Barre for Beginners – Tips and Lessons

October 28, 2014

October 28, 2014 

This past month I had the chance to try four barre classes through ClassPass DC. While I am not a barre expert, I thought I would share some tips/lessons I’ve learned the past few weeks that would be useful for my fellow barre newbies (I will be sharing my thoughts about the different barre classes in a separate post).


1. Barre Classes are NOT Created Equal

Before I attended my first barre class I thought (a) it would be similar to a ballet class and (b) they would be all the same. I learned that each studio has its own style and methodology.  So if you are not too fond of one studio, you may end up liking a different barre class at another studio.

2. First Class? Arrive 10-15 Minutes Early

Pretty common tip for yoga and cycling studios. This will give you a chance to fill out any paperwork, tour the facilities, and ask questions.  I also had a chance to speak to my instructors before the class so they knew my background. 

3. What Should I Wear?

Black leotard, pink tights, ballet slippers….. just kidding! I did not buy any new clothes – I used my running gear (capri tights and a tank top).  Make sure your clothes are not too baggy so you can check your form.  As for sticky socks (kind of like kiddie grip socks for barre) it is all personal preference.  Some studios are carpeted and some are hardwood floors.

4. Arm Exercises and Weights

Three of the barre classes I attended used light weights for arm exercises.  Even though the 2lb weights seem soooo light… trust me after 10 minutes your arms will be burning.  Start off with the lighter weights and increase the weights as you feel out the exercise.

5. Yes…Barre Class is a Total Body Workout

I was a sweaty betty (bring a towel if you sweat).  While not cardio centric, barre worked my arms, butt, legs and abs.  I definitely feel a difference in my legs.  Instructors say it takes a few classes to get use to the exercises – so do not feel disheartened if you do not get it the first time (or feel a bit ungraceful like me). 

Hope these tips help you out!  A little fun pic to end the post (I am the rabbit – first row, second to the left).


Have you gone to a barre class before?

Did you take dance class growing up?

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