Barre 101: Top 5 Things to Know Before Hitting the Barre
Raise your hand if you’ve heard any chatter about barre workouts in the past year or so. Good! Now, raise your hand if you’ve tried one of these classes. No? If it’s uncertainty that’s been holding you back, we’ve got you covered. We enlisted the help of our fabulous friends over at Physique 57 to walk us through some helpful tips for people looking to try a barre workout for the first time. Get ready to feel the burn!
Starting any new fitness regimen can be intimidating if you don’t know what to expect. At Physique 57 we like to prepare new clients with a few words of wisdom before their first class to make sure they feel comfortable going into class and to ensure a challenging and rewarding experience! Here are the top 5 things to know before you hit the barre for the first time.
1. Invest in Grippy Socks – When you walk into a barre studio like ours, your shoes come off and you take class in a carpeted space. To avoid slipping and sliding while exercising, we highly recommend investing in some Physique 57 Grippy Socks. You shouldn’t have to worry about slipping while trying a new workout. Some clients forego these grippy socks at the start because they assume they can take class without them but most (if not all) eventually give in and buy them. Our advice is to set yourself up for success from the very beginning. You will notice that the grippy socks are especially helpful during plank work and for overall stabilization/balance.
2. You will probably shake (and that’s ok) – Muscle endurance can be tested when trying a new workout in the form of shaking..and that’s great! Shaking means that your muscles are getting fatigued to the point of overload, where they then break down to rebuild much stronger. As your muscles get more used to the barre exercises, the movements will become smoother and the shaking will subside. During your workout, when your muscles are shaking, know that it’s ok to pause and then start back up again once you’ve regained some stability but also know the shaking is when the exercise becomes most effective as you are pushing yourself to your personal edge! Keep in mind that shaking can also be a sign of dehydration so make sure to drink water before, during and after your workout.
3. Stay mentally engaged – Barre classes can go from 0 to POW depending on alignment and positioning so really listen to the instructor. Small adjustments in positioning can have a great effect on the efficacy of the workout, so you want to stay mentally focused on implementing the cues from the instructor. Focus not only on form but also on the muscle you are working. Sensation can be a great tool to ensure that you are engaging the right muscles so keep checking in with what you’re feeling. As you feel your muscles firing up, work towards that burn instead of shying away from it.
4. You WILL work muscles you never knew you had – Those muscles will be the ones that help you create a long, lean physique. The focus of barre classes is to work in a way that will not “bulk up” the body, but will help create lean, toned muscles. The combination of strength training, cardio and stretches helps create that dancer physique 57 so you can expect to see a healthy, strong and leaner body with consistency and perseverance.
5. Head back to the barre within 48 hours – Although you may feel sore after your first barre class, you should return to your second class within the next 48 hours to work out all the lactic acid (i.e. – the soreness) and help reduce some of the soreness. Plus, if you don’t go right back to the barre, you might not ever! Often signing up ahead of time holds you accountable to coming back for that second try. It does get better the second time since you will be more familiar with the class format and challenging exercises! Just think, all that soreness is a sign that the exercises are really working!
Although barre classes can be extremely challenging, they are also mentally engaging and a great way to take time for yourself. You will learn new things about your body as well as really push yourself in ways you probably never have before. We often say that class can be as much a mental exercise as a physical one – pushing past perceived limits and really coming out knowing you did amazing things for your mind and body. So sign up for your first two classes and we look forward to seeing you at the barre!