I love Pure Barre. I swear by it. When girls (and guys!) compliment my strong arms or toned legs, I say, “It’s all Pure Barre. It’s magic!” But I’ll be honest. I didn’t love Pure Barre when I first tried it. In fact, I hated it. I didn’t feel like it was a workout at all. Pure Barre felt too easy. I felt like I wasn't burning any calories. I looked around the classroom and thought, “Look at all these skinny girls. This class is not for me.”
But now I’m a Pure Barre fan, and it’s because I’ve learned how to make the most out of my time at the bar. My thighs have never been so toned, my bootie has never been so tight, and I revel in the fact that my arms and back muscles intimate some men.
Read on to learn how to get the most out of your Pure Barre workout, to make it more challenging, and to burn more calories. I promise you – if done correctly – you’ll love Pure Barre and its results more than any spin, pilates, hot yoga, or HIIT class.
7 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Pure Barre Workout and Burn More Calories
1. Sit at the Front of the Pure Barre Studio
For Pure Barre newbies, first step is to grab a spot at the front of the class. Sit right next to the instructor. Pure Barre instructors will walk around the room and correct everyone’s form, but it’s easier for the instructor to see you if you are to her immediate left and right.
If you sit at the front, the Pure Barre instructor will give you more attention and help you correct your form as needed. Plus, it’s easier to follow the workout when you can see the instructor as she demonstrates. Once you’re a Pure Barre pro, you can grab a spot in the back corner.
2. Choose an Experienced Instructor for Your First Few Pure Barre Classes
If possible, call the Pure Barre studio and ask what class days and times have the most experienced instructors. I’ve never had a bad Pure Barre instructor, but the ones that are good are AMAZING. I love my studio in Inman Park in Atlanta, and Mary always kicks my butt. When I started Pure Barre, I prioritized signing up for her classes because she offered the best tips.
Tip: Most Pure Barre studios offer a free Pure Barre foundations class. Go ahead and sign up for it. An instructor will walk you through the workout so you can learn how to correctly do each move.
3. Put Your Butt Down, Pull You Abs In, and Push You Weight Back During Plank Series to Make It Challenging
Each Pure Barre Classic class features a 90 second plank. If done right, you can get a nice set of abs and strong shoulders from the plank section.
To ensure proper form, first step is to put your butt down. Check yourself out in the mirror. If your tush is raised high, you aren’t doing it right.
Next step is to pull your abs in. Really. Suck your abs in like you’re taking a photo of yourself in a bikini. This will make the plank harder.
The last tip is the most important: Push your weight back into your toes as you suck your stomach in. This takes the weight out of your arms and puts all the work into your abs.
Final tip: Bend your arms ever so slightly in the plank position. You’ll work out your arms, and it puts more of the work into your abs.
The result of doing the plank right? Hot abs like mine. =)
4. To Burn More Calories, Pretend You Are Lifting the Weights through Mud
There’s no need to lift 25+ pound weights to get strong arms. Pure Barre uses two and three pound weights and that’s all you need. Trust me. I’ve been doing Pure Barre for 3+ years, and it’s only been in the past year that I upgraded to the three pound weights. As you are lifting weights, pretend you are pushing the weights and pulling them down through mud.
Additional tips for weight section to Pure Barre more challenging
- Hold on to the weights very lightly with your hands. This makes it harder.
- Really squeeze your back muscles together when you are working your back.
- Keep the motions slow and smooth.
- Hold the weights farther from your body when doing biceps and triceps.
5. Squeeze Your Muscles Hard to Burn Calories, and Then Squeeze More!!
After the warm-up and weight work in Pure Barre, you’ll move on to your thighs and your “seat.” As you do these two sections, make sure to really squeeze your muscles during each move. If done correctly, you’ll make your muscles shake – which is where all the change and toning comes in. Don’t worry if you can’t figure out how to do this right away. It probably took my three months. Now, I can get into the position and immediately make my muscles shake. When your muscles shake you are challenging them and getting stronger.
Another tip for thighs and seat: Lift your leg higher for a bigger challenge.
6. Suck your stomach in throughout Pure Barre to Burn More Calories
Pure Barre is an entire body workout. Through each section of the class, remember suck your stomach in and tuck your hips under. These two moves ensure proper form and results in a 50-minutes ab workout! Plus, you'll burn more calories!
7. Know Your Boundaries in Pure Barre (For Me – That Means a Ball Behind My Back During Abs)
I love Pure Barre, but some exercises are hard on my back. During the 6-minute ab section toward the end of class, I always put a ball behind my back. It allows me to focus on my abs versus worrying about my back. It also prevents me from over-working my hip flexors.
During Barre, modify the exercises to work for you.