If 2015 was the year of the barre studio, 2016 may be the year that the workout finally chassés into the gym.
Equinox, at least, is banking on barre in a big way this year. The luxury gym chain—known for its ground-breaking group fitness lineup—is investing in ballet-inspired fitness with a series of new and innovative class formats, plus an upgrade plan that will see every location kitted out with its own barre studio.
“We see so much potential [in barre],” says Nicole De Anda, Equinox’s Southern California-based national barre manager. “There’s such a huge crowd that’s thirsty for something new and different, so we want to put our backing behind this and create something powerful—so that Equinox can hopefully, one day, be the leader in barre fitness.”
That’s a pretty bold statement, but judging by the gym’s current plans, not impossible. Take its newest class, Gold Barre—a figure skating-inspired barre workout created in collaboration with Olympic champion Tara Lipinski (that’s her in the blue sleeveless hoodie).
Currently on the schedule at Equinox’s Beverly Hills location and rolling out across Los Angeles and New York City this spring, the class focuses on one-legged balance work in skating spin positions, lunges using glider discs, and a footwork sequence with optional plyometric jumps, all set to an EDM/classical music mix. Nope, even if you’re a barre junkie, you haven’t taken this class before.
Think one-leg balance work in skating spin positions, lunges using glider discs, and plyometric jumps, all set to an EDM/classical music mix. Nope, even if you’re a barre junkie, you haven’t taken this class before.
“I’ve had this idea for a while because I really love barre, but I still felt like there were things that were missing,” says Lipinski. “There are just a few things added in—endurance, balance, cardio—that kill you.” (She’s right—the morning after I tried Gold Barre, my hip stabilizers and booty were screaming at me in a way that just doesn’t happen for me after a regular barre class).
Equinox is also in the process of pre-launching Barre + Band, a class using resistance bands that extend from the barre to attach around your wrists and ankles. (Yowza!) “It’s going to be a class full of big, amazing extensions, and it will feel very different from a traditional experience,” says De Anda, who says to expect a June debut.
And if you were wondering where all of these new classes are going to fit on Equinox’s already-packed schedules, they’ve thought of that. Nearly all new clubs that open from here on out will have dedicated spaces that function like boutique studios, with barre classes on offer “morning, noon, and night,” says De Anda. Time to stock up on grippy socks.
A workout this rad calls for an equally cool outfit—gear up in some of these barre looks, rock a leotard (we’ll show you how!), or slip into something hot from Pop Physique’s debut activewear collection.