The Ultimate Barre Workout Guide for Beginners

There are no ifs, ands or buts about it – Barre class is for badasses. 

For those who haven’t tried barre, a workout class using rubber balls, light weights and a ballet beam probably seems like a walk in the park. But those who have finished their first class know the truth – this workout will seriously kick your butt. 

Barre for beginners

From toning muscles you never knew you had to enjoying a protective and productive form of exercise, barre will broaden your horizons on what it takes to tone and grow muscles. 

Here is everything you should know about barre classes before you head to the studio!

What is barre?

Barre is a workout that tones muscles using primarily body weight. Barre focuses on low-impact, high-repetition movements that target muscles not engaged during traditional squats, lunges and other body-weight exercises. In addition, many instructors may incorporate rubber balls, a ballet beam, small weights or a yoga ball to enhance the workout. 

At the end of the 55-minute class, you will have finished a full-body workout that will leave you feeling strong and energized.

Why beginners should start barre

Beginners should try a barre class for many reasons, but you can boil down the main ones to the following:

  • Barre movements are easily adjustable. Long-time regulars and first-timers can take on the same workout and adapt it to their ability level.
  • It offers a fantastic workout. Barre is a fantastic strategy for targeting and engaging muscles deep in your body that help with muscle tone, balance and fitness longevity.
  • It’s fun! You’ll enjoy every second of barre with a mix of full-body circuits, fun music, an upbeat instructor, great classmates, and a great workout.

Is barre a good workout?

Anyone walking out of a barre class will tell you the same thing – it is much more productive than it looks on paper. High repetition of movements that isolate hard-to-engage muscles will ensure you feel the burn – even if you choose to omit weights. From tush-growing circuits to arm sculptors to full-body burnout, you will probably feel this workout in the morning (in a fantastic way!).

What are the benefits of barre?

From a customizable workout to a lively environment, there are many benefits to adding barre to your workout class to-do list.

  • Barre helps you target hard-to-reach yet essential muscles that help you stay strong, flexible and balanced on your feet. 
  • With several opportunities for workout modification, barre-goers can tailor the intensity of their workout to their abilities. 
  • Barre class is a productive way to build and tone muscle in a safe, protected manner. 
  • Barre classes are fun! With upbeat music, peppy instructors and a great community of barre-goers, barre studios create a 55-minute party to make the rigorous workout incredibly fun. 

Who is a good candidate for barre?

Due to easy modifications and barre’s low-impact, high-repetition nature, anyone is ultimately a good candidate! Barre studios offer an incredibly welcoming environment so people of all ages, body types and experience levels can leave their apprehension at the door and enjoy a fantastic workout at their own pace.

What do you wear to barre?

Anything you’d wear to a high-impact yoga class will be an excellent option for barre. This could be leggings, bike shorts, and activewear tops. Many people prefer more form-fitting options to minimize anything shifting or riding up. Because you may find yourself lying on your back and stomach at some point during the class, we recommend not wearing anything with metal hardware, like zippers or buttons. 

One unique thing you’ll need for barre is a pair of grip socks. As you practice without shoes, these socks help you avoid slipping around as you work out. Most studios have grip socks for sale if you don’t yet have a pair. 

How often should you attend barre class?

As with many types of exercise, consistency is key! If you want the best results out of your journey with barre, experts recommend signing up for a class 3-5 times per week. Because the workout prioritizes avoiding injury and protective movements, many people do daily classes without worrying about “overdoing it.”

Once you’re hooked and consistent with your classes, many barre studios are more than excited to celebrate your fitness milestones. Many barre studios celebrate regulars that achieve 100 barre sessions and beyond!

Can you do barre at home?

Barre utilizes easy-to-find tools, so once you understand the general movements of the workout, it is possible to practice at home. 

For the best results and most productive workout, we’d suggest taking a handful of in-person classes first to get instruction from an expert and feel confident in barre movements. That foundation of knowledge will make a world of difference in your at-home practice!

Barre Class For Beginners Doesn’t Have to be Intimidating

At the right studio, barre class creates a welcoming atmosphere perfect for a fun workout. We promise you’ll leave class with a new appreciation and respect for 2-3lb dumbbells!

Need help finding excellent barre studios in your area? Check out all of the classes at your fingertips with ClassPass.

Amanda Rouse is a freelance writer and content strategist living in San Clemente, California. When she’s not actively dodging writer’s block, she’s probably trail running, doing a crossword puzzle, or falling off of waves (She soon hopes to call this “surfing.”). Follow her and send her funny reels on Instagram.
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