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Barre Class Tips

5 Things You Should Know Before Taking Your First Barre Class

By now you may have heard about this newest fitness kid on the block. You may be thinking about adding barre to your workout routine, but you're not exactly sure what to expect. Here's everything you need to know to ace your first class like a seasoned barre expert.

So let's start with the basics — what exactly is barre?

Barre is a fusion workout, blending ballet-inspired movements with elements of Pilates core training and yoga to give you a full-body, interval-style workout in less than one hour. Your muscles will be shaking, your heart may be racing, and you'll be feeling that afterburn for a few days post class. But you'll experience results like you've Never. Seen. Before.

Alright, so now that you know what barre is, let's get down to it. Here are a few tips to get you through that first class feeling like a champ.

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  1. Focus on form. Barre moves can make a dramatic impact on the strength and shape of your body. One thing that makes these moves even more effective is executing them with proper form. Be sure to listen to your instructor's cues, and remember form over intensity. Performing these tiny isometric movements with proper form will make them that much harder.
  2. Don't be afraid to drop the weights. One thing you'll notice when you hit the barre for the first time is that you use "really light" weights, usually just two or three pounds. This is because in barre class you're working muscular endurance rather than traditional strength training. We're doing high reps with low weights to work each muscle group to fatigue. That said, as a beginner, don't be afraid to drop the weights altogether. Trust me, your muscles are still working hard, and you're still getting an awesome workout with or without weights.
  3. It will be hard at first. If you haven't heard, #barreishard. Look, it's difficult to learn a new skill. Even more so in a group setting, so kudos to you for showing up. Barre never gets easy, but it does get easier with time as you become more familiar with the movements and get your form on point. Keep at it. You will definitely get stronger.
  4. Expect your muscles to shake. There's nothing quite like that muscle-quivering feeling you get at the barre. It literally feels like your legs might give out on you if you keep going. This is where a little "mind over matter" intention comes in handy. As long as you're well-fed and properly hydrated, that muscle shake that you're feeling is because your muscles are getting tired. Congratulations! You've accomplished the goal of your barre workout — your muscles are fatigued! But don't give up quite yet. Try to stick with it until the last rep. You'll be so glad you did.
  5. Your muscles may burn for several days after the workout. Barre causes a little thing called DOMS or delayed onset muscle soreness, which really just means that you may not feel the burn for as many as three days after your workout. Barre is sneaky like that. But don't worry, one of the best ways to alleviate DOMS is to head back to the barre while you're still sore.

There you have it — some tips to help you survive your first class at the barre. Now go out there, and get those muscles shaking. You'll be so happy that you did.

Image Source: Flickr user quinnanya
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