Barre classes generally focus on the targeted toning of small muscles—delivering firm glutes and long, lean limbs. Now, the studios that ask you to point and tuck—from Physique 57 to West Coast-based brand The Dailey Method—are promising to raise your heart rate, too, lest you skip a day for a spin class.
So can you really get your cardio in at the barre?
Exhale’s Core Fusion kicked off the heart-rate-revving genre, and has offered Core Fusion Cardio, Sport, and Boot Camp options for years. These classes really do make you sweat, with endless mountain climbers and fast-paced burpee variations on a weighted ball, and Flybarre offers slightly more cardio than others just by virtue of being more athletic in its design.
The new options are different: The Dailey Method’s Daily Interval and Physique 57’s Physique Cardio are both using a “high-intensity interval” approach (though don’t expect a Tabata-style butt-kicking).
The 45-minute Dailey Interval class, which launched in February and is being rolled out at locations nationwide, incorporates cardio intervals while maintaining focus on form and low-impact movements.
“Our students wanted a more robust cardiovascular option, so we spent time researching the best way to increase the heart rate without impacting the joints,” says founder Jill Dailey. “We layered carefully considered movements to heat up the body, lengthen each muscle, and create an optimal caloric burn.” You will need to wipe your brow.
Physique Cardio, which launched in January, is catering to a similar request for more sweat. To get you there, instructors use planks, push-ups, and lunges to up the cardiovascular effect. They’re packaged in sets of “sprints,” with barely-there recovery periods in between. Stamina is required.
Mary Helen Bowers’ Ballet Beautiful goes a different route. Her new Cardio Body Blast is a 12-minute segment you can layer onto your toning routine, and it uses fast-paced ballerina pointe moves to get your blood pumping.
All of these new, amplified options make the workouts you can get at a barre studio more well-rounded, but they’re not so full throttle that you’ll experience the red-faced, dripping-sweat results of a jump rope workout or a Barry’s Bootcamp session. You’re still wearing grippy socks, after all. —Lisa Elaine Held
What do you think? Can you get your cardio in at a barre studio? Tell us, in the Comments, below.