Your legs are shaking, your butt is burning and your thighs are on fire… it can only be a barre class. You may have seen this trendy workout all over Instagram, with supermodels swearing by its body-sculpting power, including Jourdan Dunn. But what is barre, and should you be doing it?
Here’s what to expect if you decide to take the plunge:
1. Barre is a low-impact form of exercise that includes Pilates, ballet and yoga movements.
During a class, you can also expect to work with light hand weights, resistance bands and exercise balls, which will all be provided. Some of the moves are small and subtle, with a lot of focus on your core. Prepare to work your arms, legs and butt, too.
2. You don’t have to be a ballerina to do barre.
In fact, you don’t need any dancing or even exercise experience at all. The moves are not particularly complicated or choreographed – and your instructor will help adjust them to your level. If in doubt, look at the regulars around you. Take things at your own pace; you don’t have to keep up with the rest of the class.
3. Wear form-fitting workout clothes you can easily move in.
Sweatpants and a big ol’ T-shirt will only get in your way, plus the instructor won’t be able to see if your posture is correct for each move. If you’re form isn’t correct, it could lead to injury – plus, the moves won’t be as effective.
4. You don’t need to wear shoes.
If you want, you can wear sticky socks, which are available at to buy at most studios. Tie back your hair and wear a sports bra to keep the girls supported throughout.
5. Just because it’s low impact, doesn’t mean you won’t work hard.
Prepare to burn, shake and tremble, not to mention sweat! Barre might not be a classic HIIT or cardio class, but you’ll work your muscles super hard and definitely feel it the next day from head to toes.
6. Barre will help tone and sculpt your body.
Regular classes will also help improve your posture and flexibility, while strengthening your core. You’ll walk taller, feel stronger and look leaner.
7. It’s a great complementary workout.
If you’re already doing cardio like running or boot camp a few times a week, barre is an excellent complementary exercise to ensure you use your muscles in a different way and have an all-round fitness routine.
8. Barre is not cheap – but it’s worth it.
Being a specialist exercise, barre classes tend to be smaller and more expensive than group exercises at a gym. That’s because the instructor is highly trained and will ensure you don’t injure yourself, while getting the most out of the class.
What to Wear to Barre Class
H&M ankle-length sports tights
H&M Shaping yoga tights
Victoria’s Secret cage-back tank
Victoria’s Secret Knockout Ultra mas front-close sport bra
Max Fashion slim fit plain crop top
GAP Breathe heathered tank