Barre is a great way to gain strength, muscle definition, and balance.  The ballet-inspired Barre Class is usually a 45-minute class focusing on low-impact, isometric movements designed to shape your body. Expect to leave a barre class sweaty and with your muscles shaking.


If your goal is to get “beach ready,” I usually suggest doing a cardio dance class (like Zumba or Body Combat) 2-3 times a week and a low-impact muscle toning class (like Barre) 2-3 times a week. This creates a good balance so that as you burn calories and shed weight, you’re also developing muscle definition to take its place.


Barre and other ballet-inspired fitness classes also promote good balance, mental clarity, and yoga-like meditation. By holding challenging poses longer, using muscles to do little pulses rather than reps, and using body weight as much as small weights, you’re adding definition and strength without bulk and weight.


I suggest wearing tight-fitting clothing that you can move comfortably in and going shoeless. Being barefoot helps to correct and improve balance. Many barre-fitness believers find it to be a good workout to do during a cleanse or dietary changes since it requires so little energy and burns so few calories.


This is also a great exercise to adapt for elderly and handicapped folks as it can readily be changed to meet all fitness needs without endangering the infirm.