What is barre training? 

What is it, and why you should give this fitness trend a try. 

What is barre training? – the concept behind the trend

Barre is a type of physical training based on classical ballet exercises and incorporates other fitness elements such as Pilates and yoga. Besides the ballet barre, sometimes small fitness tools are used, such as light weights, resistance bands, sliders, and elastic bands. Lotte Berk is the originator of the method. Over the years it has been expanded upon and evolved with many other elements.  Words used to describe barre are elegant, dynamic, toning and strong. 

What is barre? – pronunciation 

Barre is pronounced “bar” To hear it, click here:

What is a barre? – the tool 

The ballet barre is the long pole secured onto the wall and is traditionally used to help ballet dancers find their balance during the warm-up of the class. 

Ballet dancers will refer to ballet “barre” as the format or series of classical ballet exercises holding to the barre, starting with plié and ending with grand battement. 

Barre, as the fitness rage is now more identified with the fusion of ballet exercises and fitness. 

What is barre training? Can anyone do it? 

Yes absolutely. Anyone can participate in a barre class. If you have never danced in your life or are a professional dancer recovering from an injury, barre is suitable for all. 

It is (usually) low impact and works on strengthening the core, postural muscles, legs, and balance. You can expect a compact challenging full-body workout using coordination, memory, and all your muscles!

Barre is excellent for cross-training but is also demanding enough to be the only training method you engage in. 

Many studios also offer specific classes for pregnancy or post-natal recovery. If you are healing from an injury, or are pregnant, talk with your teacher before class so they can prepare or advise you on movement modifications. 

What is barre music?

Classical ballet training is usually danced to piano music and, if lucky, played live by a musician. 

Barre fitness training will be with energetic music, ranging from electro-swing to hip hop, and top 40. The musical choice is up to the discretion of the teacher. 


What is barre? – What kind of movement can I expect?

It uses the ballet movement repertoire and also isometric movements. (These are the holds and small range pulses that make your muscles pulse on fire) 

Check out this video with some of the basic ballet movements:   

👉What is barre? Movement tutorial

What is barre? The Benefits 

Full body workout: A barre training will train all your muscle groups from your feet up to your head!

Better Posture: You know that ballet dancers have excellent posture. This is the same for people who love barre training! If you spend a lot of time seated, this is a perfect way to counter-balance those bad postural habits by working on your stance.

Core strength: Core strength includes not only your belly muscles but also your back and muscles around your pelvis. This is incredibly important to stabilize your spine, unload your joints and give you some extra energy. 

Leg and hip strength: Those ballet dancers’ muscles, although they look long and lean, are among the strongest people out there! In your class, you will be training all the hip and leg muscles to give you support throughout your day. 

Increased Mobility and Flexibility: The more consistent you are with barre training, you will notice increased mobility and flexibility, especially in the hips and legs. 

Balance: Our balance decreases with age unless we are actively working on prevention. In your barre training, you will be practicing exactly this! It’s never too early (or too late) to work on balance. 

Increased coordination and memory: Unless you danced ballet as a young person, many of the movements will be new. This is a good thing! Challenging your brain and body to adapt to new movement patterns is excellent for your overall health. 

Adaptable for different fitness levels and injuries. A well-rounded barre instructor will be able to modify for any person that walks into the studio. Be sure to speak with your instructor so that they will be able to give you the best modifications for your body. 

Low impact and high intensity – Most barre classes will be low-impact which means no jumping. The class is still dynamic but spares your joints the wear and tear of pounding into the ground. 

Muscle Strength: through resistance training using small weights, resistance bands, and balls we can increase strength.

Better Endurance- through precise form and repetition, your muscle endurance will be improved. Muscular endurance refers to how long muscles can sustain exercise. Improving muscular endurance can help enhance overall health and fitness. 

What is Barre? – Should you try it

Barre is a fun full-body exercise method that is worth trying out! There are many different formats of classes, find the one that interests you the most. You can visit a local studio, take a live-streamed class or try out a pre-recorded video.

We might even be the right trainers for you;) You are always invited to join in our studio classes or visit us online.

Have fun and let us know how your barre training goes!


If you want to dive a little deeper into your home practice or your teaching practice, check out some of our free resources:

If you are interested in becoming a barre trainer, contact me at hannah@pilates-studio-nuernberg.com for information about upcoming teacher training.

Movement teachers and instructors, get access to our free creativity masterclass to help you stay inspired with new variations for your students.

If you are a teacher and are looking to elevate your skills, read about Train the Trainers here.