A combination of ballet, yoga and pilates, barre promises a long and lean physique.
This fitness craze hit Singapore a few years ago and it’s holding its spot as one of our favourite workout routines. Named after the rail that ballet dancers hold for stability during practice, barre (pronounced bar), combines dance, yoga postures, pilates matwork and strength training for a dynamic, full-body workout. Here’s what you need to know before you hit up the best barre classes in the city…
Guide to barre 101
Barre is a legit workout
There’s a myth that barre is easy and you don’t sweat. This can’t be further from the truth – even beginner barre classes will get your heart rate pumping. If you want to take things up a few notches, there are plenty of barre HIIT workouts for you to choose from.
But anyone can do it…
On the other end of the spectrum, you may be afraid to start because you think it’ll be too difficult. Well, it’s doable as long as you select the right class for your fitness level! There are classes for beginners (no dance or advanced fitness background required) and even pregnant ladies (it’s actually a great way for expectant mums to stay in shape).
That said, there will be challenges when you’re starting a new fitness class. For barre, you’ll have to get used to ballet lingo instructors use, including ‘first position’ (there are five basic positions in ballet) – heels together, feet out-turned; ‘plié’ – bending the knees outward; and ‘relevé’ – rising up on your toes. But don’t worry, your instructor will explain and demonstrate the poses, especially for a beginner class.
Let’s talk about that ‘barre body’
Gym buffs tend to be barre skeptics, thinking you can’t build muscles with these workouts. Yes, you can, though the muscles you tone and build with barre differ from what you get from pumping iron at the gym. Barre uses small, controlled movements that target and isolate specific muscles with repetitive exercises. This is more tiring (and effective) than you think. Someone who works out with a 10kg weight at the gym might only use a 1kg one in barre class – no kidding.
These isometric exercises are also the reason why many turn to barre to build lean muscles and get one step closer to achieving the widely-coveted ‘dancer’s body’. And we can see why! A dancer’s physique tends to be elegant, with an impressive posture. Plus, lean muscles have benefits like increased metabolism and flexibility.
Best of all, barre is as fun as spinning classes and pole dancing, thanks to the high-tempo soundtracks that often accompany the workout. Ready to start? Check out our guide to gyms and studios in Singapore with the best barre classes.
Where to find barre classes in Singapore
This boutique barre studio offers classes that meld ballet techniques, yoga, pilates and strength training. Newbies are recommended to try the Fundamentals class which offers an intimate setting and a slower pace. Meanwhile, avid fitness buffs can opt for the HIIT class that pushes your limits and torches calories. Otherwise, the signature Multi-Level is great for the average workout-seeker.
WeBarre, multiple locations including Tanjong Pagar and Clark Quay
2. Upside Motion
Always wanted the poise of a ballerina? Be a regular at Upside Motion’s Xtend Barre classes. The workout combines ballet and pilates techniques for an intense cardio exercise that hones in on smaller muscle groups. Designed to tone and stretch, the workout features light weight training, cardio movements and modified ballet barre techniques set to a backdrop of catchy pop tunes.
Upside Motion, #02-03, 36 Armenian Street, Singapore 179934
3. Barre Lab
For a perfect blend of yoga, dance and pilates, head to Barre Lab and get a full-body workout choreographed to music. Try the 101 class that teaches you the basics of barre, the power sesh combining cardio, strength and conditioning, or the stretch class focused on toning and lengthening your major muscle groups. Just enter the beautiful studio and transform your body, one barre class at a time.
Barre Lab, multiple locations including Duxton Road and Dempsey
4. Jal Yoga
Although it focuses on yoga, this studio also gathers pilates and barre under one roof. The barre classes hone in on improving flexibility, toning muscles and full-body workouts with cardio and strength training – all in a stress-free session. Classes are designed for all fitness levels so there’s no need to worry about seasoned practitioners raining on your parade.
Jal Yoga, multiple locations including Upper Thomson Road and Upper Bukit Timah Road
5. Lifesparks Studios
For a high-energy, low-impact workout, try the piloxing barre class. It’s a combination of pilates, boxing and barre. Using a ballet bar and lightweight gloves, the workout involves both strength and cardio exercises to tone muscles, blitz calories and improve joint health. Instructors are regularly raved about for being patient, inspiring and attentive in checking your form and flow.
Lifesparks Studios, multiple locations including Bukit Timah and Aliwal Street
If you’re looking for quick results, this barre studio promises leaner and more chiselled results with the combination of small movements and a ton of mental concentration. Best of all, you can take barre with you everywhere you go – just access the online workouts to try barre, pilates, cardio sessions and more.
Barre2Barre, multiple locations including Pickering Street and East Coast Road
7. Como Shambhala
Como Hotels and Resorts’ spa experience Como Shambhala is designed to provide a holistic and meaningful healing environment for guests. Part of this experience involves fitness. Barre classes at this luxury location in Orchard are one of the best, with a focus on precision and technique to achieve optimum results using a high-energy, low-impact routine for all levels.
Como Shambhala, #06-01/02, Delfi Orchard, 402 Orchard Road, Singapore 238876
See you at the barre!