Welcome to our new fitness series, So you've never tried… Here, we ask trainers and fitness experts for their beginner’s guides to the workouts, trends and exercises you've always wanted to try your hand at. Whether you've been dazzled by the array of now-open choices at your local gym or have putting off going to a class, these simple guides will help you get started. We’ll be breaking down the benefits as well as letting you know what you can expect from a class, what kit you’ll need and where to look for an introductory video session before making up your mind.
First up: we're heading to (the) barre with Chiara Becuti, one of the head trainers at yoga studio FLY LDN.
What is it? Barre is a toning and sculpting class inspired by ballet and pilates. You use a barre (or a chair or table if you are at home) as a support and as a prop. It uses multiple repetitions of each exercise with limited rest to fatigue each muscle group. It will leave your muscles burning and your heart pumping!
What is it good for? It’s great for muscle tone. It helps to create long and lean muscles, like a dancer’s. It will also improve your posture while increasing your core strength.
What can you expect? Barre is very beginner-friendly, and adaptable to different skill sets and ability levels. The small, isometric muscle movements used during barre classes build muscle strength without putting a strain on ligaments and tendons like other fitness training methods can. Expect burn, sweat and shake, but also get a perky posterior in a very short time.
What kit do you need? A yoga mat, form-fitting clothes e.g. yoga leggings and a sports bra, and grip socks. Barre is often done without equipment but, depending on your instructor’s preference, you could use any of the following: resistance bands, ankle weights, pilates ball and small hand weights
Any tips? Always go for quality over quantity. Barre is all about learning how to build up your endurance of a particular move by working towards doing a high number of repetitions without stopping (we know, it sounds tough!). Before focusing on “not stopping” though, focus on your form. It is through good technique that you will achieve those amazing dancer-style results.
Ready to try it? Try one of FLY LDN’s IG Live classes on their Instagram page every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 12:30pm or take your pick from their YouTube channel. Or, if you’re in London, you can book a class at one of their studios over on their website.