You have probably heard of barre by now - there are tons of studios popping up that specialize in barre, or you might have discovered a few barre classes added to the schedule at your yoga / Pilates studio. Prior to this, I had only experienced barre as a quick warm-up in dance classes, so I was immediately interested in what a 45 minute to hour long class would feel like. From my experience of warming up at the barre in dance class, it is typically low-impact and facilitates a gentle stretch in the body - the barre class I took was nothing like I expected. It was absolutely a workout and so much more than stretching, I guarantee you’ll sweat before the class ends. Barre, for me, is the perfect middle ground, it provided a mix of cardio, strength, and flexibility.
So, what is barre anyway? Barre is a fusion of dance, yoga, Pilates, and strength training sometimes using the ballet barre for support. It is a low-impact full body workout designed to activate and tone muscle, with an emphasis on alignment and posture to prevent injury. Although low impact, the repetition of exercises targets specific muscles in the legs, core, glutes and arms; which makes barre a lot more intense than it looks.
"It was absolutely a workout and so much more than stretching, I guarantee you’ll sweat before the class ends. Barre, for me, is the perfect middle ground, it provided a mix of cardio, strength, and flexibility."
There are different variations of barre classes, depending on the studio, their method and of course the teacher. The one thing every barre class I have taken had in common: a great playlist and a good time. When I reached out to our community to get their feedback, most people agreed that they loved barre; it was almost unanimous. The few people who had not tried barre yet were excitedly looking forward to a class.
Here’s why you’ll enjoy and benefit from barre classes:
- It’s fun - If you are looking for a high energy, lively way to move your body and burn some calories, this is the class for you. Inner Villij offers a few barre classes with great instructors and a fire playlist. Think Afrobeats, R&B and Hip hop - here for it!
- It’s accessible - Trust me, do not get intimidated by the name. You don’t have to be a dancer to take a barre class. Most classes are beginner friendly and don’t require any fancy equipment: a yoga mat, towel, and light weights (optional) will do. With the current pandemic and the rise of virtual classes, instructors are suggesting using a chair in place of a ballet bare.
- It works – A couple of classes later and I can feel myself get stronger. I still feel the burn during class, don’t get me wrong but my endurance has improved. Now, it doesn’t take as much out of me and I even look forward to my barre classes, well… sometimes. Ha!
Looking for a platform for women of colour, with fitness instructors that look just like you? Sign up for a free 7- day trial to Inner Villij and enjoy live and on demand barre, Pilates, yoga, and strength training classes.