Whenever Barre comes up in conversation there are always a lot of questions - What is it? Which studio do you go to? What do I wear? Well, I am here to help! The new workout has become so trendy there are now several different studio options in the Chicago area and most people don't know where to start!
I've been going to Barre for years and do really love the workout. It is hard, but not in your traditional sweat-drenched heart-pounding way. In fact, I barely break a sweat in most barre classes. Barre is a ballet-inspired strength training class involving high repetitions of small isometric movements.
Each barre studio has it's own personality, focus and work out. I have been to them all, so I'm here to help you find the right studio for you!
This is the first Studio I ever went to many moons ago. I would say this would be a good starter studio if you want to sit back and get a non-invasive taste of what Barre is all about. The teachers do not correct your form, and the class is in a dark room so no judgment from your peers! This class is more high energy in comparison to a Bar Method or a Pure Barre class.
Bar Method - For The Perfectionist
If there is a polar opposite of Barre Code, Bar Method is it. When you walk into the studio, your instructor greets you and takes your name. The room is large and bright. Throughout class the instructor calls students out by name to praise or correct their form, in fact they walk around the room and make hands on adjustments. My class had two instructors, one for hands on adjustments and one to actually teach!
In Barre, if you don't get the moves just right you don't get much out of it. Some of the moves in this class are a little complicated, so it is really nice to have the extra attention on form.
Pure Barre - For The Quick Learner
Pure Barre is similar to Bar Method in the movements and exercises you do. The instructors are attentive, but not to the extent of the Bar Method Instructors. There are no hands on adjustments and they don't call you out by name, rather they walk over to you, hold their mic so no one can hear and let you know the adjustments that you need to make! This class is the most like a yoga class - low energy and there is not a lot of bouncing or jumping, so it's easy on the knees too!
Exhale - For The Chill
This is gym doubles as a day spa, so if you want to pamper yourself after you can hit the spa! Amenities including a steam room, rain showers, and access to massages ect. The class is call "Core Fusion Barre" and it's spot on. Out of all of the Barre classes, I definitely worked my core the most here.
Dailey Method has gorgeous studios, but beyond that the classes are easy to follow and understand. The moves in this class are less technical, more basic so any level of barre-enthusiast can go without feeling overwhelmed. This studio was opened by a pilates instructor, which might explain why the moves seem familiar and more rudimentary!
FlyBarre - For High Energy Lady!
This is the most unique of the barre classes I have been to. This is an action-packed, hit-music filled strength training workout. While you are suffering through the pain of high-repetition tiny pulses, you just want to dance!
MOST IMPORTANTLY, WHAT DO YOU WEAR TO BARRE CLASS?
Wear leggings, not shorts. You are often on the floor or in many positions, and you want to avoid any wardrobe malfunctions!
Get the grippy socks. It really helps. The in-studio branded socks tend to be on the pricey side ($10+), so I would recommend Kushy Feet brand socks, which are about 40% cheaper than most barre socks!
There you have it! That is my recommendation for which studio is right for you. Does anyone have anything to add? Any different experiences? Comment below!