You all know how much I love my barre classes and I’m excited to partner with The Barre Code Metro Detroit (their studios are in Birmingham and Rochester Hills) to bring you a series of barre tips, tricks and information. I’ve written about The Barre Code here before (see this post) and love the variety in their classes and the always-positive message and feeling that comes from taking a class.
Today, Lindsay, one of the owners of The Barre Code is going to share some tips for beginners at the barre. So if you’ve never been, haven’t been in a while or just need a little refresh on your barre basics, these are for you! So without further ado, Here’s Lindsay:
Being the ‘new kid in class’ – it’s a commonly understood feeling that we never seem to grow out of! Even working in the fitness industry, whenever I try a new workout class, there is always that element of anticipation and uncertainty that accompanies those first steps through the door. If you’ve been wondering what barre fitness is all about, here are a few tips and tricks on what to expect during your first class!
What to Wear // Most importantly: wear something comfy that you can move around and feel good in! Pants are strongly suggested during all of our classes due to the nature of the movement. (Legs lifting in the air = potentially uncomfortable in shorts!) At The Barre Code, our floors are made out of the same supportive material that you can find in your tennis shoes, so all we wear on our feet are socks! You can wear street socks, but grippy socks can provide an added aid against slipping.
Arrive Early // Your first studio will experience will feel much more relaxing if you give yourself ample time to arrive, fill out a quick waiver, meet the instructor, get a tour of the studio and get acclimated with the space. I recommend arriving no less than 15 minutes before your first visit so you can be sure that you are prepped, set up and ready to roll! After that first visit, popping in a few minutes before your class begins is a-ok.
Have a Question? // If there is anything at all that you are wondering about – the intensity of the class, modifications for injury or pregnancy, which props to grab, where to stand – please, please ask! Our ultimate goal as instructors and studio staff is to ensure a comfortable and positive experience for all class goers. If there is ever anything you are concerned or curious about, always ask your instructor. That is what we are there for.
Get Comfortable with the Uncomfortable // So you’re in the class, the music is pumping, the warm up is almost complete, its go time! During those last few warm up moves, give yourself a “pump up” talk. What goals brought you in the door? What do you hope to achieve from your workout? Allow yourself to dig deep and find a little added bravery and confidence as you head into your workout, you will be AMAZED at how it feels both inside and out
The Barre Basics // There are a few key feelings and movements that you can expect to occur in most barre classes.
- Working in opposition: If you hear your instructor reference this, they mean they want you to work yourself in essentially two directions at once. (I know, WHAT?) In example, in seat we frequently talk about tucking our tailbone down as we extend our legs back and up. This helps to activate your muscle deeper, initiate change faster, and actually use the engineering of your own body to create strength from the inside out!
- Tucking: Found in thighs, this barre staple is a hip thrust that might otherwise be saved for the dance floor on a Saturday night. Activate your lower abdominals to pull your hip bones to your ribcage, and feel those thighs begin to burn, baby, burn! Which brings me to my final point…
- Shaking (a.k.a. “My legs are falling off.”) In barre, shaking is the ultimate goal. If you’re shaking, you know you are doing it right! As you work your muscles into fatigue, that quiver is the sign of finding your limits. Hold onto that feeling as long as you can, that is when the true magic is happening!
Mind over Matter // Acknowledge that your mind has the tendency to give up before your body does. Believing in yourself is far more than half the battle. At The Barre Code we offer seven styles of classes – including a few high intensity cardio/barre fusion options. I will be the first one to say that about halfway through the class my mind starts questioning if I can make it through to the end – it is tough stuff! When that starts to happen, take it back to your pump up speech from your warm up. Remind yourself how good it will feel on the drive home when you know you just gave it your all.
Celebrate your Victories // Did you just nail that final hold in abs? Held the weights for an entire arm section? You. Go. Girl. Be proud of yourself for every single success you have in class. When you allow yourself to find the joy and growth within fitness – that is when it becomes an enjoyable aspect of your life.
Stretch //Always, always, always stay through the end of class. Not only does it show respect and consideration for your fellow classmates, it also is a vital part of your workout that allows you to restore your body (and mind!) after all of your hard work. Seal in your efforts and enjoy that final moment of relaxation – you earned it!
Make a Friend // My absolute favorite part about my journey with The Barre Code is the people that I have met along the way. There is something about the power of numbers in group fitness where everyone is working together for their goals… it is community in the greatest sense. Introduce yourself to the person sweating next to you, as an icebreaker you can always ask them a question about it being your first time!
Embrace the Journey // My biggest recommendation about exercising is to find a type of exercise that you truly enjoy. That is when you will stick with it and experience those lasting changes from the inside out!
Thanks so much to Lindsay and The Barre Code for guest posting! To find a studio near you, check out their website here.