I grew up as a gymnast and when I was first introduced to the idea of a barre class I thought it was going to be like taking a dance at practice – that it would be scary and intimidating and some instructor would be scolding me that my turn-out wasn’t good enough and to point my toe harder. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Barre classes are fun and silly as well as being physically challenging. They test your overall mental and physical strength through an hour of pulsing and shaking, but you’ll come out of class seeing how strong you really are. Here are my 5 tips for your first barre class!
1. Know what you’re getting yourself into
So what does taking a barre class entail? Most barre classes are comprised of movements taken from ballet, yoga, and pilates. The ballet aspects of the exercise are the feet work and using the barre. The yoga associated with barre exercises are mostly the stretching that takes place after groups of positions. The pilates portion of the class is really about the core. Deep ab-changing breaths that will sculpt and define muscles that you didn’t even know were there – score!
2. Get to the studio early
There is always paperwork to fill out as well as getting your payment all set up if you did not do it online. Check out the faqs for getting started at the studio. Most importantly most classes fill up and you’ll want a spot at the barre.
3. Let the shake happen
The instructor will ask you to come to the balls of your feet, drop down six inches and then all of a sudden your body is shaking. It’s probably a feeling that you’ve never felt before. LET IT HAPPEN. The shaking is your body changing, it is your body working really super hard. When you start shaking, remember that is it supposed to happen, that it is a good thing, and to stay in the position. Your thighs/booty/arms will thank you later when they become longer, leaner, and lifted.
4. Wear proper attire
After working in studios for more than a decade now you see some things that you can’t unsee. I would recommend wearing a capri, yoga pants or leggings. I would also wear a tighter fitting shirt. It’s easier to move around in and you don’t have to worry about flashing your unmentionables to the rest of the class. And don’t forget to bring a pair of grip socks!
Please do not wear shorts, there are a lot of positions that will make this a bad decision
5. Prepare to watch your body change
This is the most amazing part of taking barre classes. After your first class, you will most likely be sore, but you will notice muscles you’ve never noticed before. My arms were the first to show their definition. I have never in life had muscular arms and now they are toned, lean, and strong. Your posture will improve, I know women who have actually increased their height because they are using the proper muscle groups to hold themselves up. It’s an incredible experience to watch your body change–it’s fulfilling and it ignites the desire to want more and be better.
All I can say now is good luck and I hope going to barre will become part of your fitness repertoire. When it does (because it will!) post photos and tag #TheStudiobyAP so we can cheer you on!