Ballet is something I practiced for many years throughout my childhood and young adult life. I stopped practicing around the time I was preparing for college, not wanting to commit to a practice after years of after school activities.  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I struggled for awhile as an adult with developing a regular fitness routine, but eventually I found exercises I could regularly embrace (I wrote about one here- link to post).  Barre was no exception.

The barre craze had been happening for a few years before I joined in.  I heard about the classes, but since I was pretty committed to a yoga/running only routine, I didn’t pursue it.  Eventually my curiosity got the best of me and I decided to give it a try…and I’m so glad I did.

Maybe my dance background made it easier to adapt to the environment, but that doesn’t mean the exercise itself was any easier.  If you like to work multiple areas of the body in one class- arms, abs, glutes, thighs- then this is for you.  If you like to break a sweat while building long, lean muscles, then give this a try.  If you’re like me and will only do planks if you’re forced to, take a barre class! I promise you, I’m not a natural at strength training fitness.  I hate push-ups, I don’t regularly lift weights, and I do not do enough crunches on my own to make a difference.   But in barre class, I do! And I can actually manage to get through a set while making progress each week.  In the time that I’ve been consistently taking barre classes (a year and a half) I have absolutely seen progress in my ability AND my body.  Not to mention the long, lean muscles it builds helps my progress in other forms of exercise, like running.  

These classes are innovative and challenging and they go by so fast.  Most classes are less than an hour, yet you worked so many muscles.  Each class is different, using different props or techniques, yet you focus on the same muscles so you can break through plateaus and create new muscle memory.  

Another thing I love about barre is the community that surrounds it.  I regularly practice at one studio in Chicago that has a wonderful fitness community.  They have multiple locations and yet, it never feels like a corporate production.  They offer special events and challenges and often partner with other stores in the community to do fun (and sometimes free) activities.  I’ve visited many other studios throughout the country that are the same way.  These barre studios tend to be focused on women, and as a result have built strong relationships with their members.  

Give it a try and get to a barre near you!

Pure Barre


The Barre Code

The Dailey Method


Don’t see a place close to you? Check out this for help. (also source for above image)


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