How Barre changed my life and the 4 things I love about it

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Want your best bum and thighs ever? Start here.

I didn’t do any serious exercise for my whole life. I hated it. Then there’s this light bulb moment that turns the dial. For me, it was joining barre classes. Now, I’m working out 5 to 6 times per week and have never been stronger.

How exactly did taking up barre classes got me to where I am now?

Well, one of the main things that put me off exercising was all that burpee-go-crazy-sweaty messing-about. I hated cardio. On the other hand, barre has little cardio. And it’s graceful, pretty. So I liked the way the ladies looked while working their plies at the barre. And decided to give it a go.

I started going once a week. Then I started going more often. I enjoyed the feeling of having had a workout without being completely energy-depleted and beet-faced. Gradually I started seeing results (especially in my legs and bum), which motivated me to keep going. And my love for barre grew stronger. And after a while I felt brave enough (and slightly fitter…) to try different classes – yes, cardio included!

I found something I loved doing. That’s what kept me going.

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Here’s exactly why I love about barre and keep doing it religiously every week for the past 2 years.

1.It’s graciously feminine

Point your toes and pretend you’re a ballerina. The promise of you-workout-and-still-look pretty really worked for me. But don’t be fooled by how easy or simple it looks. The high reps will have your legs shaking in no time!

2.It’s low Impact

There is very little jumping around, if any at all. Goes easy on the joints, so chances of injury are low. So important, especially if you’re starting your fitness regime and your body is not strong enough yet to deal with unexpected blows.

3.I love the workout kits

Now, I don’t recommend pink leotards and tutus (maybe for your next themed party). But there are so many beautiful ballet-inspired pieces out there that it will make getting ready a joy. Check here for a lovely selection from Sweaty Betty, my all time fave UK activewear brand.

4.It sculpts your body like no other workout

I (secretly) want to be a Victoria Secret’s Angel (ok, before you start judging, think hard and hands up if you DON’T!). Check out Mary Helen Bowers, the founder of Ballet Beautiful. This former leading ballerina at New York City Ballet Company is the poster child for barre going mainstream. Many Victoria Secret Angels publicly swear by her workouts, including the likes of Miranda Kerr and Doutzen Kroes.  AND she’s a mum to 2 small children. Do I want of piece of that? Oh yes, please.

It’s a full body workout but I find that it’s in lower body that it delivers more results. I had never flt my muscles shake uncontrollably. That was for me a really weird sensation. But that’s good! Embrace the shake! Push through it! That’s when you know change is happening. Keep your eyes on the prize, visualise the perky derriere!

While there’s some cardio involved, it’s not at the core of the classical barre workout. So I find it good to alternate with some more cardio-heavy workouts during the week.

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If you’d like to head to a studio, these are my London top picks:

Heartcore – Find their studios here, there are 8 of them in London. First class is free. I go to their classes I go to and I love it.

Barrecore – Find more about them here. These are a barre-only studio. Haven’t tried it personally but they seem to have a good variety of classes for different levels and goals. They also have online classes.

Paola’s BodyBarre – Find details of their London studio here. Fusion of barre, cardio and Pilates they’ve recently introduced a Boxerina class (!), a mix of barre, Pilates and boxing – which I haven’t tried yet, but I will!

In NYC check get down to Ballet Beautiful’s Soho Studio. Details here (a girl can dream).

How about you? Has there been a workout that completely changed the way you looked at fitness? I would love to hear about it!


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