Top Ten Tips On Taking Barre Classes

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I thought I would take some time to sit back and regroup after this big transition over to WordPress. Don’t you worry.  I will have a full review for everyone because I have been getting tons of questions about why I switched and what are the big differences. I know I have been pretty consistent with Wedding Wednesdays.  However, I have seen a lot of new faces popping over here and I wanted to go back to my roots and talk about my passion and where this blog is stemmed from. We know my main job as a health care provider but my other daily life commitment is teaching barre. I know it can sound cliche but it is the truth. Pure Barre changed my life and I want to share my top ten tips for taking barre classes.

I was in my mid twenties when I moved to Tampa post graduate school and I was schlepping away with the typical sign up for a fitness class a half hour early, then dillydally around the gym till it started. Then fight for equipment/spin bike/machine/free weights in the gym only to go home with a total waste of time warp and never really feeling like I got that good of a workout. I signed up for a Pure Barre class and after the first one…..I was hooked. It literally transformed my body. I am lean but with strength I’ve never had before. I can do full body pushups. Something I’ve never been able to accomplish. With the strength also comes flexibility. I can now do a split in both directions. Even when I was in my prime skating years…..could not do that.

The other aspect of barre is the community of driven women that surround you. Everyone is friendly, warm and are just as hooked as you are. You don’t have to fight with guys for free weights anymore maybe just your coveted spot by the side mirror. I have been taking and teaching for a few years now and I’m still just as in love with it as I was from day one. Try one class you will be hooked. So let’s answer some of the biggest questions I get when it comes to taking barre classes.

Top Ten Tips for taking Barre Classes, what to wear to barre classes

First as an overview, barre classes are a total body workout that are tailored to target all the hard to work areas thighs, hips, seat, abdominal area and arms. It is low impact (no jumping around), you target the muscles to fatigue and then stretch them out to create long lean muscles. There are women (and men!) that take these classes who span across many age ranges. A lot of women ask me “isn’t it a bunch of skinny Lululemon wearing 20 year olds in these classes?” My answer is no! There are women in their 20’s, 30s, 40, 50’s 60’s and beyond. Women of all different body types and structures. Everybody is friendly and open. It is such a warm and welcoming environment. You think I’m joking when I say it feels like a family or small community but once you get hooked you will totally get when I mean!

First things first

You don’t have to be a ballerina or have prior dance experience.  The ballet bar is there just for balance don’t let it intimidate you.

taking barre classes, what to expect your first barre class, barre classes

Here are my top ten tips about taking barre classes especially in regards to your first class.

Arrive 15 Minutes at Least Before the Class Starts

The majority of studios have their schedules online. I would check the times or even stop by and grab a schedule. Then arrive at least 15 minutes before so you can fill out paperwork and get acquainted with the studio. You don’t want to feel rushed at your first class if you arrive a few minutes before class starts. Trust me when you are teaching a class at 6 in the morning and you are the only one there opening and closing…..we really appreciate it.

Take a Friend

If you are nervous about going to class on your own convince one of your friends to come with you. Or what is the best recommendation, if you have a friend who already takes classes, have them bring you to your first class. They can walk you through the setups and help you feel more comfortable.

Let the Instructor Know About Any Limitations

If you have any pain or previous injuries let the instructor know. That way we can keep an eye out to make sure you are staying in the form that is the safest for you. There are always modifications if you need them. Listen to your body if you need to come out of a position do it and then try to get back into it when you are ready.

Listen to the Cues Throughout the Class

Throughout class the instructor will set up every move and then listen for cues and additional feedback. Think about the muscle or area you are working and focus all your energy there. Think about very small movements and range of motion. Try not to swing or use momentum instead think about squeezing and pressing from that area. Focus on your form. If you have a question just grab one of the teachers after class. I promise you we are not scary and I love giving individual feedback!

Expect Your Legs to Shake

You work your legs and seat muscles till they fatigue so they make shake and that is normal! Shaking muscles means you are changing muscles. After each area that is worked you will stretch it creating long lean muscles.

What to Wear

Wear long pants or capris so you can keep your muscles warm. You don’t have to wear sticky socks but they do help you not slip during plank work. You can get them at the studio or online. Also most studios carry amazing retail that you can check out when you are there.

Here are a few of my picks! I’m not going to lie, sometimes when I can’t even muster the energy to go to class I think about the cute outfit I can put together and that helps push me over the edge to go. Don’t lie….you do it as well right? Here are a few of my favs right now!  I am obsessed with all of the Solow pants right now.  They are on sale and then you can take additional money off with the Bloomingdale’s sale.  Probably the most affordable you will ever find the side mesh cutout here.


Close Your Eyes and Focus on Yourself

There may be some challenging moves, try to stay in but if you need to take a break listen to your body. I sometimes close my eyes to try and stay in for that last 30 seconds of hard work.  What that said really let the music drive you.  Most classes have specific music for each muscle group. Try to let the music guide and motivate you throughout class.

Don’t Worry About What Others Think

Everyone tells me they are scared or intimated by the other people in the class. Trust me everyone is there to work and take the class time to really focus on yourself. Nobody is noticing if you can’t stay in a particular move or if your legs are shaking. This class is all about you.  I can’t stress that point enough.

What the Heck is the Instructor Saying?

It may take you a few classes to get down the lingo. You may here things like “heavy tailbone”. This is a cue to pull in your abs and keep a straight back, pulling your hips under to help protect your lower back. You may also hear “tuck” which means to pull your hips forward while drawing your abs back in opposing motion. Or things such as “inch movements” that helps to cue you to make small isometric tiny moments. The biggest thing I see newer clients do when they take their first class is move big.  Concentrate on the muscle group you are focusing on and move from there.  The smaller the movement the bigger the change.

Make Sure to Prepare Prior to Class.

Try to stay well hydrated before class. Feel free to bring water and a small towel with you. Every studio is different but at the one I teach at your equipment consists of a tube, ball and light weights….and you…..getting on your highest tippie toes in some instances.

Pure Barre Tampa, what to wear to barre classes

So what do you think? Do you have any questions I can answer? Do you have a studio by you that you’ve wanted to try out but haven’t yet? I have tried a lot of studios! Barre Method, Pure Barre, Barre3 and they all have their own variations. I am comfortable to speak of all of them! Don’t be shy ask away!

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45 responses to “Top Ten Tips On Taking Barre Classes”

  1. Myra says:

    Love Barre classes! I’m planning to add them back into my workout routine soon! xo

  2. I seriously love barre classes and I’m always sore after I take them so I know they’re working but they are just so darn expensive! My gym membership is unlimited for less than what I’d pay for 4 barre classes. Love it though and I jump on Groupon deals! I even looked into opening my own studio when I was going regularly!

    <3, Pamela
    Sequins & Sea Breezes

  3. Pinky says:

    Saving for my first class. I’m on the hunt for a groupon and then I’m there :)!

  4. I haven’t taken a barre class in months and I really miss it – the legs shaking is the best part!!! xo, Biana – BlovedBoston

  5. Jenn says:

    Loved reading about this and learning more. I’ve been intrigued since I’ve heard good stuff, so maybe Ill grab a friend or two and try!

  6. Lauren Gay says:

    I’ve been curious about it for a while. I used to dance (many moons ago) so I thought maybe I would enjoy this but I am a little intimidated because I have gotten so out of shape. I had convinced myself I was too big for barre. Maybe I will finally give it a try

  7. The closest barre studio is an hour away from where I live. My gym will offer them every now and them but it’s always in the dead middle of the day and I’ve never been able to go (because I work….lol). Someday. Pinning this for future reference – great tips!!

  8. Owen Davis says:

    I took my first barre class in college and I will admit, I was super overwhelmed and intimidated. I had no idea what “tuck” meant and I’m sure I looked ridiculous trying. I moved home shortly after so I never had the chance to really get into it but my hometown just opened one a month ago!! I am hoping to start going regularly once I graduate from PA school! Love all your tips and recommendations!

  9. Helene says:

    this is awesome! I’ve only done it a few times, but I wish I had these tips when I first started. it’s a HARD workout, I’m just so impressed how you make time! you are an inspiration!

  10. the only barre class closest to me is close to downtown #rage but i’ve always wanted to try a class.

  11. Yes yes yes to all of these! Especially arriving early to get set up and feel comfortable. There’s nothing that will add to intimidation and personal discomfort more than rushing and being late and flustered!

  12. Lora says:

    I am addicted to Bar Method! I will have to come take your class sometime! :)

  13. Great tips, and quite timely for me! I got a groupon last week for a bar class and i’m a little nervous, but feel a little better knowing what I’m getting into. I’m quite excited! Been doing Bikram for a while and I think I’m ready to try something new and more vigorous.

  14. ah great tips! i love having a pure barre right downstairs from me but it’s just been too much $ to go regularly. hopefully this post will help people not be so scared for their first class! it’s so fun :) and the music is a great part of the experience too!

    cheshirekatblog.com

  15. Jaelan says:

    The are PERFECT tips. I braved a yoga class with Paige’s help a week or so ago. Now I feel like I can brave a barre class!
    Thanks, Amanda.

  16. I’ve never tried taking a barre class, but it seems like it would be a lot of fun! Thanks for sharing these tips. Maybe one day I’ll give it a try!

  17. Carly says:

    I took a couple barre classes last year and really enjoyed them. I would like to get into them again – even my PT said the tucking would be good for my lower back.

  18. Kiki says:

    I love learning more about Barre. You were actually the first person I’d ever heard about it from. Shocking, small town girl here. (; One just opened five minutes from my apartment complex. I think I need to check them out.

  19. Lindsay says:

    You know how much I love barre! I wish the PB up here was a littttttle closer, so I could go more. Have you ever tried any of the DVD’s? I was thinking of buying some for when I couldn’t get in. What are your thoughts?

  20. Aimee says:

    I still so desperately want to try a barre class! I wish one would open closer to me!

  21. I would LOVE to take a Barre class! Unfortunately not in the budget right now, but as soon as it is I am there! :)

  22. I’ve been searching for a barre class near me – so far none yet – Come up to NY?

  23. Great tips, thank you so much for sharing! I would love to try a barre class some time. But only if you come with me!! :-) Looking forward to the WordPress review too. :-)

  24. Deborah says:

    This is so great! I’ve been trying to get fit and lose some weight and I’ve been so intrigued by barre. I’m just really nervous about trying it and the weight loss progress I’ll make. I’m definitely not looking to be a workout nut and be super buff. I really just want to lose some pounds and look healthy and lean. Any tips would be extremely helpful!

  25. christina says:

    pure barre was always one of those classes where i could really let myself go. just zone out, listen to the music, and feel the burn. i wish there was one closer to me!

  26. Katherine says:

    Barre classes are my favorite workout! I started with Pure Barre but switched to Barre 3 when one opened up just a mike from my house (I can run there and back!).

    I found your blog through another blog I read. I was first drawn to it because of the Barre reference, but had to keep reading when I saw that you are from Boston but live in Tampa. I am from Tampa but live in Boston!

  27. Great advice! The first time I went I finally was like CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHAT THE HELL A TUCK IS?!

  28. Love this post and love Barre! I’ve only done Barre3 and Bar Method, and I’ve been wanting to check out Pure Barre as well. It really is an amazing work out, and I push myself way beyond what I ever thought my body was capable of in each class. And you look fabulous gurlie, if that doesn’t inspire everyone to hop on the barre train I don’t know what will :)

  29. Rebecca Jo says:

    I wish I could take a class… none near me out in the boonies…
    but I have started saving some Barre workout videos on YouTube :)

  30. According to Google there are two studios near me, and I never really considered taking a class… until now. I’m pretty happy with my ‘walking, yoga, living room dance party’ fitness routine I’ve got going now, but I’m always up for trying something new, even if it’s just for fun. I think this would be so fun to try with girlfriends, especially the first time. Thanks for the tips!

  31. Beth says:

    Hardest workout ever! Seriously, I dare any guy bench pressing 300 pounds to get through one class!!!

  32. Missy says:

    Love pure barre and getting close to my 100th class! I have lost so many inches and feel amazing!

  33. Amen to arriving at least 15 minutes early! I get anxiety when I see there is a new person signed up, it’s 3 minutes til class starts and they are nowhere in sight. Great list!

  34. Svetlana says:

    I’ve been wanting to try a Barre class at my gym and now I’m going to have to convince a friend to go with me (still too shy and nervous to go alone!) but it sounds awesome and I am really excited. Thanks for sharing!

  35. Shelby says:

    YAY I can comment again! Love all the clothes so much that it’s always tempting to try a class. Your top in the last picture especially has me interested :)

  36. Love the new look! Can’t wait to hear about your transition!

  37. Aww this post made me miss barre so much! :( I stopped going when we were buying the house cause life was just too hectic and obviously it hasn’t slowed down so I really cant commit to going back full time….its so sad :(

  38. Amanda says:

    This post makes me so excited!! I am moving to Tampa beginning of May, and have been really wanting to try pure barre, but was so intimidated by it! Now I really can’t wait to try a class. And I love classes that I can wear all those cute leggings to!!

  39. Nadine says:

    One day I am going to suck it up and pay for a class. I really think I would enjoy it but it is not wallet friendly! Thought, I work out for free at home..so nothing is compared to that! Ha! I can only imagine how amazing of a work out it is though! One day!!!

  40. Ashley says:

    I took a barre class as part of the Class Pass promo a month or so ago- it was so fun and HARD! Definitely a totally different workout than what I’m used to- which is key to mixing it up! :) These are great tips, lady.

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

  41. These are really great tips Amanda. I’ve never been a fan of group classes honestly, but I really do want to try a barre class. I am now looking to see if there are any little studios closer to me than 25 min away.

  42. Kasey says:

    oh I am one hundred percent obsessed with barre. I have a saturday morning thighs + glutes class that I get up earlier for than I get up for work. I do still giggle every time the teacher mentions that it’s toning your “thass” because, you know, I’m an adult.
    I can’t explain why, but I want those mesh leggings bad enough to spend the big bucks. I figure, if I’m going to class four days a week, it’s totally worth it, right?

  43. Kristen says:

    very informative girly!! i would love to try barre but it’s just not financially feasible for me right now :) one day!

  44. Kay R. says:

    Great tips! I wish there was a barre class around me!

  45. Jessi says:

    I’ve been going to barre 1-2 times per week and love it! It’s more of the “cardio barre” style that I’ve been drawn to, but enjoy the barre method and pure barre styles just as much! Great tips, I’d love to be in one of your classes someday!

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