By now, you’ve likely heard all the benefits of barre classes.
Physique 57’s barre workouts are a form-focused program incorporating controlled and precise movements that combine grace and athleticism, designed to sculpt, tone and strengthen your muscles.
You will see physical results and gain a strong understanding of how to move with good technique and form, resulting in increased body awareness and confidence.
Even if you have never or rarely exercised, barre is a workout that is accessible to all. The positions may take time to learn and be challenging to master, but they are not impossible.
However, it’s essential to learn the proper form to make the workout effective.
That brings us to this point.
Why Is Proper Form Important?
As with any workout, proper form is paramount in barre.
While Physique 57’s barre classes are suitable for all levels, beginners should focus on the fundamentals, which include doing the proper form to prevent injuries, activate the right muscles, and increase body awareness.
If your form is off, the workout can also be less efficient and effective, so you may not get your desired results.
Moreover, emphasizing proper form with all barre exercises creates the aforementioned grace and the dancer’s physique.
Creating body awareness at the barre will condition your body to carry this with you throughout your daily life, improving your posture and helping you achieve a healthy, supple, and strong body.
Remember, you don’t have to be a dancer to take a barre class, but good technique is definitely vital to whatever fitness program you are doing.
To reap the benefits of barre, you want to ensure you’re doing all your barre moves correctly and avoiding these common mistakes.
7 Common Mistakes You Might Be Doing In Barre Classes
Here are seven common mistakes at the barre and how to avoid or correct them to make all that shake and burn worth it.
1. Pushing your abs out during core work.
During an ab-focused workout, especially when you’re curling forward, people tend to push the abdominal wall out instead of engaging it properly.
Sometimes, especially when tired, instead of feeling like the abs are pressing down, it feels like they’re pushing up a bit.
In ab exercises, you want to exhale and draw your navel to your spine as you contract your abs.
How to fix it: Check yourself by simply looking down at your belly and observing.
Remember that it’s about finding strength in your core, especially the transverse abdominis — those deepest core muscles.
Take the time to break down how to properly engage the core by focusing on lifting your abs in and up.
2. Using weights that are too light.
Barre studios have different takes on weights. One instructor may suggest one to three pounds, whereas other studios may require you to go as high as five or eight.
You can always play around with a couple of different sets. You can start with light and then proceed to heavy.
How to fix it: No matter the class, you should choose weights that push you outside of your comfort zone, so the workout continues to challenge you, leading to better results.
At Physique 57 we use heavier weights to make the workout efficient. The heavier the weights, the fewer repetitions you will need to do to yield the same results.
You can also start with the heavy weights immediately, and just drop down if it becomes too intense.
3. Gripping, or “white knuckling,” the barre during thigh work.
Holding on tight will not save you or prevent you from injuries. In fact, it’s the other way around.
If you’re gripping the barre, you’re using your forearms and shoulders, creating tension that doesn’t serve the movement.
So while it may work the biceps, you’re taking some of the work out of your core, glutes, or tops of thighs which should be the focus.
How to fix it: Try to relax your grip, focus on engaging your core, and put the work where you want it. Holding on tight will only prevent you from achieving your goals.
4. Skipping stretch time.
Stretching may be incorporated throughout the workout or kept until the end of class depending on the class you take.
If there’s a stretching segment that goes really deep at the end, you should stick around for it.
Stretching is also a mental workout that allows you to either warm up or decompress and focus on your body as a whole.
How to fix it: Hang in there until the end! You’ve already gotten this far. Plus, if getting strong and sculpted is your goal, then you should know that the more flexible you are the deeper you will be able to get in barre moves and positions, which will only multiply your results.
5. Wearing the wrong socks.
Studios are not just selling grippy socks to promote the brand via the soles of your feet.
In fact, these socks actually provide stability and help you achieve proper form.
If your feet are sliding, you’ll likely end up in the wrong position, with your hips placed improperly or your knees too far forward, which will make your workout less effective.
How to fix it: Ask your studio if they sell socks suitable for barre exercises. Or try searching for one. You can check out Reebok’s True Studio Slippers for this.
6. You’re not breathing.
When doing barre workouts, we tend to hold our breath when things get challenging, but this can increase the risk of injury and weaken the effectiveness of barre movements.
You will sweat during barre exercises, so holding your breath will feel very uncomfortable.
How to fix it: Use your breath as a tool to help further engage your muscles and deepen your potential. Focus on deep breathing, especially in the most intense moments, and it will boost your energy and help you push further.
Listen to your instructor’s cues throughout the workout, and you’ll start to pick up on habits like exhaling through the hardest part of your abs moves or going deeper into a stretch.
7. Thinking barre is not a cardio workout.
Barre workouts are popular for a reason; Physique 57’s barre specifically incorporates various kinds of exercises such as HIIT, dance cardio, strength training, sculpting sets, pilates, and core to challenge your cardiovascular system and muscle strength.
The intensity of the workout will drive your body to shake and burn calories throughout the class as well as for several hours after.
Barre exercises build stamina and burn calories.
How to fix it: Many people think barre workouts don’t have the same intensity as other exercises. Beginners often think of it as easy. When coming to a barre class, be prepared to shake and burn.
It may look easy, but we kid you not, barre will challenge you physically and mentally.
Barre is great for sculpting bodies into lean, toned, and dancer-like physiques.
But remember, when it gets too challenging or if you want to check if you’re doing the moves correctly, all instructors love when you ask questions. Don’t be shy—we want you to have the best experience possible.
We guarantee you, the results are worth it!
Raising the Barre and Avoiding Mistakes
It’s pretty common to commit these mistakes especially if you’re a beginner. But with the right guidance, you’ll achieve proper form and your goals pretty quickly!
It also starts with choosing barre workouts that keep you healthy as you build strength and burn calories.
Want to get a leg up before your first class? Read more about what to expect during a barre class.
And if you’re ready to hit the barre, subscribe to Physique 57 On Demand and work out in the comfort of your home.
You can also visit www.physique57.com to learn more about our feel-good movement.