6 Tips for Barre Beginners

Barre workouts are a fun fitness trend to help you make the most of your strength and flexibility. The ballet-inspired workout is a close cousin to pilates and yoga, and requires no dance experience to get started. Still, barre exercise can be intimidating to some people because of its roots in ballet. By following these tips, you can be sure your barre experience is fun and rewarding.

1) Less Is MoreBarre exercises are composed mostly of small, tight movements that target muscle groups. Some beginners think of barre and ballet as the same thing, but in a barre workout you won’t see as many long, sweeping movements as you do in ballet. You also won’t see the hard-hitting intensity that you find in Cross Fit or Insanity. Barre is about building flexibility and strength in a more low-impact way.

2) Be Patient
You’re going to feel a little lost at first, especially if you have no dance experience. It can be frustrating to learn a new workout technique, and ballet/barre comes with a whole list of new words to learn and everything! What’s an arabesque? How do you releve? Don’t give up, though. Soon enough, you’ll work all those movements into your muscle memory and be able to keep up. (It’s helpful to do a little research online to help you define the movements, too.)

3) It’s Not Ballet
You don’t have to be a dancer to reap the benefits of barre exercise. Ballet experience may help you understand how barre works, but it’s not a requirement. Remember, barre is ballet-inspired, not actual ballet.

4) Dress the Part
Make sure you’re wearing clothes that are both comfortable and allow free movement. Anything you might wear to a yoga class, for example, will be perfect for barre. Leggings and well-fitted tanks or cotton shorts and a leotard are good examples of appropriate barre wear. Check with your instructor about footwear — some require ballet shoes or grip socks, others ask you to remain barefoot.

5) Practice At Home
Don’t wait for your first class to get into the barre groove. There are several videos and how-tos available online to help you get started. Make the most of barre exercise by practicing at home as often as possible. You’ll learn the movements and techniques more quickly, and you’ll see results faster than if you just wait for class.

6) Be Consistent
As with any workout, if you expect to see results you’ll need to stay consistent. Don’t miss class, and practice at home as much as you can. Soon you’ll see that lean, sculpted dancer’s body you’ve always dreamed of!

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