This trendy new workout is blend of yoga, Pilates, and ballet. While the workout leads to a sculpted dancer-like body, you don’t have to be a dancer to attend class.
“I danced for about ten years and I had a knee injury,” said Carleigh Klein, a SmartBarre instructor. “I was looking for something to kind of replace it to transition so that I didn’t lose a lot of the muscles that I had when I was dancing. I found barre and it was SmartBarre and it was a perfect transition and I hardly saw a difference at all in my body.”
The workout focuses on small strengthening and lengthening exercises intertwined with stretches.
One of the things that SmartBarre focuses on is preventing injuries by protecting the joints and strengthening the muscles, said Klein.
In addition to toning and lengthening muscles, barre class helps to rev the metabolism which aids in fat burning throughout the day.
Barre also tones the entire body. A typical barre class at SmartBarre starts with strengthening the upper body, then the lower body and then abs.
Stretching is incorporated in-between each segment.
The class ends with dimmed lights and soft music to help everyone relax.
“You really zone out in whatever moves you are doing,” Klein said. “Then once you get out of the class you can kind of get back into whatever you were doing before class with a clearer mindset.”
As barre gains popularity more and more studios have popped up around the country. While the general workout is the same, each studio has a unique method and structure to the class.
In addition to SmartBarre, there are small pop-up studios as well as large barre franchises such as PureBarre, The Bar Method and Barre3, to name a few.
“Back home I go to Barre3 but [SmartBarre] is very similar, they both kind of do the same type of thing,” Remy Zingale, a SmartBarre attendee, said.
While the workout may have you looking and feeling like a dancer, there is no need for skill or flexibility.
“My mom and I started experiencing new workout classes and she discovered this one because she can’t really dance and I’m not that flexible so this was a good medium for us both,” Zingale said.