If you’ve ever seen a professional ballet performance, you know that ballerinas are more than just pretty dancers – they are accomplished athletes in peak physical condition. Beautiful ballet moves are made possible by cardio, strength, and agility training in the studio. Ballet workouts emphasize muscle control, cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. These workouts focus on your entire body, working each muscle with small, controlled movements. With such a balance approach to training, it’s no wonder that barre training is gaining popularity as a great everyday workout. Exercise studios with ballet-inspired classes are popping up across the country, and these classes can be a great addition to your weekly workout lineup! They offer a unique fitness perspective that combines athleticism and artistry to leave you feeling your best. And don’t worry, you don’t have to be a ballerina to reap the rewards of a great barre class. Even the clumsiest of ducklings can leave the studio feeling like swans.

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If you plan to attend barre classes regularly, be sure to pick up a multi-class membership. You’ll save money in the long run! Tutus and pink tights aren’t required in adult classes, but it is important to wear clothes that allow your instructor to easily see and correct your technique. Check out our picks for barre-ready pieces that combine fashion and function:

Encore Reversible Sports Bra  // Splash Jersey // Stride Short // Jazzy Tank // Color Block Capri

In addition to choosing the right clothing, we’ve rounded up a few other tips to help you really enjoy your first barre class. If you’re a barre regular, let us know what you’d add to the list.

1. Arrive a few minutes early. Show up to class 5-10 minutes early, so that you can get signed up, find a spot, and prepare for your workout. The instructor might even have time to give you a run-down of the class before it gets started.

2. Let the instructor know you’re new. Don’t be shy; introduce yourself! When you let the instructor know you’re new to barre, you’ll receive a lot of important feedback and suggestions on how to improve. This is a good thing, we promise.

3. Don’t get discouraged. New workouts bring new movements and new lingo. Don’t be afraid to accept help with your form and don’t worry about asking questions. The instructor is there to help you!

4. Prepare for an intense workout. While barre is a low-impact workout, it’s also incredibly intense. Many people discuss a different type of “burning” that takes place during one of these classes, and we agree with that description. Your muscles will be begging for a break after a few minutes!

5. Wear the proper attire. We know, we already stressed that one. It really is important, though, and you’ll thank us later! In addition to slim-fit clothing, we recommend picking up a pair of grip socks. They will help you balance and keep your feet from slipping during many of the movements. 

Barre classes are a great way to add variety to your fitness routine. Though these classes can be difficult, you will be rewarded with long, lean muscles, advanced agility and coordination, and confidence. Combined with a healthy diet and additional strength training, barre classes can be a fun and inspiring way to improve your overall wellness.

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