Everyone always talks about what a hard workout barre is, and I thought of it as something that I had to get in better shape to try. It is hard, but you don’t have to be in great shape to start. It’s a full body workout that uses free weights, a mat, and a ballet barre that can be easily modified for any fitness level.  If you’re new to the workout, it can definitely seem intimidating. I’ve put together a list of things to know before your first barre class, that I wish I had known before mine.

1. Wear pants.
I would recommend wearing leggings to barre class over shorts. You’ll spend a lot of time on the floor so I think it’s better to wear something tight against your legs so no one’s looking up your shorts.
2. Get to class early and introduce yourself to the instructor.
Let your instructor know that this is your first barre class and tell him/her about any injuries you have. I’d recommend doing this anytime you’re going to a class with a different instructor, especially if you have any injuries. During class your instructor can help you with any modifications you need.
3. You can switch to your lighter weights.
My first class, I finished the entire free weights portion with my heavy weights. I probably would have gotten more out of using the weights if I had switched to my lighter ones once my heavy set got too heavy for me. I would’ve been more comfortable and not taken so many breaks, but I didn’t know that was an option.
4. Start small.
Even if you can lift heavy weights when you’re weight training, start with small weights in barre. You’re working smaller muscle groups, and you’re not going to get a break between sets.
5. The class is split into sections of work and stretching.
My first class felt like forever because I’m used to doing all of the work and then stretching. In barre class, you’ll work your arms and then stretch them, work your legs and then stretch them, etc. Once you’re used to the format, these smaller sections will help the class fly by!
6. Follow the two class rule.
Give any new fitness class a second try before you decide if you like it or not. If I hadn’t done this, I wouldn’t have gone back for a second class. My first class was hard and felt especially long, but my second class felt so much better because I knew what to expect. Now barre is one of my favorite ways to workout. If I hadn’t given it a second shot, I would be missing out on it!

Have you been to a barre class? What advice do you have for barre newbies?

  • I really want to try barre! Now I feel better about going for the first time!

    • You should! I wish I hadn’t put it off so long thinking it was something I wasn’t strong to do. If you have any other questions let me know!