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A Beginner’s Guide to Barre

by Marissa on February 15, 2018

Beginner's Guide to Barre | Marissa Vicario | Girl in Barre socks

Barre classes are some of the most popular in boutique fitness right now so it’s no surprise that when I tell someone I’m a Certified Bar Method Instructor, I immediately get lots of questions and curiosity from anyone who has never tried a barre class before. I find plenty of people are interested, but may feel intimidated. So I put together a beginner’s guide to barre classes as a reference and to hopefully make your first experience in a barre class more inviting and less intimidating. 

Starting any new workout can feel overwhelming but don’t let that keep you from experiencing a barre class. Arrive prepared using this beginner’s guide to barre and you’ll have a leg up (pun intended) from the get-go. 

One // You don’t have to be a dancer. Most people let a lack of grace or flexibility get in their way of trying barre, but you don’t have to have a dance background to take barre classes. You’ll become more graceful and flexible with time and consistency. 

Two// Men are welcome. Barre classes aren’t only for women. We have plenty of men in our classes at The Bar Method and they claim that barre has kept them strong and conditioned for the other activities they enjoy like running, soccer or weight lifting. 

Three // Arrive at the studio early. The best thing you can do for yourself if it’s your first time taking a barre class is to arrive 10-15 minute early so you can fill out any paperwork you need and get acquainted with the studio. You’ll start class feeling more prepared and relaxed. 

Four // Familiarize yourself with the studio’s policies and politely adhere to them. Much like you would remove your shoes in someone’s home if they asked you to, you’re a guest in the studio so pay attention to the studio’s policies if they’re written in an email confirmation or posted on the web site. The policies are in place to make the group exercise experience enjoyable and safe for everyone. 

Five // Bring socks or plan to buy them at the studio. Most studios require socks so bring your own if you have them, or you can likely buy them at the studio. They don’t have to be the grippy kind, but it helps if they are to prevent slipping and help hold the positions. 

Six // Listen to the instructor’s set-ups and cues. Of course, seeing exercises demonstrated is helpful, but you’ll get more out of class if you listen carefully to the instructor’s set-ups and go through them as they explain. Once the exercise is set up, keep listening to any helpful cues the instructor gives to tweak your form and explain the movement. It will make the exercise more effective for you. 

Seven // Keep going when you shake. The burn you feel in your muscles (and some people shake) means you’re doing it right and working hard. Let that feeling motivate you to keep going and resist the urge to stop and rest until you reach the end of the set. 

Eight // Have fun. At the end of the day, it’s a workout so have fun and don’t take it too seriously! You’ll find that the time flies by and you’ll be eager to book your next class for more shaking and burning. 

Are you a barre newbie or an aficionado? What would you add to this beginner’s guide to barre? 

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