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Everything You Need to Know Before Booking Your First Barre Class

You don't need to be a ballerina to enjoy this muscle-shaking workout.
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Doing the same workout over and over again gets boring fast. Luckily, there are a lot of trendy fitness studios out there so you can incorporate all different types of exercises into your fitness routine. One of the most popular workout classes of the last few years is barre. Barre combines ballet-inspired moves with Pilates, yoga, and strength training for a full-body workout that will make you look leaner and longer. Intimidated by the barre? You don't have to be. Here, top barre instructors share what you need to know before taking your first class.

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You Don't Need Any Ballet Experience
Although barre classes utilize a ballet barre, that doesn't mean you need any prior dance experience to take a class, says Christina Schwefel, owner of Forme Barre. "I tell students that my classes are open level," she says. "Someone who's just starting out can take modifications, while people who've been coming for years can advance the moves to make them more challenging." Brianna Norton, who teaches at Exhale Atlanta, tells beginners to go at their own pace. "If you need to modify, modify," she says. "If you have to take a break, take a break."

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You Will Work Your Entire Body
"During a barre class, expect a mix of body weight and light weight exercises using high repetitions and isometric holds," says Schwefel. A warmup might consist of planks and pushups, then you might head to the barre for leg- and glute-focused exercises, and then you might end class on the mat working on your core and cooling down with some yoga poses. Every studio's barre class is different, though. Schwefel says the classes at her studio, Forme Barre, are more ballet-inspired, while Norton says Exhale's barre classes feature more strength training elements.

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Your Muscles Are Seriously Going to Shake
If you look at other people in a barre class, you might not see them moving very much. That's because the goal is to hold positions for as long as possible in isometric holds so that you muscles start shaking and burning. And that's exactly what you want. "You body is supposed to feel like it's working," says Norton. Schwefel explains that the shake/burn you'll feel during a barre class is a sign of fatigue, as you're challenging your muscles to stay in positions for long periods of time. "These are often muscles that don't get a lot of work," says Schwefel. Pushing through the shake is what will change your muscles and get you results (which included strengthened and toned muscles along with better posture).

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You'll Want to Invest in Grippy Socks
Most studios require you to wear socks. At Schwefel's Forme Barre, she asks students to wear grippy socks, which are available for sale at the studio in case you didn't have time to buy a pair beforehand. "It helps to have traction under your feet," she says. "It helps you stay in position." Our fave grippy socks: the Emma Grippy Socks from Tavi Noir, $14.

BY CHRISTINA HEISER | FEB 8, 2020 | SHARES
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