the benefits of barre



ambassador - andrea isabelle lucas - barre fitness
image: ambassador, Andrea Isabelle Lucas

After discovering one of my old dance recital VHS a few years back, I did two things. I wondered why my parents kept me enrolled in a dance program for so long and I vowed to stay clear of a dance floor for the rest of my life. That was until I discovered a fitness class where I found myself plié-ing and elevé-ing at the barre once more and, surprisingly, quite liking it. Our Boston-based Core Fusion Ambassador, Andrea Isabelle Lucas, takes us back to first position with the benefits of barre.

barre background

For decades, devotees have transformed their health through this practice, which provides the perfect balance of safe and challenging work through a blend of yoga, Pilates and ballet. Lotte Berk (a professional Ballerina) created this practice when she blended orthopedic exercises with her dance training while rehabbing an injury. These days we are seeing an explosion of Lotte Berk-inspired barre programs under a variety of names (Core FusionNalini Method, Bar Method, Barre Fitness, Physique 57, Dailey Method, Rasamaya Barre, Pure Barre).

The Benefits of Barre
image: Pearl Distric ambassador, Denise Burchard

benefits of barre

Regular practice (three to five times a week) can increase muscle density, decrease body fat, improve flexibility and posture and rev up your metabolism. The hour-long class is a blend of strength training with our own body weight or light hand weights, interval cardio and lots of stretching.  The ballet-inspired workout focuses on incredibly efficient, tiny movements. Take our average sit-­up. There is about a one-inch range of motion that makes up the most challenging and beneficial part of that exercise – we’ll call it the sweet spot.  In a barre class, we’ll spend several minutes holding and working with tiny pulses in that sweet spot until our muscles not only burn but also shake with fatigue. Each muscle group is stretched immediately after it’s worked which promotes longer, leaner muscles and better recovery so we’re less sore the next day.

Don’t be fooled by its ballet roots, even though it looks graceful, it’s anything but effortless. Are you ready to return to the barre – even if your childhood experience was as embarrassing and uncoordinated as mine?

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76 Comments »


Thank you for the mention and link! love. love. love.

Comment by Carrie Tyler, Founder Rasamaya — October 29, 2011 @ 5:28 am


Yes because actual ballet is soooo efforless

Comment by Betty — October 30, 2011 @ 9:18 am


love andrea + love barre! great write-up andrea!

Comment by bridget — October 30, 2011 @ 5:31 pm


This sounds amazing! Do you know if there are any classes in the Montreal area?

Comment by Vicki — November 1, 2011 @ 11:51 am


Hey Vicki! I’m Jonas – a lululemon Run Ambassador and also, co-founder of Training Mobs (a website that helps you find workouts near you). I just wanted to chime in and let you know that Training Mobs has Barre method classes posted on it occasionally, so check out the site and see what you find. Hope it helps! And, great post guys!

Comment by Jonas Caruana — November 2, 2011 @ 8:28 am


Thanks Jonas! You’re the best!

Comment by Allessia — November 2, 2011 @ 8:29 am


Thanks Jonas! Vicki, I actually checked in with Dave Sciacca (also of Training Mobs!) and he mentioned that there isn’t really any barre studios yet in Montreal, but that the closest thing in terms of core philosophy might be Essentrics at Cielo studios. Hope that helps!

Carrie, Rasamaya rocks! Especially aerial and burlesque yoga. :)

Bridget thank you for the kind words!

You guys are amazing, thanks for reading and being a part of the conversation!

Comment by Andrea Isabelle Lucas @ mind body blissful — November 2, 2011 @ 10:04 am


Thanks Jonas and Andrea!! :)

Comment by Vicki — November 3, 2011 @ 9:54 am


OoOoOo I’ve always wanted to try a barre class after hearing Elim’s great experience with it. I’ll have to see if there are any good ones in Toronto…

Comment by Aleksandra S — November 9, 2011 @ 11:58 am


Hi Vicki,
we are just about to introduce Barre classes in mid-September into our studio schedule.
We are fully specialized Pilates Studio located in NDG.
May you d like chiseled arms, great abs and burning buns, you know where to find us – http://www.ditapilates.com.
Will be happy to meet you!
Dita

Comment by Dita — August 30, 2012 @ 7:16 pm


LOL! Betty I thought the same thing when I read that line! I take ballet twice a week and my ballet class is anything BUT effortless :) But I like the idea of barre workouts too.

Comment by Rachel — October 30, 2012 @ 2:01 am


Do we have Barre… Classes available in Brisbane Qld at all? Thanks : )

Comment by Lisa — October 30, 2012 @ 3:15 am


Great write up Andrea!!

Comment by Jenny — October 30, 2012 @ 4:03 am


I LOVE barre classes! I’ve been taking them for 3 years, teaching them for 1.5 years. You have to check out Tracey Mallet’s Booty Barre method (thebootybarre.com)- best and hardest barre class I’ve experienced yet!!

Comment by Kate C — October 30, 2012 @ 4:37 am


Hi is there any barre classes in the kingston area?

Thanks

Comment by Sheri — October 30, 2012 @ 4:43 am


Barre Ambassadors, unite!! Love the write-up! Great explanation of barre fitness and its benefits! We love our Lululemon at Neighborhood Barre in Knoxville, TN!!!

Comment by Katy B - Neighborhood Barre — October 30, 2012 @ 4:52 am


Hi, probably a spellchecking error but it’s “releve” not “eleve”. Love barre. It’s great.

Comment by Al — October 30, 2012 @ 4:58 am


Bar Method has changed my fitness life.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!

Comment by Cheryl — October 30, 2012 @ 5:18 am


I am 50 years old and have been doing barre for the last 2 years. I am in the best shape of my life. Never have to think about posture,, my much improved muscle tone keeps me ramrod straight! Was starting to have joint pain including a frozen shoulder. The pain is gone, the mobility feels like I am 20 years old.
Shout out to Pilates Principle in Latham NY.. Beautiful place with the most supportive staff.

Comment by Frannie Ray — October 30, 2012 @ 5:24 am


Wonderful write-up on Barre, and thank you for the mention! Love the exposure for this amazing fitness philosophy.

Comment by Norrie Zaplatynsky, Owner - Barre Fitness North Shore — October 30, 2012 @ 5:55 am


You forgot Pure Barre, which is one of the original barre studios…

Comment by grace — October 30, 2012 @ 6:13 am


Pure Barre !!!

Comment by Alli — October 30, 2012 @ 6:24 am


Does anyone know if there are any Barre classes in Edmonton??

Comment by Rani — October 30, 2012 @ 7:04 am


How could you guys not include Pure Barre? It has been around for over ten yrs with over 100 locations. That is a huge oversight on your part especially since a good majority of the studios have been carrying your apparel around from the beginning. I am truly shocked that you do not support one of the strongest following in barre techniques.

Comment by Steph — October 30, 2012 @ 7:08 am


GREAT article Andrea! Super informative :)
xoxo

Comment by Julie Starr-Wood — October 30, 2012 @ 7:32 am


This class sounds like so much fun! I’ve heard so much about it and am looking forward to trying it! I am wondering how it creates longer muscles? Does it change the point at which the muscle attaches to the bone? Or does it somehow make the bones longer thus making the muscles longer as well? I am so interested in the physiology of how one can lengthen one’s muscles as I thought they were a genetically predetermined length… This is exciting new science!

Comment by Jenn — October 30, 2012 @ 7:46 am


Love this post and absolutely LOVE barre work outs. I go to Studio BFF (Ballet Fusion Fitness), the most amazing and unique ballet based fitness studio, in Arizona. Not only has it changed my attitude towards exercise but it’s changed my body to be longer, leaner and stronger. http://www.studiobff.com

Comment by Kelly — October 30, 2012 @ 8:26 am


Really??? Why is there no mention of Pure Barre?????

Comment by laura frankel — October 30, 2012 @ 8:30 am


I incorporate Alissa Perzow’s Xtend Barre class at DBS Fitness Concepts (Montreal) in my weekly workout regime and I have never felt better in my life. It is a combination of pilates and dance and it brings me right back to doing ballet as a child and the beautiful feeling it provides inside and out. Alissa is a former ballerina and fitness enthusiast and it shows in her training method – her body moves with grace and elegance and she’s a true inspiration. She is an excellent instructor and makes you feel like there are no limits to what you can achieve and are capable of doing. Not to mention her affinity towards Lululemon! In my opinion the perfect match! They were just featured in The Montreal Gazette yesterday, check it out!

http://www.montrealgazette.com/touch/story.html?id=7462946

Comment by Shari Goldberg — October 30, 2012 @ 8:34 am


Alissa perzow is the best class I’ve taken!!!! She rocks!!!!!!!!!!! DBS!!!!! I believe she is the only trainer certified in xtend barre!

Comment by jen — October 30, 2012 @ 8:40 am


I have been blessed to bring pure barre to the NC area and also a lululemon ambassador. Our clients have seen amazing results both physically and in terms of mind- body connection. It is truely a great workout, effective and non jarring on your joints! Check out a
Barre class, pure barre has several locations check
Purebarre.com for a location near you!!

Comment by Ami — October 30, 2012 @ 8:56 am


Great post on barre classes however you failed to mention the best of all barre classes, Pure Barre! As an avid traveler I have had the privilege of taking classes at several different barre studios in the country and Pure Barre is by far my favorite. Great workout,music,and instructors! I always know what I am going to get at every and any PB studio…not just a workout but a mind body experience that keeps me coming back for more! If you haven’t tried it yet you are missing out! They have classes all over check out locations on their website..you won’t be sorry! Please excuse my rambling but PB is the one workout I have found that I actually look forward to doing:)

Comment by Melissa — October 30, 2012 @ 9:20 am


Hey Guys – Glad to see so many Pure Barre enthusiasts! So sorry we missed this studio but we’ve added it in now!

Thanks for sharing that feedback.

Allessia,
lululemon blog editor

Comment by Allessia — October 30, 2012 @ 9:37 am


Barre classes are my favorite workout. It is the perfect combination of yoga, Pilates and cardio. I love taking my Xtend barre classes with Alissa Perzow. The hour flies by and each class is different. My legs shake abd I love that! I try to do barre classes 3 times a week. It’s the only workout I need!

Comment by Lysa Lash — October 30, 2012 @ 10:00 am


Best Barre class in Montreal is at DBS Studio with Alissa. She’s amazing and you’ll love the workout!

Comment by Janet — October 30, 2012 @ 10:01 am


Hi Could you tell me if there are any barre classes in Kingston ont.
Thanks

Comment by Sheri — October 30, 2012 @ 10:17 am


Whoops, I see I am not the first to catch this. Thank you for the acknowledgement!

Comment by Redd — October 30, 2012 @ 10:29 am


BARRE has come to MTL! Check out http://www.tresstudiobarre.com for more details.

The studio is currently in a temporary downtown location with class schedule based on client demand however the official location will be opening downtown MTL in December!

Get it. Love it. Keep it.
Kara
http://www.tresstudiobarre.com
http://www.karafitness.com

Comment by Kara — October 30, 2012 @ 10:33 am


I had the pleasure of taking a Bar Method class while visiting Portland from the lovely Denise Buchard pictured above. It was an amazing workout! Being from the middle of Montana it is such a treat to take classes not offered here when I travel.

Comment by Bente — October 30, 2012 @ 10:57 am


If anyone lives in CT or is in the area there is an amazing Barre studio in Fairfield called She3!!! Check it out!

Comment by Heather — October 30, 2012 @ 11:06 am


Love love love Pure Barre! My body has changed in ways I never imagined it could. Thanks for the post! See you at the Barre.

Comment by Tiffany — October 30, 2012 @ 11:08 am


I love the article…..If you are ever in Birmingham, MI come try a barre class at my studio, Relevé relevefit.com YOU WILL LOVE IT!!!!!!

Comment by Donna Gross — October 30, 2012 @ 11:46 am


I love the Xtend barre class I take with Alissa Perzow at DBS gym every week. It is a fabulous full body work out — core work, flexibility, balance, endurance and even cardio. I feel great during the class and even better after!

Comment by Jill — October 30, 2012 @ 11:57 am


I absolutely love Pure Barre – the technique, energetic instructors, fabulous sing-along music, and fantastic workout. As an avid runner, I started looking for a technique that would help build up my stabilization muscles… now I am addicted and can’t stop attending! LTB!

Comment by Piper — October 30, 2012 @ 12:05 pm


LOVE my BAR METHOD classes. Amazing! results

Comment by Lani — October 30, 2012 @ 12:31 pm


I’ve been doing Alissa Perow xtend barre class at DBS in Montreal for over a year. I love how’s it changed my body. My core is stronger and my legs and arms are leaner and my flexiblity has improved 10 folds. I never miss her Monday class!

Comment by Bridgit — October 30, 2012 @ 12:53 pm


If you are in Calgary, come check out my Ballet Barre Works classes!!!! For more info, check out http://www.balletbarreworks.com. So happy to see this amazing post!!!!

Comment by Kalyn Swihart — October 30, 2012 @ 12:55 pm


I love this workout but could you explain the physiology of how it ‘lengthens’ your muscles? I want to be able to explain it to my friends but haven’t been able to find any info :( Is this just a bogus claim? I hope not because I love the workout!

Comment by Jenn — October 30, 2012 @ 1:17 pm


In Vancouver, I teach BalletFit Classes! If anyone is in the area and wants the benefits of a barre class as well as learn some additional ballet technique, check out one of my classes! Great Post :-)

Comment by Suzy Kaitman — October 30, 2012 @ 1:43 pm


I have been taking Alissa Perzows Barre classes in Montreal for the last few months – ever since it was introduced. They are amazing! The best workout I ever had. It is the complete workout for me a mix between pilates, yoga and cardio. She is also the best teacher mixing it up every class. The hour flies by!!!

Comment by Lysa Lash — October 30, 2012 @ 1:45 pm


Check us out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BalletFitClasses

Comment by Suzy Kaitman — October 30, 2012 @ 1:46 pm


I love barre-based workouts and my favorite is Barre3 (www.barre3.com), which was forgotten from the post. I have tried other studios and Barre3 is definitely my favorite! They have studios all over the country (when I travel, I always check to see if there is a studio in that city). I can’t recommend this workout enough! Hopefully it will be included in the above blog post!

Comment by Gigi — October 30, 2012 @ 2:10 pm


Love the new barre collection and this post. I came across barre two months ago as I was trying to rebuild by muscle tone and strengthen my core from having my first baby in April. My first class felt like the hardest thing I have ever done and I wanted to quit after 5 minutes. I’m glad I didn’t because weekend barre classes are now a highlight of my week thanks to the instructors at Baltimore Barre.

Comment by Kirsty — October 30, 2012 @ 4:22 pm


Im SO glad to have stumbled upon this article via Twitter! I teach at a barre franchise in Atlanta and it really is THE most amazing workout! I encourage everyone to try it! You will form an addiction to it just like I did.

Comment by Emily — October 30, 2012 @ 4:40 pm


Great post, love to have more exposure on barre! In the Toronto area check out Union Studio. Barre classes choreographed by Heather Ogden, Principal Dancer w/ National Ballet of Canada.

Comment by Christie — October 30, 2012 @ 4:45 pm


Great class, i am currently teaching Barre in Burlington and Stoney Creek Ontario and loving it!

Comment by Judi — October 30, 2012 @ 6:09 pm


Anyone know of classes in Mexico City, MX??

Comment by CH — October 30, 2012 @ 6:13 pm


Love taking your classes, Andrea!

Comment by MVLBP — October 30, 2012 @ 6:43 pm


The Pure Barre technique will change and sculpt your body within 2 weeks. Each and every class is fun, challenging, heart pumping and keeps me coming back day after day!!! I can’t wait to pick up some of these new barre lu lu pieces – THANK YOU!

Comment by Lisa — October 30, 2012 @ 8:03 pm


Pure Barre is an amazing workout.

Comment by Carrie — October 30, 2012 @ 11:33 pm


Nice article but you also forgot to mention Xtend Barre Workout, created by pilates instructor, professional dancer, and lululemon ambassador Andrea Rogers, based in Boca Ratan Florida.
We are a lululemon partner in michigan and feature Xtend Barre at Equilibrium. Clients get addicted to Xtend Barre quickly.

Comment by Nancy Hodari — October 31, 2012 @ 8:19 pm


Read your blog on “The Benefits of Barre” and was disappointed to see you did not include Xtend Barre. We have Xtend Barre studios throughout the country and internationally and hope to be included in your future blogs.

Comment by Johanna — November 1, 2012 @ 7:06 am


Roni! I teach a Barre class in Sherwood Park at Millenium Place called Barre Burn. Love it and I trained with Tracey Mallets Booty Barre!

Comment by Karen — November 1, 2012 @ 7:53 am


Check out corebarre.com. The Core Barre System of Smart Movement is available for instructor training and is taught by STOTT PILATES Instructor Trainers with a relevant classical dance background as well as GYROTONIC.
Taking barre education to the next level – promoting current biomechanical concepts of stabilization to create effective and safe movement as well as focus, precision, and strength in the physical realm and also in the context of general wellness and daily living.
We love the lululemon ‘wunder under crops’ – great for Barre work. Thank you lululemon store in South Park Mall, Charlotte, NC!

Comment by Monica — November 1, 2012 @ 4:34 pm


If you are looking for a barre class in the Burlington/Oakville/Hamilton area check out BarreNone, taught at Exhale Pilates, Yoga & Barre Studio in Burlington.

BarreNone is an amazing barre program created by lululemon Oakville Alumni Ambassador Crystal Webster. Crystal is a STOTT Pilates teacher and certified yoga teacher, and has been teaching Pialtes for10 years. The BarreNone method stays true to the principles of alignment that make Pilates so effective. A true integration of the amazingness of Pilates, Yoga and Ballet, BarreNone classes are sure to be one of the most challenging and effective classes you’l find out there!

Comment by Crystal Webster — November 1, 2012 @ 8:15 pm


We’re thrilled to see all this enthusiasm for Barre based workouts! Thanks for spreading the love :)

Comment by Alycia - Studio Manager, Barre Fitness Yaletown — November 2, 2012 @ 8:05 am


omg, I want to try this. Where are the studios?

Comment by Erin Hempstead — November 2, 2012 @ 2:04 pm


Come to Nairobi, Kenya!!! We have a FABULOUS instructor, Amy Selbach, who is opening her expanded Barre studio called TAUT at Village Market this month.

Comment by Holly — November 3, 2012 @ 10:31 pm


Are there any places in the Whitby, or Oshawa, Ontario region known as “Durham Region” of Ontario?

Comment by lisa — November 5, 2012 @ 2:48 am


“The Barre Fitness Studio” in Corpus Christi, TX is the traded marked Amy Heidecker Method. http://www.barrestudios.com
It is the most safe and effective time proven barre with individual modifications not unlike a private.
Check it out when in the beautiful city of Corpus Christi – fun too.

Comment by Jay Heidecker — November 8, 2012 @ 2:47 pm


Please come to The Barre Fitness Studio anytime any of you Barre enthusiasts are in the South Texas area. We are in Corpus Christi, Texas and soon to be in San Antonio and Port Aransas. Please like us on FB or check out our website. See you soon,

Comment by Amy — November 8, 2012 @ 8:03 pm


I love Karve Studio in Lindon, Utah. I have tried other studios and Karve is my favorite.

Comment by Dawn — November 17, 2012 @ 10:10 pm


True Barre in Vancouver BC is sensational. They are true barre, so it’s the real deal. They have a few places across Canada. Hope you find a barre near you! :)

Comment by tan — November 22, 2012 @ 9:49 pm


True Barre in Vancouver BC is sensational. They are true barre, so it’s the real deal. They have a few places across Canada. Hope you find a barre near you! Visit http://www.truebarre.ca for a location
:)

Comment by tan — November 22, 2012 @ 9:50 pm


Great post about the benefits of barre.

Those in the Kirkland, Washington area come try out a barre class at The Union Method, http://www.theunionmethod.com.

Comment by Tami Jones — November 25, 2012 @ 3:54 pm


I am walking proof that barre classes can transform your body into victorias secret model (well almost) shape! It was exactly what I needed to break my fitness plateau and I am loving it. Barre for life :)

http://www.kellysreality.com

Comment by Kelly's Reality — November 9, 2013 @ 10:09 am


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