What is Barre?

Barre began in the 1960’s, created by Lotte Berk. A ballerina who became injured and decided to combine her love of ballet with her rehabilitative therapy, Berk pioneered the Barre workout. Barre focuses on proper alignment and emphasizes form first. It combines a variety of sustained holds in challenging postures, small and isometric movements, and intentional stretching that results in sculpted, lean muscle. A total-body workout, barre is influenced by classical dance (though it is not a dance class), and utilizes a ballet barre to achieve optimal positioning as well as to assist in balancing. Utilizing insights from Pilates, Yoga, and orthopedic stretching, Barre provides a safe and effective workout experience that produces incredible results.

At Novo, our Barre classes are founded on the principle of working in a neutral spine (no tucked pelvis), which assures muscles and joints are kept as safe as possible (read more about what makes our Barre classes different than other barre methods here.)

Barre is proven to increase metabolism, burn fat, and lengthen tight muscles, increasing flexibility. You will feel the changes in your body instantly, from shaking muscles during class, to improved posture as you walk out post-class!

Every class is specifically designed to target and exhaust each major muscle group, including arms, thighs, seat, and core, to maximize effective results. The fast pace of the class, high-energy of the instructor, and seamless transitions between exercises gives a great cardio workout as well!

Using mostly your own body weight (and a set of light hand weights for arms), you will tone and sculpt your body, gaining lean muscle mass. As an added bonus, you never have to worry about “bulking up” too much for your body type!

Instructors will offer verbal cues and explanations, as well as tactile adjustments to guide you from the first breath of the warmup until the end of the class. Come see why this low-impact method is perfect for clients at any level of experience, any body shape, or any age!

What makes our Barre class different from other barre methods?

Berk’s original barre workout in 1960 emphasized a strong pelvic tuck, achieved by squeezing the glutes and overflexing the lumbar spine. This was believed to help tone the glutes, engage the core, and even help with low back issues. But in the last 50+ years, science, physical therapist, and orthopedic doctors have proved this theory to be false. In fact, working in a “tuck” or posterior pelvic tilt has now been linked to a myriad of issues from low back pain to poor posture. A neutral spine, on the other hand, has been proven to be the most safe, stable, natural, and shock-absorbing position for the pelvis and lumbar spine.

Barre at Novo has been modernized by teaching a neutral spine from warmup to cooldown, and working the glutes, core, and other major muscle groups all while maintaining the integrity of the body’s natural alignment.