Tried and tested: Barre classes

It's the exercise trend taking over, and here's what we thought

Beauty Crew Editor / August 10 2018

I recently found myself in an interesting predicament: my gym buddy (my sister) was gallivanting around Europe for a month, and I was left to my own devices, and I didn’t really have anyone pushing me to really workout. So without her breathing down my neck, I needed an exercise alternative that would push me like she did. 

Enter Barre Body. I had been to some classes before and loved them, but my commitment levels weren't so fabulous. I told myself (and for accountability purposes, anyone who would listen) that I would substitute my usual three days a week with Barre Body classes, so in theory, I’d be fit and toned when she returned from her European holiday.

The Barre Body studio

The Barre Body studio

The beginning

I was really good. For the first two weeks, I fit in four classes a week, alternating between Barre Tone (which is more Pilates-based) and Barre Body (which features more yoga moves and isn’t as intensive). 

The whole point of the barre classes is that you do tiny movements, but you do them focusing on the muscles you’re engaging and working, and for long enough to feel the burn. So you may be only using a one-kilo weight in each hand and just doing small circles, but after a few minutes, you really feel it. Or sometimes it’s just a tiny pulse of your leg up to work your glutes, but after a few minutes, both the lifted leg and your standing leg feel like they might give in (in a good way!).

I basically left every class feeling equal parts like jelly and an elite athlete.

Here are some examples of some of the moves you could do in a class (none of these are me, because I am nowhere near that graceful or strong):

Working the bum and thighs

Working the arms

Working the core

The wall

I went a little too hard too fast, and by the end of week two, I was walking around like a decrepit old lady and I just couldn’t push myself to maintain the pace. My body wasn’t used to the intensity of the workouts, so it was taking me a while to recover. Others should learn from me: if you’re new to it or go sporadically, ease into doing it a once or twice a week until you get into the rhythm. 

So I decided to scale back a bit, and do one to two classes for my last two weeks, in combination with the workouts I would have done with my sister.

It was in this time that I discovered I loved the Barre Fit classes, which uses resistance bands and weights to firm and tone your arms, tummy, and thighs.

"I basically left every class feeling equal parts like jelly and an elite athlete."

The final verdict

While I couldn’t see a noticeable change* in my body after the month, I could feel it. I could feel my bum and thighs were a little firmer, and that my quads were stronger. I’d sometimes grab my upper arms just to feel that they weren’t as jiggly. 

Since the month ended, I’ve been making an effort to go to my barre class once a week to maintain the strength I’ve built and to push myself further. Hey, if it works to get Margot Robbie toned and tight, it’s worth keeping up with, right?

I went to Barre Body for my classes, which has studios in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, and there are other studios that offer barre classes, like Xtend Barre, and even in some Fitness First gym locations. If you want to get an idea of the kinds of things you could be doing in a Barre Body class, you can watch some of the online classes on the Barre Body website

* This could also be due to the fact that I may or may not have eaten with a complete disregard to a healthy lifestyle during this month.

Image credits: Supplied

Carli was BEAUTYcrew’s Editor from launch in 2016 until May 2020. You can find her words right here on BEAUTYcrew, and previously on beautyheaven.