Our Fitness Centers around Moorestown and across South Jersey are getting ready to offer yet another class to our members– Barre.


In recent years, Barre classes have grown in popularity. Their humble beginnings as a niche form of fitness classes more than half a century ago mean that exercises and styles of teaching have been allowed to grow outside of the national spotlight.

Barre classes began in the 1950’s as a form of rehabilitative exercise for ballerinas. Originally taught at one studio in London, celebrities such as Joan Collins and Barbara Streisand began taking the classes to tone up their bodies. From the 1960’s to the early 2000’s Barre Classes slowly grew in popularity but never quite reached the mainstream. In the mid-2000’s, a renewed interest in alternate forms of fitness allowed for Barre to become a mainstay of classes for the new generation.


So What is Barre?


Using the same Barre as the ones found in Ballet Studios, students do a number of stretches and exercises aimed at building lean muscle, improving flexibility and targeting slow-twitch muscles. The class incorporates many isometric movements to build muscle and stability in often overlooked areas of the body.


Classes typically last under an hour and feature mat workouts and barre workouts. There are push-ups, planks, and core exercises. The real attraction for classes, however, are the pulses. Relatively unique to barre, there are a number of movements where participants move or pulse in very short motions forcing stabilizer muscles to work their hardest.


What Should I Bring?


Different instructors ask different things of their students. Generally, participants should wear a looser shirt that they can easily move around in. Many classes ask that attendees also wear sticky socks (socks with grips) and tights or yoga pants, although some instructors prefer that their students are barefoot.


Is It For Me?

Barre Classes are low-to-medium intensity, appropriate for virtually everyone interested in taking group fitness classes. The exercises performed are geared at toning up, strengthening stabilizers and creating lean muscle. Classes are appropriate for men and women of all ages. It should be noted, however, that barre does not increase functional strength, so some may wish to incorporate lifting into their regimen before or after classes.


Whether you’re looking into Barre classes, kickboxing classes in Cherry Hill or one of our many other group fitness options, we have the programs to suit any taste.