Setting The Barre…Learn All About Barre Exercise


Looking to try something new, or craving a more intense workout? Here’s the rundown into one of the latest trends in the fitness industry.


Barre workouts have become one of the most popular and go to exercise regimes for people, dominantly women, who are looking for intense workouts with fast results that can fit into their hectic lifestyles. It comes as no surprise that it was a ballerina who developed the idea of Barre. Lotte Berk a German dancer wanted to combine her conditioning exercises that came with her dance training along with her rehabilitation therapy after a back injury. In 1959 her first studio opened in a London basement where many famous faces came to visit.

How to describe Barre to your friends?

Barre’s origins come from ballet but even for those who struggle with rhythm and timing there’s no need to worry because there is no requirement for previous dance training. Depending on your local studio classes can go from beginner to advanced and different lessons can focus more on specific body parts such as core and legs. You’ll perform small isometric movements which are designed to tire your muscles faster. Some common moves are ‘hover seat’, which works the top of your thighs by holding your body in a position in-between kneeling down and kneeling up. ‘Leg lifts’, which work the inner leg muscles by holding your leg at a ninety-degree angle from your body and pulsing your leg up and down.   In comparison to a normal strength class where you would expect to be performing larger compound movements. During a barre class, you are likely to also be using small handheld weights, yoga mats and gym balls to make sure you work every muscle and not just your legs. This also prevents classes from becoming repetitive and boring. This is a highly efficient workout that targets more than just one muscle at a time. A barre class usually will last 45mins to 1 hour and of course depending on the movements you perform you can find yourself burning up to 400-500 calories. You can build muscle whilst also losing weight however don’t be surprised if your weight doesn’t dip dramatically as many people know muscle weighs more that fat.

So why has barre become so popular now? One possible reason that comes up is due to the recession in the economy, with many going through tougher times but still requiring the essential workouts that provide release from stressful days.

For handy hints of what to wear to a barre class, the best thing to think of is yoga. Lycra/spandex bottoms, a sports bra and a loose t-shirt will do fine, it’s important to be comfortable and free to move. Classes advise you doing the workouts in bare feet, although if you’re not comfortable with that then socks are allowed. It may be an idea to have socks that have grips on the bottom just to prevent any accidents.


Can’t make it to a class? JLL Fitness can help you with your home workout by providing you with some of the common equipment used in barre exercises.

Neoprene Dumbbells (Sold in Pairs) 1KG – 5KG – From £6.99

6mm Yoga Mats – Pink, Green, Blue, Purple, Blue, Black – £8.99

Fitness Gym Ball 75cm – Pink, Purple, Blue – £7.99

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Senior Manager for JLL Fitness Ltd with a passion for health and fitness and exploring the latest trends in the industry.

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