I am obviously an expert at barre fitness after only three classes in my life. I have already learned A TON from my first few classes and I can’t wait to go back for more… you know, after I have fully recovered from my 6am class yesterday.
The fact that we use barely any weight, either 1-3lb dumbbells or pure body weight and we get such a good strength workout astounds me. In the typical gym setting, the heavier the better, but in barre, you will regret grabbing the heaviest weights about 2.3 minutes into the class. LESSON #1: Start with no weight or the lightest weights possible.
As with all types of exercise, form is crucial. I like the small class format because the instructor really has a chance to see everyone’s form and correct it if necessary. In the early morning class yesterday there were only 6 of us! This is super important for both injury prevention and working the proper muscles. The great thing about barre class is that the studio is full of mirrors and you can watch the instructor and fellow classmates to make sure you are doing the moves correctly! LESSON #2: Always, always, always maintain proper form.
I really thought when I walked into the studio and I was charged $17 for one pair of socks that I was 100% being played. There is no way I need these ridiculous socks with “grippys” on the bottom just to do one class, I thought. It turns out, a wooden floor + socks + squats = slipping. I couldn’t imagine not having them on after just 10 minutes of class. In addition to grippy socks, the normal attire I have seen in class is tights (full length or capris) and a loose or fitted shirt. Often some people (including me) will wear a light sweater into class to keep warm until the class begins. LESSON #3: Dress the part and pretend you are a ballerina. I think I’m almost ready for my tutu.
It’s not a cardio workout and you won’t sweat buckets, but I was really surprised at how warm I got doing the little movements we did. Sometimes we are barely moving, or “pulsing,” but I felt like I was running on a treadmill I was so warm. The reason I am talking about this is because I scoffed at bringing water to a class like this, I mean c’mon I barely drink water when I’m running, but I was SO thirsty during the class and definitely took advantage of the water breaks! LESSON #4: Drink water!
One of the weirdest feelings in barre class is the SHAKING. You might have heard about this from other people or from me or from random articles about barre but the shaking is for real. Don’t underestimate it and don’t be afraid of it. I thought I was weak or doing something wrong (both actually very likely) in my first barre class when my legs started shaking uncontrollably as we were holding plie squats. I looked around and over half of the class was shaking and the instructor said that meant we were doing things right and pushing out muscles to the point of fatigue – making them stronger. It is a cool feeling and I believe it is weakness leaving the body. LESSON #5: Embrace the shaking.
Have you tried barre?
Tell me something SUPER random!