Barre can be one of those tricky classes to get the hang of in the beginning – from the form to the terminology, if you're a barre newbie, it sometimes takes a few classes to feel comfortable and confident. But once you master the art of tucking and get comfortable with the class's format, it can also be really easy to "phone it in," and just go through the motions. Don't do that!
So how do you get the most out of your workout? We consulted Pure Barre's senior master trainer, Shalisa Pouw, to ask how intermediate barre-goers can get the get the most out of their workout.
When It Starts to Burn and Shake, Hold It Right There!
Pouw says, "The real work starts right when you want to give up. When your muscles start to burn and shake, you know you are really fatiguing them and that's where the results happen! So next time you feel like you want to drop your weights or come out of position, close your eyes, breathe, and try and hold on for 10 more seconds." Easier said than done, right? But trust us, you're going to reap the rewards of some phenomenal results.
Find Your Focus Muscle
Although it's easy to zone out or let your mind wander in class (or solely focus on how much your abs are burning), take care to really listen to your instructor in class. This is particularly important for muscular isolation. When they say "move from your core," make sure the movement isn't coming from your thighs — this seems obvious, but can be much harder in practice. "By finding your target muscle in each position, you can ensure that you are getting the most out of the work," says Pouw. "If you are in a seat [butt] exercise doing tiny lifts of the leg, the movement should stem from the seat rather than the foot or the knee."
Let The Music Drive You
Have you ever had the "I NEED BEYONCÉ IN THIS MOMENT" thought mid-squat? Barre is rooted in dance, so it makes sense that music plays a big part of the routine, and can carry you through a tough set of movements. "There's nothing like your favorite song to help motivate you to stay in position," says Pouw. "The music will follow the energy of class, so feel free to close your eyes, sing along, and let the music carry you through your workout!"
Focus on Form
This tip is from personal experience: form is of the utmost importance in a class like barre – if your form is off, you're not getting the true, intended exercise, and that's what you're paying and working for, isn't it? Before you move up to heavier weights or a tougher progression of a pose, ensure that you've mastered your form. Tucked seat, tight abs, can't lose.