What the Tuck? Everything You Need to Know about the [ATL] Barre Scene
Look around virtually any major city and chances are you’ll come across a barre studio or two (or three). Barre workouts have exploded in popularity capturing the attention of fitness enthusiasts and dancers looking to stay in shape in off seasons. Despite its foundation in ballet training, barre classes require no prior dance experience or knowledge of choreography.
The exercise uses small, isometric movements choreographed to music to target and fatigue individual muscle groups. Typically each section of barre class focuses on a particular group of muscles, yet the core is almost always activated and engaged, improving core strength and posture throughout the entire workout.
Two years ago I became slightly addicted to the fast-paced and challenging classes at Pure Barre. There was something about the encouraging teachers, uplifting atmosphere and fun, upbeat music that kept me coming back--even after the first few days of intense soreness. I’ve personally experienced an overall improvement in strength, especially in my upper body and core, and also increased flexibility since starting barre.
I didn't have any background in dance prior to joining Pure Barre, and found that barre workouts do require a bit of an initial learning-curve. However, beginners need not worry. It really doesn't take long to grasp the fundamentals, and once you do, you will learn how to continually challenge and push yourself during each class.
Barre can be a great complement to anyone who is looking to change up their current workout routine or try something new. Here at ZELO, we’re all about trying new things and experimenting to find activities you love.
Here’s everything you need to know about barre classes in Atlanta, and how to get the same great workout at home for less.
(While they aren't technically "rules", here are a few tips to help you with your first, second or hundredth barre class)
1. Wear cropped pants or leggings. Most barre studios require that you wear either cropped pants or leggings (some even have a no shorts policy). Keeping your legs covered will ensure that your muscles stay warm throughout the class, promoting flexibility.
2. Arrive early. The instructor can help get you set up for class and give you some pointers on form.
3. Stay focused. Don’t worry about what everyone else in the class is doing. Staying focused on yourself and on the teacher’s demonstrations will help you improve your form.
4. Ask questions. If you are confused about any movements or exercise, be sure to ask the instructor to explain them to you after class.
8 Atlanta Barre Studios to Look For:
1. Flybarre (Alpharetta, Buckhead, Midtown)
The New York based company, Flywheel Sports, started out by offering what has become one of the most popular stadium cycling classes in America. After establishing a solid following for their spin classes, FlyWheel wanted to provide a complimentary workout for the core and upper body--and thus, FlyBarre was born. The philosophy at Flywheel is that by combining cycling and barre, you are getting a challenging total body workout.
2. Barre3 (South Buckhead, Druid Hills, East Cobb)
Barre3, founded by Sadie Lincoln, is a national barre franchise that incorporates yoga, pilates and traditional ballet barre method into each class. Barre3 is known for its community-based approach, as well as an overall focus on balance in and out of the studio.
3. FIT: TO BE (Virginia Highlands)
This Atlanta-based gym is “a gathering place for people who share our belief that fitness is a form of self-discovery.” If you’re feeling this vibe then check out the studio in Atlanta’s Virginia Highlands neighborhood. The studio also offers TRX, cardio and circuit training classes.
4. Exhale Atlanta (Midtown Atlanta, Inman Park)
Exhale’s barre classes promise challenge and inspiration. The “Core Fusion Barre” class offers basic and advanced variations depending on level of experience The faster paced “Barre Fusion Express” workout packs in a full body workout in less than an hour. The “Core Fusion Barre + Cardio” class adds cardio focused movements in addition to the standard barre sculpting moves.
5. Pink Barre (Buckhead, Emory Point, Virginia Highland, Sandy Springs, Lake Lanier)
Pink Barre studio “created by women for women,” was named best Barre Studio in Atlanta by Best Self Magazine. The studio offers five different types of barre classes, ranging from cardio to stretching.
6. Svelte Barre (Brookhaven)
Svelte Barre, with one location in Brookhaven, boasts an “affordable and accessible” approach to fitness. In addition to a Signature Barre class, you can also take Barre Bootcamp, Pilates or Yoga classes with a membership.
7. FORME Studios (Buckhead)
The vision behind FORME Studios was built on the idea of creating a place for "every girl". Donna Burke, the Owner of FORME, wanted to create a place where everyone felt at home and gathered for a fun workout. The studio is nestled in the heart of the Peachtree Hills community of Buckhead, and radiates positive energy from the moment you walk through the doors.
8. The Bar Method (Buckhead and East Cobb)
The Bar Method, originally called The Lotte Berk Method Studio in Manhattan, is rich in history when it comes to barre. Founded upon the teachings of Lotte Berk, it was one of the first barre studios to open in America back in the 1970's by founder Lydia Bach. While barre has evolved since the 1970's, we can all say a special thanks to Lydia for bringing this method to the U.S.
Test the "Tuck" at Home:
(Not ready to commit to a class? Try these FREE and affordable options at home)
Youtube is your savior when it comes to free barre classes at home. You can check out Challenge Box for their top rated videos, or you can go browse yourself. The barre world is at your fingertips!
Barre3 offers an expansive video library of workouts you can do at home with or without equipment. Streaming plans start at just $15 per month.
The Bar Method offers a service called Bar Online, with detailed classes and tutorials for as little as $15 per month.
Pure Barre offers a selection of DVD’s and streaming workouts designed to complement or take the place of a studio class. Pure Barre sells equipment similar to what you find in the studio for those looking to step up their at-home barre workout game. Serious Pure Barre fans can even purchase an barre that can be installed onto a wall in your home.
Have a favorite online barre workout or class? Let us know in the comments!