Pure Barre. It is a title that spurs the question, “What is that?” for some and others know that it’s where the magic happens! Before you start making any assumptions, Pure Barre is a ballet BARRE based workout, not a bar like you drink at. It is an exercise class that lasts 55 minutes, and is the fastest, most effective way to change your body.
According to the Pure Barre website, “In just 55 minutes you will achieve a full-body workout concentrating on the areas women struggle with the most: hips, thighs, seat, abdominals and arms. The Pure Barre technique is low-impact, protecting your joints by avoiding any bouncing or jumping. Each strength section of the workout is followed by a stretching section in order to create long, lean muscles without bulk. The technique works to defy gravity by tapering everything in and lifting it up!
The concentration involved while taking Pure Barre allows you to block “life” out for the hour, creating the mental benefits similarly obtained by the practice of yoga or meditation. A transformed body and a clear head in just one hour—it doesn’t get much better than this.”
I have been teaching Pure Barre now for four years and adore it. What’s crazy is that after all these years of being active, Pure Barre is the one thing I stick with and love. I grew up playing volleyball and cheering, then got really into doing different exercise classes including spin, and eventually even forced myself to learn to run enough to hobble through a 10k. So, to say that I have a mild addiction to exercise is a fact. However, the one exercise that I can’t go that long without missing is Pure Barre.
I am beyond blessed to get to teach at the Pure Barre Birmingham location and adore working with the incredible owners and instructors there. Those women are truly beautiful inside and out and have a gift for teaching and inspiring others. If you’re ever in Birmingham, come visit us, your first class is free!
Now, here’s 10 Tips for Your First Pure Barre Class from an Instructor!
1. Wear capri length or longer pants, socks, and a workout tank or T-shirt. Wearing pants that are longer keep your muscles warm and help you keep everything concealed when you’re working in front of a mirror. (I’m sure your undies are cute, I just don’t want to see them.;)) Socks with grips are sold in the studio and will help you from slipping but as long as you’re wearing some kind of socks in the studio, that’s ok. *Bonus tip: Take your shoes off before walking across the studio floor to help us keep the studio tidy for you!
2. Movements are small. There is no bouncing, big movements, or rebounding in Pure Barre. It is all isometric work meant to target your muscles effectively without putting pressure on your joints. It is low impact and safe for all ages and most injuries (check with your doctor). There are modifications available as needed that your instructor can provide. Think about squeezing from the muscle the instructor tells you to target instead of just moving your elbows, knees, or wrists.
3. Come early to your first class. You have to fill out paperwork, get your equipment (that the studio will provide which includes weights, a ball, and a tube), and put up your personal belongings before class starts, not to mention there could be a line at the front desk. Be prepared to show up about 10 minutes before class starts to get everything set and ready to go so you don’t feel rushed.
4. Be prepared to not understand. Your first few classes, there will most likely be parts of the class you don’t understand and that’s ok! It usually takes a few classes to get the hang of what’s coming up next and to get in the groove of things. It’s important to ask your instructor questions after class to start to truly grasp what is happening and why you are doing certain moves. Your instructor is there to help you, so take advantage of that!
5. Your muscles will shake. When your muscles hit fatigue, they will shake and it means you are doing something right! Congratulations, your body is working hard! The goal is to get each muscle group to shake and fatigue and then to stretch it out while those muscles are warm, leading towards the long, lean lines of a ballet dancer like shape.
6. Listen. Most exercise classes are highly visual, however Pure Barre is not. Really listen to your instructor. Pick up on the auditory cues to guide your body deeper towards the work and your mind deeper into what should be happening.
7. Shut out the outside world. In class, we ask that you not have your cell phone out. It is a time for you to focus on you for those 55 minutes. Taking away distractions helps you focus more on the mental health benefits as well. It is such a great time for stress relief and shutting out the rest of the day’s anxiety and chores.
8. Tuck. The tuck is one of the fundamentals of PB. Tucking means engaging your abs to pull your hips underneath your shoulders and neutralizing the spine to protect it during working sections. You always want to avoid a sway in the lower back when you are tucked. Use the mirrors to assist you in this. An active tuck (depending on the section in class) could mean anything from squeezing your thighs forward to squeezing your seat underneath you. Know that the tuck is all about your abs and your protection though. You may want to ask your instructor to show this to you if you still don’t understand after class.
9. Results are coming. Believe it or not, you can start to see and feel results in as little as 10 classes! If you come 3-4 times per week and are diligent about taking that first step to get yourself to your workout, results are coming! From my own personal experience, I saw my thighs tighten up and my pants get looser, my arms and back get more muscular and I feel so good! PB truly gives you the best body YOU can have.
10. You, yes, you can do it. There are women and men of all shapes, sizes, and ages that come into the studio each day. There is no need to feel self-conscious about stepping up to the barre. Every person in that room, including your instructor, remembers what it was like taking their first class. The key thing to remember is that everyone else is working so hard and focusing so much on achieving their own goals, they don’t really have the extra time or energy to pay attention to the newbie. We want PB to be an encouraging and an empowering place for every person who gives it a try, so please come give it a shot, you won’t regret it!
There are over 200 locations nationwide, so check out the location closest to you and find out the schedule for classes online. What was your first PB class like or if you haven’t been yet, how did you hear about Pure Barre?
If you’re interested in making more healthy lifestyle choices, I would encourage you to take my FREE 10 Day Get Healthy Challenge!
*In no way does this post express the thoughts or represent Pure Barre corporate. This is just my own opinion on tips you may want to know before taking your first class! Thanks to Pure Barre and Pure Barre Birmingham for the photos and for an inspirational place and business!*