As y’all know, I love Pure Barre. It is my favorite active thing to do (outside of running, of course) and I try to get to two to three classes a week. I believe it’s great for runners, specifically, because of the muscles worked and because while it’s intense, it’s low impact so the risk of injury is very very low. I get a lot of questions about Pure Barre and so I thought I’d break down a typical Pure Barre class so if you try it (and you should!) you can know what to expect.
First things first. To get yourself all set up for class, you only need to bring yourself, a water bottle and socks (I recommend sticky socks. You can buy some right at your local Pure Barre studio – in fun colors! Or you can order some on Amazon – I like the toe socks because my toes sometimes slip). After you sign in, you’ll pick up a tube (either a single tube, a double tube or a velcro tube), a ball and weights. If it is your first class, I recommend you pick up the two pound weights. Trust me on this. You’ll thank me in about ten minutes, I promise. Head on in to the studio and get ready for 55 minutes of fun!
A typical Pure Barre class is broken down into six sections:
- Warm up. Oh the warm up. Pure Barre does not mess around and you will figure that out quite quickly. You will start out warming up your legs and arms with some simple movements. Then before you can say, well this isn’t so bad, you are down on the floor for the infamous 90 second plank. Now, normally a 90 second plank isn’t so bad. However, somehow it becomes the hardest thing during a Pure Barre class. But you will survive and then you are rewarded with push ups and side planks and all kinds of fun stuff. Just when you think your abs are going to fall off, the class moves on to arms.
- Arms. The arms portion of class starts and you have the option of starting with no weights or your lighter pair of weights. Again, if it’s your first class, then start with no weights and really get your form perfect. After a few moves, you’ll be instructed to pick up your weights (or your heavier set) for the bulk of arm work. Your entire arm will get a workout here and by the end, you will want to put the weights down. Close your eyes, breathe through it and then comes your sweet reward…a stretch before moving into thigh work.
- Thighs. Thighs is my favorite part of class (shhh, don’t tell any of my instructors!). There are a TON of different movements and the Pure Barre staff does an excellent job of finding new ways to
torturework your thighs during this section. You will most likely spend at least some of your time on your “highest heel” (see above picture) and you will hear phrases like “tuck” “shake” and “down an inch, up an inch.” It is hard to explain tucking but you will get the hang of it really quickly. The shake will come as your legs start to burn. And in a variety of poses, you will be lowering your body down an inch and then up an inch. In a typical Pure Barre class, you’ll do three different thigh exercises and then you will get a nice long stretch. My favorite thigh exercise is the one pictured above – I love seeing how high I can get my heels and focusing on perfect form. The great thing about Pure Barre is that your instructors will come around and offer encouragement and any needed adjustments. I find this incredibly helpful and motivating!
- Seat. Next you will “ltb” (Pure Barre speak for lift, tone and burn) your seat. The seat exercises often involve leaning over the barre, raising a leg and contorting it to work your seat (especially where your butt meets your thigh). I find these to be some of the most challenging poses for me and it’s when I’m particularly grateful for the hands on instructors at Pure Barre. See below for an example of something you might do during seat work. Yeah, it’s not easy – especially if you’re doing it correctly!
- Abs. Just when you think it’s over, you move to the floor for six or seven minutes of abs. But wait, you might be thinking – didn’t we do planks and stuff at the beginning of class? Yep. And now you’re going to really work your core. It is hard but it is awesome. Keep breathing because the end is near!
- Cool down. You did it! You’ve made it through an amazing Pure Barre class. Give yourself (and your neighbors) a well deserved hand!
I hope this gives you a bit of an idea of what a typical Pure Barre class is like. The fun thing (and why I keep going back) is that you’ll never get bored with Pure Barre. The instructors are always changing it up, which keeps your muscles guessing and keeps it fun. If you haven’t yet checked out Pure Barre – get on it!
Pure Barre is always opening up new studios – hopefully you can find a great studio near you!
By the way, this post is in no way sponsored by Pure Barre. It’s sponsored by my sincere love of my favorite barre studio around (and I’ve tried out quite a few!).