Barre is a demanding workout that seamlessly blends different elements from ballet, yoga, and pilates. While the thought of combining a variety of rigorous workouts can feel intimidating, we are here to assure you it’s not. In fact, it’s an incredibly empowering journey, and getting started with Britsbarre is a very user-friendly experience for first-timers or those that have been away from the barre for a while.
That being said, if you’re new or unfamiliar with what barre is, what you can expect, and what items you’ll need before your first class — this post will cover all of that and more in detail!
What is Barre?
Barre gets its name from the primary piece of equipment that is used: a bar. More specifically, it’s named after the long bars that run the length of the mirrors used in ballet studios. Other equipment which you may be familiar with include a yoga mat, free weights, exercise balls, and exercise bands.
At Britsbarre you’ll be given the freedom to choose how heavy you want your weights to be, with Brit walking you through how to properly use each piece of equipment and how to integrate it into each class to maximize your workout.
Depending on your personal goals and abilities, getting the best possible workout means working all your different muscle groups. However, for expectant and postpartum members — there will be special modifications for you to follow and advice about what moves to avoid completely. Nevertheless, Britsbarre classes will work multiple areas of the body, including:
The good news is all exercises are set at a slow and deliberate pace in a way that helps build strength and improve flexibility without the strain of performing high-impact moves like jumping.
Your First Britsbarre Class: What to Expect
Britsbarre will push you to your limits, but what you can expect to gain makes it completely worth it. You’ll have greater flexibility, improved muscular endurance, better posture, increased self-esteem, a decrease in stress levels, and a greater sense of connection with yourself mentally and physically.
Now that you know you’ll be working up a sweat — it’s time to go over the basics about what to wear and tips about how to cope with some of the more challenging parts of the workouts, and the hurdles you may face with any new fitness journey. If you are a new or expectant mother, please consult your physician before beginning any new workout regime.
1. What To Wear
As with fashion in general, what you’ll wear will largely depend on your own personal taste and style. With this in mind, you will want to make sure you’re comfortable while you exercise, and since Britsbarre is all done from the comfort of your own home — you won’t have to worry about feeling the need to impress anyone! So wear clothes that are comfortable for you and best allow you to concentrate on exercising.
We suggest wearing or bringing:
- Form-fitting clothes: Feel free to wear what you feel the most comfortable in, but we recommend snug clothing (not necessarily skin tight) for barre because loose clothing can restrict movement and get caught up in equipment. If you’re wearing pants that are too long, you also risk slipping and falling, so make sure to evaluate what you’re wearing and how it could impact your workout.
- Sports bra: Again, nothing on our list is mandatory and are only suggestions. Some women feel more secure and comfortable wearing a sports bra while working out — but since this isn’t a high-impact activity — you could technically skip one altogether. Keep in mind there is still a moderate amount of movement, so wear what is comfortable for you.
- Hair pulled-back: As we mentioned above, barre isn’t terribly fast-paced, but you are required to move your body in many different positions. For longer-hair clients, we recommend using a hair tie or headband to keep your hair from falling in your face and blocking your vision.
- Water Bottle: Even though barre isn’t high-impact — you’ll definitely work up a sweat! A crucial part of any exercise or workout routine is keeping yourself hydrated and allowing yourself water breaks whenever they’re needed.
2. Be Mentally Engaged
According to the American Psychological Association, exercise is a healthy stress reliever that does wonders for the mind and body. Working out wouldn’t be called working out if it was easy. To say the least, it’s one of the most challenging things you can physically do with your body, but staying engaged mentally is one of the most rewarding benefits of the challenge. So try to keep your mind laser-focused and in tune with what your body is doing; if you continually let your mind wander — you’re missing out on this advantage. Simply going through the movements won’t do you any favors in terms of reaching your fitness goals because if you’re not closely listening to Brit’s cues, you’re likely not putting in the full intensity of the move into your workout. Even the smallest adjustment can make a huge difference in how effective the overall session will be.
3. Get Ready to Shake
We always encourage our clients to listen to their bodies in terms of how hard to push themselves, however, it’s also important to not be scared or worried to work your muscles to the point of burning. If you feel like you need a break — that’s completely fine — but remember Britsbarre classes are designed to work all the muscle groups to fatigue (the #Britsbarreburn), and getting some muscle shakes is a good indication of this. Muscles we don’t use often aren’t accustomed to receiving so much focused attention and intense exercise, so they’ll understandably burn and shake a little.
4. Get Ready to Work New Muscles
Similar to parenthood — barre is much harder than it looks. While it may look easy because there aren’t a lot of erratic movements happening, there is a whole lot going on behind the scenes. Isometric exercises require you to hold and pulse your muscles which challenges your muscles more than you might think. Holding a plank position is the perfect example of what an effective isometric exercise is. You’re not moving, but you’re feeling the burn throughout your entire body.
5. Don’t Wait Too Long Between Workouts
Having rest days are imperative for muscle repair and the prevention of injuries, fatigue, and burnout, but it’s just as important to get back on the barre as soon as you feel able. If you are new to barre, we recommend taking class 3-4 times per week. You can take barre up to 6 days a week, but we definitely recommend one rest day every week. Unfortunately, it’s much easier to fall out of shape than it is to get in shape. The old “if you don’t use it, you lose it” moniker definitely applies to exercise, and in as little as 48 hours. Even though the body holds on to its strength for as long as it can, being sedentary results in a 1%-3% decrease in muscle strength per day, with a noticeable loss in strength after 2 ½ to 3 weeks.
What Sets Britsbarre Above The Rest?
You’ve probably noticed our constant reference about the importance of proper instruction and how executing barre moves correctly is crucial for not only your safety but for reaching your fitness goals. To put it simply — founder and CEO Brit Shamansky was a former ballerina and one of the most highly-quested master barre instructions in all of New York City. She was eventually tasked with training hundreds of barre instructors across the nation before relocating to Austin, TX, and becoming Director of Training for Mod Fitness, a certified Equinox instructor, a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer, a pre-and postnatal certified trainer, and most importantly, a first-time mom.
Needless to say, Brit is one of the most qualified and knowledgeable barre instructors around and created the Britsbarre on-demand virtual studio to share her expertise and passion for a safe and low-impact results-oriented program that motivates you to exercise your body and build confidence. She is able to bring you this platform today after amassing a passionate and far-reaching following from sharing short (but effective) barre videos on her Instagram account.
Now that you know what to expect for your first Britsbarre session, we invite you to check out Brit’s Instagram account @Britsbarre and view some of her short videos to give you a better idea of what to expect moving forward and a preview of what’s to come!
Our ultimate goal is to make useful content that leaves you feeling strong, motivated, and encouraged, in a safe, effective, and easy-to-follow approach. Whatever your fitness goals are, and wherever you’re at in the world —we invite you to join us in experiencing the joy of barre and the #Britsbarre burn!