraceful doing these moves, and it's not going to feel easy — even if you think you're in good cardiovascular shape." (Don't be fooled by those tiny little hand weights; they really do get heavy!) Luckily, students are instructed to focus in on themselves, not to watch other people around them. "You can't be intimidated by what you look like — or by hard work," says DeVito.
- Dress the part. "We encourage people to wear grippy socks, with little rubber nubs on the bottom; we sell our own and almost every other barre studio sells their own, as well. This keeps you from slipping when you're on the barre, and it's more sanitary than going barefoot." (Real fashionistas may want to check out in-studio footwear, too!) Another apparel tip: don't wear short shorts. You'll be doing a lot of inversions and open-leg poses, so capris or full leggings are a better bet. (More on what to wear to barre class here.)
Keep reading for more beginner barre tips.