So donning a tutu and pirouetting around may not be your thing, but the athletic ballet bod probably is. Ballerinas tend to be strong, graceful, and lithe, with a body built on a foundation of core strength. So if the dancing aspect doesn’t attract you, incorporating these classic dance moves into a Pilates and yoga-focused workout could help you sculpt a shapely physique worthy of your favorite crop tops—all while leaving your blowdry totally intact. Here, we share the scoop on what to keep in mind before embarking on your first barre class.
What is it?
The classic barre workout was created in 1959 by German dancer Lotte Berk. After injuring her back, she decided to craft an exercise program that combined her physical therapy with ballet technique to yield the sculpted body of a dancer without the injuries. The various off-shoots we know today are hybrids of ballet, yoga, classic dance training, and free weights. They help lengthen, strengthen, and tone by targeting four major muscle groups all at once—the thighs, arms, abdominals, and glutes.
The overall goal is to produce a “dancer’s physique,” which is fitness speak for long, lean legs and arms, firm abs, and a lifted rear. Before your first class, Core Fusion co-creator Fred DeVito says to “realize that there will be moves that you are good at and some that you will need to work on in order to do them proficiently. What’s most important is that you work on these challenging movements with as much effort as possible in order to see results.” If you’ve watched even a single episode of our new YouTube show Strictly Ballet, you know that killer technique takes a lot of hard work. Patience is key.
And in case you’re in need of a little motivation, Tanya Becker, the co-founder of Physique 57, says only this: “There are 168 hours in a week, so dedicating 4 or 5 hours to working out isn’t much in comparison. When you’re feeling really tired, just think about how good youll feel once it’s done.”
What to wear and what to bring:
Like we said, this isn’t the time for a tutu. (Unless, of course, that’s your thing. In which case, by all means wear a tutu.) But here are a few other basic things you’ll need for a first class. Emi-Jay‘s snag-free ties won’t leave a crease in your hair when you take out your ballet-bun later. And obviously a good sports bra will offer support. (Plus this one from Lucas Hugh boasts removable padding and a super-flattering square cut out in the back.) Adidas by Stella McCartney offers opaque coverage, plus a contoured design that serves to enhance your legs. And, to the uninitiated, fancy socks may seem like a cultish nonsense purchase. But the grips on these, by Shashi, will help to stabilize you during plank poses, helping you towards a tighter core.
And while you’re at it, don’t forget to pack a few extra beauty essentials. While you can typically get away with sneaking in a class without showering after, toting Ban Body Wipes will ensure a quick, cooling clean-up post-barre session. You’ll also want to bring a water bottle into class with you to keep hydrated, so make sure yours is cute, like this one from BKR. Also, keep your pout moisturized with a kiss of color before you leave the studio with Chantecaille’s Luminous Lip Gloss.
Where to go:
The barre thing is a pretty hot trend at the moment, with most of it centered in LA and NYC. But don’t worry! The legendary Physique57 offers online classes, as does Barre3. Barre, weights, and ball not included—so make sure you’re well-stocked on props!
There are some very popular studios nationwide, such as Core Fusion, which is (as the name suggests) quite ab-centric. (There are DVDs if you don’t live near one of the studios!) Pure Barre, a yoga-infused experience, is also available in multiple states. In the class, each strength workout is complemented by a series of stretches to create long and lean muscles. Finally, FlyBarre has studios in most of the major cities. This highly active workout mixes barre with dance, small interval exercises, and weight-training.
Source from: http://www.teenvogue.com/beauty/health-fitness/2014-06/beginners-guide-barre-workout-classes