Barre is one of my favorite workouts, but it’s always felt a little too pricey and time consuming to practice at a posh studio. So today I’m sharing the best of the best barre workouts you can try at home. Ready to get your sweat on?
What Barre Can do for Your Body
Barre workouts have been around since 1959 when Lotte Burke first came up with the ballet-inspired movement to help professional ballerinas cross-train. However it wasn’t until 2005 until barre became a popular workout.
Now barre studios are everywhere, but they’re not for the frugal-at-heart. A single barre class can cost $21 to $30 dollars, which can add up overtime.
Barre has become so popular because it does such a great job of sculpting and toning muscles while efficiently burning fat as well. It's also perfect for people who don't want a ton of impact, so you can do it at any age or even after baby.
But don't be fooled - barre isn't an easy workout. If you take a beginner class, you will probably be fine, but some of the more advanced classes will blow your mind! Even the most advanced athlete will find some of these moves to be challenging (but effective).
If long, lean muscle tone, shaply arms and a tight behind are your goals, barre will give you that (with time and consistency). But it will also help you stand taller and move with more grace and confidence. This is something that sets barre apart from any other workout.
It's also why I love this style of movement so much 🙂
Equipment Needed to do Barre Workouts at Home
Barre is one of the best workouts to do at home because it requires very minimal equipment and space. At the very most, you might need a set of workout bands, and a pair of weights (I recommend 2lb weights in your starting or 5lb weight if you’re very strong). A yoga mat can also be helpful, but not necessary.
Lastly, you’ll need something that mimics a ballet bar. I like to use a sturdy chair or my dresser, but I’ve also used a door knob when in a pinch. If you really want to get into barre, you can buy a standalone barre, or install a permanent one on your wall.
Personally, I think a chair works wonderfully.
Finding the Right Barre Class for Your Fitness Level & Goals
Barre is a challenging workout and if you’re new to exercise, you’ll want to find a class that is suitable for your fitness level. The last thing you want to do is start a program that’s too advanced for you to get anything out of it.
For that reason, I recommend looking for a full program rather than a single class. A full program will help you with the basic moves, while coaching you toward more progressively challenging class over time.
The list below includes both full programs as well as barre-focused platforms that provide enough classes that you can find more than one that will meet you where you are in your fitness journey.
One of the first brands on the studio scene, Pure Barre offers classes for all fitness levels. This was my first intro to barre and I loved their workouts!
- Do they offer a full program? No, but they do have a ton of classes you can select from.
- Cost: $29.99 per month
- Do they have any other workouts? No, just barre.
- Free Trial? No
Based out of Australia, but available via streaming globally, this is a robust platform that offers a diverse array of barre and yoga classes. They also offer live stream classes and barre teacher training programs if you’re interested in teaching.
- Cost: $30 AUD (which is about $23 USD per month)
- Do they offer a full program? No, but they do have a ton of classes, so you can create your own.
- Do they have other workouts? Yes, they also offer yoga, cardio, pilates, reformer and pre/post natal classes
- Free trial: 7 day free trial.
Barre Blend is my absolute favorite barre program. It’s challenging, uplifting and fun. Similar to Soul Cycle, the creator blends traditional barre movements with cardio intervals and motivating coaching that keeps you going through the 30 to 40 minute classes. I got great results from this program.
- Cost: $99 Annually ($8.99 per month) via Beachbody On Demand
- Do they offer a full program? Yes - it’s an 8-week program that will take you from novice to fit in 2 months. Classes are progressive (so they start easy and get harder), and they also offer tutorials on specific poses. Also includes a pre- and post natal program.
- Do they have other workouts besides barre? Yes! Cardio, strength training, HIIT, yoga and more.
- Free Trial: 14 Day Free trial
Extend Barre is a 30-day program that’s designed to deliver results. The classes are all 30 minute long and they do get progressively harder although you will repeat some classes.
- Is it a full program? Yes, although unlike with Barre Blend, some of the classes are repeated.
- Are there other workouts? Yes! HIIT, yoga, Spartan Prep, Crossfit and more.
- Cost: $96 annually ($8 per month)
- Free Trial: 14 Days Free
I LOVE Alo Moves, because it brings the best of barre and yoga from a variety of teachers, with different styles and intensity levels. It's a really well done app and if you're just interested in mat-based barre or yoga, then I would look no further than this platform. That said, if you also want dance, cardio, weight lifting and other workouts, you won't find it here.
- Cost: $20 per month
- Are there other workouts? Yes, there's yoga, barre and some HIIT classes.
- Free Trial: 14 Days
This is another boutique barre franchise that has leveraged their online classes due to the pandemic. They are strictly barre-focused and while they don’t offer a progressive program per se, they do offer custom workout calendars that you can follow.
- Cost: $29 per month
- Are there other workouts? No, just barre.
- Free Trial: 14 Days
What’s my Personal Favorite?
Personally, I’ve tried all of these platforms (except Barre Body) and I can say with confidence that Barre Blend was my favorite. I loved the 8-week program that went from 30 minutes to 40 minutes and increased intensity gradually overtime. I not only got great results from the program, but I learned so much about barre, the moves and how to carry myself.
The instructor, Elise Joan is incredibly inspiring and her choreography and teaching style is outstanding. And given her physique, there's no question that her classes work!
I hope this was a helpful introduction to barre workouts at home. I recommend you try a few of the different platforms and see what feels best for you and which instructors resonate best. Much like yoga, barre is a body/mind workout, so the teacher you chose is an important, but personal choice.
Most importantly, enjoy the workout! Barre is one of those workouts that makes you feel amazing afterward. You’ll stand taller, feel more confident and enjoy a leaner, stronger physique. I can’t imagine anything better than that!
Got questions about barre? Drop them below!
Caren is a certified yoga teacher, fitness instructor and author of The Fit Habit. Here she shares simple, low carb recipes, quick home workout ideas and practical ways to foster mind + body wellness.