9 Mistakes You’re Making in Your Barre Class (and how to fix them)

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When it comes to great results, it’s all about technique. We tapped Physique 57 Co-Founder, Tanya Becker, for a rundown of the most common mistakes she sees clients making at the barre – and exactly how to fix them.

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1. Using light weights.
Unless you’re working with an injury, go heavy. You’ll feel the burn and shed more calories. Eight-pound weights are my go to. (Nervous about making the jump from 5lbs to 8lbs? Grab both and trade out the 5’s as needed!)

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2. Not committing to yourself.

It’s easy to not want to come back to a class that is incredibly hard and kicks your butt. As human beings we are not wired for discomfort. However, our bodies change when we are challenged (which is why our Interval Overload technique is so very, very effective).

When you commit to coming three to four times per week, you will gain endurance and stamina, and your body will transform! Don’t quit before the change.

3. Not using grippy socks or workout slippers.

Our carpet is awesome because it provides a low-impact surface and is easier on your joints. However, without the right foot grip, you may (as in, definitely will) slide. I personally love wearing Reebok slippers (we sell them in studio!) – you can go deeper in our positions without losing form, and they look great on.

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4. Being self-conscious.

Group fitness classes can feel intimidating. Clients will say, “Don’t watch me, I’m not coordinated”, or, “I’m not good at this”, or “I’m not flexible enough.” We re-dub that self-talk track playing in our heads and replace it with what I call affirmative thinking.

Also, nobody’s watching you! Class is challenging and most people are focusing on themselves, their form, and making it through their thigh set.

5. Only taking one type of class.

We have so many great options, whether you want more cardio (check out S.B.T.- Sweat Burn Tone, Cardio Burn and Amped Up!) more abs (try Arms & Abs in 30 or Mat 57), or something at a different pace or incorporating different disciplines like Physique Yoga.

Change things up and tone body parts you didn’t know you had.

6. White-knuckling the barre.

Over-gripping makes you tense your shoulders and takes the work (and results) away from your postural muscles. While working, you want to keep your shoulders “melting” down your back, and your heart and chest “open” when doing exercises at the barre.

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7. Holding your breath.
Most clients resort to shallow breathing the tougher it gets. Do the opposite: Breath deeper the more challenged you feel. (I do this outside in the real world, too and highly recommend it!)

8. Pushing your abs out during core work.
When you contract a muscle, it’s natural for it to “pop out” a little. However, when it comes to doing our curl work you want to continue to check in to make sure your abdominal wall doesn’t overly protrude.

Imagine you have 30lb brick on your middle helping to press it “down” instead of out.

9. Leaving class before the stretches.

There’s a reason we do the stretches at the end of class. Your body has the right amount of warmth to allow the muscles to lengthen and increase suppleness, and reduces lactic acid…which cuts down on next-day soreness. It’s a great way to transition, recharge, and rejuvenate before heading back out into the world.
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Check out more tips for keeping top form (and maxing out your results) in class and away from the barre here. Have more words of wisdom to share? Post them in the comments below!

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