So you’re keen to try
barre? Fantastic, you are on your way to better posture and leaner-looking
muscles. Before you step into the studio, here are some insider tips to get you
Dress the part:
Fitted, breathable styles are best that won’t flap about or hinder yourself (or your instructor) checking your alignment. Think along the same lines as yoga, sleeveless tank worn with yoga or Pilates leggings – see The Calmia Look Pilates for more inspiration. If you feel confident, there is no reason not to go for a leotard but there is no need to buy new dancewear. At the start of the class, you may want to layer up with a wrap cardigan or lightweight, long-sleeve top until your muscles warm up. And tie your hair up out of the way in a high pony or topknot.
This will give you a chance to say hi to your instructor and inform her about any relevant injuries that might affect your ability to do certain movements. She can give you modifications to keep you safe and ensure you have the best class possible. Plus, you’ll be able to secure a position you feel comfortable in – at the front, if you like to be able to see the choreography clearly, tucked away at the back if you prefer to hide.
Leave your trainers at the door:
Barre is performed either barefoot or in grippy yoga/Pilates socks. You can wear regular socks to your first class but if you decide to stick with it, invest in a good pair of grippy socks for when the arch of your foot is on the barre to stretch and to hold a good, solid plank.
Focus on Posture:
Good posture is key to a safe and effective class. Keep your core engaged and shoulders down throughout every movement. This will help train your body to hold perfect posture in and out of the studio. Plus, strong abs lead to less back pain. Keep your core tightly engaged in every exercise to strengthen and tone your six pack.
Make your movements teeny, tiny:
Engage the muscle tightly and work within the contraction, think of pulsing and keep the moves really small. This is a very different experience to the big, dynamic moves of HIIT or traditional weight training. It may help if you close your eyes to increase the mind-body connection and help you focus in on the specific muscle the exercise is targeting.
Your instructor will give specific instructions. Keep your ears open so you know what’s going on and if you’re confused, check someone else’s form who seems to know what they are doing.
Be prepared for sore muscles:
Your entire body is going to really ache the next day. Embrace the soreness – this is because you worked so hard, well done. The secret is to keep moving – walking, exercising, massaging, foam rolling.
Stick with it:
Finally, don’t be deterred if you got in muddle and couldn’t keep up with the moves. It usually takes three or more classes to really feel like you know what you’re doing. And don’t worry, if you entire body aches and your muscles are sore This doesn’t mean you aren’t fit or ready for barre. It just means you worked your muscles really hard and it a different way – which is fantastic. Results happen when you mix it up and keep your workout routine full of variety.
So that being said, what are you waiting for? Go find your nearest studio and get ready for the one of the most satisfying, turn-your-legs-to-jelly workouts you will have ever tried.