Fitness + Well-being

We Tried It: Pure Barre Workout


I wouldn’t exactly describe myself as graceful. I played sports that relied more on athleticism than polish. I did give dancing a shot as a toddler under the instruction of Miss Barbara Ann, but we all knew… ballet wasn’t for me. 

So, when a coworker suggested that I try Pure Barre, I was definitely hesitant.  My only knowledge of the workout was that it involved a ballet barre.  As the fear of dancing overwhelmed me, I consulted YouTube.  I looked at clips from classes and thought, “Phew…no dancing. In fact, they’re barely moving…this can’t be so bad.” 

Lesson learned: don’t judge a fitness routine by its YouTube video.

No Dance Experience Necessary

According to my instructor, Kaitlin Vandura, Pure Barre is a total body workout that focuses on the areas that women struggle with most: seat, hips, thighs, abs, and arms.  Based on how I felt the day after, I can confirm that this class successfully targets each of these areas.  As Vandura says, no dance experience is necessary. If you can hold onto a ballet barre, you can do Pure Barre.  The purpose of the ballet barre is to assist with balance, provide stability, or increase resistance.

Small Movements, Low Impact

While I was relieved that I did not actually have to dance, I completely underestimated how difficult the class would be. The routine relies on small isometric movements to tone muscle, including leg lifts and crunches, but don’t be fooled — it’s high intensity. The tiny movements provide a great workout without putting too much stress on your joints.  

At Home vs. In Class

I couldn’t help but feel that most of the class could be done from home — I own a mat, a small ball, tension bands, and could use the back of a chair as my bar.  So, I put my theory to the test and tried to recreate the exercises from the class.  And yes, for all intents and purposes, the class can be done at home.  However, the motivation that you feel when surrounded by a group of your peers cannot be recreated at home.  On top of that, the individualized instruction and encouragement from the teacher, along with modification suggestions are incredibly valuable to the experience.

Verdict:  This workout regime will challenge you.  Vandura suggests going three to four times a week for optimal results.  The good news is, that if you can’t make class one day, you can do some of the exercises at home with proper equipment.  That being said, you’ll see a big difference by actually attending the class.  Prepare for sore muscles (especially in your seat!).  All in all, it’s definitely worth a try.