Whether you are new to barre and you don’t know where to start and are scared to just jump into any old class (I WAS TOO!) OR if you are an advanced barre lover and looking to find a class that is more on your level: THIS is the Barre Studio Guide for you!
WHAT IS BARRE?
It’s a mix between pilates, yoga, and ballet-inspired stretching. Using only your body’s strength, a small ball, light weights, and elastic bands. Oh yea- there’s a bar, too. Most of the workout involves pulses, which is basically high reps of small range-of-motion movements. It really strengthens and tones your arms, core, and legs.
WHY I LOVE BARRE
There are so many things I love about Barre. One of the main reasons is that it significantly reduces anxiety for me. There is something to being in the moment and physically pushing yourself through something that is difficult that is so empowering. You feel achieved at the end, not to mention slightly more toned! If you ever wake up feeling slightly bummed (for whatever reason), run (or citibike) to a barre class and I promise you, you will feel much better after the class.
A major pro to barre is that it reduces bloating. Sometimes I can get pretty bloated during the day where it can be uncomfortable and unflattering. If I run to a barre class after work, this totally helps my body bounce back and get rid of the bloat.
PLUS – some studios having amazing music that make the whole workout super fun!
WHAT TO WEAR
I like to wear a form fitting top (all about the sports bra lately) since you will be on the floor a lot and bending over. I pair this with either long or crop leggings since studios require you to wear leggings that cover the knee, as you will be on your knees a lot. See HERE for cute workout clothes help keep me motivated to work out!
Some studios require you to wear socks, while others allow you to go barefoot. I would bring a pair of socks with you for sure to you first class and they don’t need to be the specific barre socks (which are basically just ankle socks with grippys on the bottom).
Throw all you need in a backpack (don’t forget a bottle of water) and go!
Shop some of my fave outfit pieces below:
My first barre class ever was at Pop Physique and I legit died.. and was instantly hooked. I knew that as I completed more classes, that it would eventually get easier while still being a challenge. Plus- the physical and emotional results were great!
I joined CLASSPASS,which allowed me to take classes at so many studios for a discounted price. With CLASSPASS, it also gives me the flexibility to be able to book a class on my phone right before I leave so I don’t have to feel the pressure of planning my day around my workout! (Get a free month when you sign up!)
As I started to try more barre studios, I noticed that they were all different and some would be better for different levels of barre-goers. I took the liberty of trying out all the major barre studios in NYC and reviewed them all below.
THE BARRE STUDIO REVIEW
|PopPhysique||This studio is extremely trendy and picture-perfect. If you are looking for the perfect photo opp, this all pink studio is your spot! As far as the workout goes, it definitely can be challenging for the first time, but not one of the most challenging studios I’ve been to. Plus- the music is amaze, I’ve heard my favorite Terror Jr songs here!||4/5||Yes|
|Pure Barre||I’ve taken this class on the UWS and in Southampton. I would say that this is a good studio for your first time as it’s not one of the most challenging barre workouts I’ve attended. The studio in Southampton is pretty trendy as you may have guessed. Although this is not my favorite studio in NYC, I did think it was a good workout for the times that I spend out east.||3/5||No|
|exhale||This studio offers a great challenging workout. I found the instructor to be super nice and helpful. Plus there are ton of locations (most with a spa attached if you want to get a massage, too!).||4/5||Yes|
|The Bar Method||This studio doesn’t let you wear a sports bra to class. The class is very structured and really stays on schedule for each of the reps you do. I think this is a great beginner class as the class is not super challenging.||2/5||No|
|Pure Yoga: Figure 4 Barre||This is my favorite barre class EVER. Everytime I go here I am so challenged, my body feels great. There are moves here that other studios do not do and they KILL your legs, but in the best way. PLUS – The studio is so nice. The studio seems more like a membership lounge where members are not just going to classes, but hanging out and reading. The vibes are definitely really chill and cozy. The studios are limited to only the Upper West Side and Upper East Side. NOTE: you do need to bring a lock for the lockers (I usually leave my locker unlocked).||5/5||Yes|
|Physique57||This was a great workout! I like that they offer different levels of barre classes so you can find the best workout for your level in one studio. I did the “Signature” class which is great for someone a little more advanced. If you are still a beginner, you can try the “beginner” class they offer. Taking a look now, they offer so many different variations of classes! Next up I want to try their “Barre Meets Mat” class!||4/5||Yes|
|FlyBarre||This is another challenging class. I did a 45 minute class and I personally think that 45 minute classes are slightly more intense than a 60 minute class. At times, there can be slightly less challenges movements before moving into the challenges exercises. Overall, it seemed as if the entire class was challenging and was amazing. What’s also interesting about this is that you are assigned a mat. PS; the music is great!||5/5||Yes|
After reviewing all these classes, I found MY favorite class: FIGURE 4 BARRE!
*I use affiliate links in this post, all opinions are my own.
*Photos by Kiera Wood.