If you’re looking for a workout that will target muscles you never knew you had, you should consider barre classes, which feature a combination of Pilates, yoga, and ballet components. This workout was developed in 1959 by Lotte Berk, a German ballerina who injured her back and wanted to combine her dance conditioning routine with her rehabilitative therapy. Barre was brought to the United States in 1971 by Lydia Bach, a student of Berk’s, and ever since then different versions of Barre have been popping up at studios across the country.
Despite its dance-inspired roots, you don’t have to be a dancer to practice barre. Most classes start out with a mat-based workout that consists of planks, push-ups, and arm exercises, followed by a session at the standing ballet bar area for a lower body-focused workout. Typically, the workout will conclude either at the bar or the mat with a series of moves that focus on the core area. Some classes incorporate light hand weights or resistance bands, but mostly participants use their bodyweight only. The other key component of barre classes is that they utilize isometric movements, which are tiny, one-inch increments instead of larger, compound ones.
Benefits to taking barre classes include increased strength and flexibility, decreased risk of injury, and targeting multiple muscle groups at once. Many women choose to attend regular barre classes to lose weight, tone and improve their mind and body connection.
BARRE FASHION: THE ESSENTIALS
When it comes to dressing for barre class, leotards are not required–think along the lines of what you would wear to yoga! Tight-fitting activewear that is comfortable will be your best friend during your workout. Read below to see the 3 pieces you must have for your next barre class.
1. Leggings. Wearing leggings or yoga pants that are moisture-wicking and form-fitting will help you perform your best in class and will help your instructor see your form. Try TSM Performance Leggings, which offer just the right amount of coverage and keep your skin cool and dry.
2. Sporty Tank. This will give you a range of movement while keeping you comfortable and cool during your workout. Check out our TSM Go-Getter Slim Racerback Tank, which comes in fun colors like neon yellow and sea foam for a more stylish statement.
3. Barre/Yoga Socks. Most barre studios sell their own brand of socks that come in different colors and materials. And many studios will require you to wear socks. The sticking bottom gives you a better grip and helps prevent your feet from sliding and slipping. Added bonus: you can wear them to Pilates and yoga classes too! Check out these ToeSox!
BARRE STUDIOS TO TRY
Search Yelp or ClassPass for local barre studios or there may be a national studio that has opened near you. Physique 57, Barre3, Pure Barre, Cardio Barre, Xtend Barre and The Bar Method are all popular studios you can look into! I’m excited that TSM has partnered with local barre studios for free class passes for the women that have attended my Strong Girl Workshops + Workouts!
Have a you taken a barre class? What do you love about it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!