Whether you’re a former pointe ballerina or about as graceful as Shrek, barre classes are a great way to achieve a low-impact burn. Though the workout utilizes the ballet barre as a tool, the exercise is far from a dance. Instead, mega-popular franchises like Pure Barre focus on tiny (I’m talking inches) movements that target muscles you probably don’t even realize you have. Sound like something you’re interested in? Here’s THE SWEAT SCENE’s lowdown on Pure Barre’s signature class.
THE SWEAT SCALE
Though Pure Barre classes are indeed strenuous, they are neither sweat-inducing, nor heart-pumping. In other words, cardio junkies may want to look elsewhere. If you’re one for sculpting and toning, Pure Barre’s classes are likely more your cup of tea (or green juice?). That’s not to say Pure Barre’s classes won’t deliver a burn, though. Thanks to their use of light weights and resistant rubber balls, Pure Barre classes have the ability to leave clients (the good kind of) sore for days.
The space isn’t the only consistent factor in Pure Barre’s winning formula – the workout itself remains consistent across studios, as well. For instance, each class follows the same order, working the arms first, then the thighs, followed by “the seat,” and finally concluding with the core.
The arms section typically combines body weight exercises (such as forearm and side planks and tricep pushups) with weighted ones. Arm exercises largely make use of two- or three-pound weights. Sound wimpy? They’re not. Pure Barre makes sure clients feel those additional pounds by way of repeated movements that target biceps, triceps, and shoulders. It’s not uncommon for clients to drop the weights altogether and continue doing the movements without them.
The class’s thigh section (my personal weakness) is done entirely at the barre. Clients often engage in multiple variations of barre-assisted squats – hands rest lightly on top of the barre, lower body bends into a seated position and moves “up an inch, down an inch,” with everything tucked tight (i.e. thighs squeezing a rubber ball placed between the legs, core pulling in, hips tucked, the whole shabang). Heels are also often raised off the floor for added calf work as clients squeeze side to side, or pulse their knees outwards for an inner thigh workout. It is these mini-movements that prove the source of the burn, reaching (and burning) less-used muscles.
After clients’ thighs are sufficiently fatigued, Pure Barre classes address “the seat,” aka the booty. Seat exercises repeat different variations of leg lifts and circles – both at the barre and on the floor – that require clients to “lift,” “hold,” and “freeze” in order to achieve the “Pure Barre smile,” which describes the line where the top of the leg meets the backside (can you tell Pure Barre likes euphemisms?).
Last, but not least comes core work. Be prepared for barre-assisted moves with your back against the wall, as well as six minutes of crunch-like exercises on the floor that fire up the oblique muscles (aka side abs). Finally, class ends with a brief stretching section amidst dimmed lights paired with a calming song.
WHAT TO WEAR AND HOW TO PREPARE
Wear leggings! This class is a mix between yoga, pilates and more so, you want to be comfortable in a variety of positions. Definitely wear some "sticky socks" so your feet don't slip and slide. Make sure you arrive at least ten minutes early for your first class so you can fill out a waiver and get the equipment you need.
Pure Barre studios are relatively subdued in comparison to other trending workout destinations. In other words, there are neither flashing neon lights nor TVs announcing class participants’ effort input, and the music is not blasting loud enough for clients to request earplugs. Yet Pure Barre offers a kind of reliability that clients can trust – in fact, the franchise opened its 300th studio in the U.S. in April 2015 and has plans to expand internationally. Every studio looks the same, from the grey carpet (which no shoes are allowed on) to the wooden cubbies, storefront with branded merchandise, and peppy instructor always present.
THE BOTTOM LINE
For the anti-cardio girl who wants to sculpt and tone without getting drenched in sweat, Pure Barre may just be your new best friend.
|Regular Pure Barre Class||A general Pure Barre class is 55 minutes long and consists of the following breakdown.
|Breaking Down the Barre||If you are a new or Veteran Pure Barre client looking to deepen your understanding of the technique, this class is for you. We provide the tools you need to take your Pure Barre workout to a deeper level. The best part? It’s free!|
|Intensive: Fab Abs||This 75 minute workout offers the Pure Barre total body workout, but with additional intense abdominal work to burn away fat and leave you with toned, sculpted, sexy abs.|
|Intensive: Slenderize Outer Thighs||This 75 minute workout offers the Pure Barre total body workout, but with additional intense seat work to taper in that stubborn outer thigh area and tighten up the waist.|
|Intensive: Lifted Seat||This 75 minute workout offers the Pure Barre total body workout, but with additional intense seat work to lift, tighten, and tone your seat by the end of class.|
|Intensive: Bye Bye Inner Thighs||This 75 minute workout offers the Pure Barre total body workout, but with additional intense thigh work to sculpt the inner thighs, leaving them slender and sexy.|
|Pure Barre Platform||Pure Barre Platform is a new fast-paced class designed to optimize cardiovascular results and increase total body strength. This heart-pumping class combines quick bursts of high intensity, yet low impact cardio work with periods of lower intensity muscle-sculpting movements. These 55 minutes of high energy, fun and intense interval training at the barre will help you burn calories, jump-start your metabolism, and increase your overall endurance. It is the perfect cardio complement to your Pure Barre class to help you achieve even greater results, while still holding onto the traditional pieces and parts of a Pure Barre class that we all know and love. Check out a sneak peek below! You can also read more about Pure Barre Platform here.|
Pure Barre Atlanta Druid Hills Sweat Scale*
✓ Free Towels
✓ Free Water
✓ Equipment Rentals
✓ Equipment Purchase required
✓ Hair ties
✓ Hand Sanitizer
✓ Lockers with locks
✗ Free Towels
✗ Free Water
✗ Equipment Rentals
✗ Equipment Purchase required
✗ Hair ties
✗ Hand Sanitizer
✗ Lockers with locks