Peloton releases Barre classes on its fitness app, here’s my review
Barre became a fitness obsession of mine prior to my wedding – I was going 5x a week leading up to my big day and never felt fitter. Just like cycling classes, Barre classes really vary in format, flow and energy based on the studio you go to. I’ve tried some of the larger national brands like The Dailey Method, Pure Barre, Barre3, Physique57 and several local San Francisco studios like Maiden Lane Studios, MNTSTUDIO, SALT – not to mention I taught Barre myself for a couple of years at a local San Francisco gym!
In my different experiences, I’ve found several Barre studios I dislike for one reason or another and some Barre studios I absolutely can’t get enough of (Maiden Lane Studios & MNTSTUDIO.
Since we’ve been stuck working out at home with COVID, I couldn’t have been more excited when at-home indoor cycling giant, Peloton (check out my husband’s article on the best Peloton instructors based on your mood), announced they were adding Barre to their Strength lineup of streaming classes in the app lead by well-known Peloton instructors, Ally Love and Hannah Corbin.
What is Barre?
Barre is a low-impact workout inspired by Ballet that combines fitness exercises from Pilates and Yoga. The focus is on building long, lean muscles through small movements designed to exhaust targeted muscle groups.
Classes are usually broken into different sections of strength training: warm-up, arms, legs, glutes, chest, back, core. A few studios will also incorporate cardio bursts to get your heart rate up during class. Some incorporate stretching throughout class, while others hold it until the end.
Is Barre a good workout?
Short answer: Yes! I did Barre classes 5 days a week for months leading up to my wedding and I never felt stronger. That being said, Barre comes in a lot of varieties, some are better than others… and I’ve found I’m pretty particular about what I like.
What equipment do you need for Barre?
You’ll need light hand weights (2lb, 3lb or 4lb), a yoga mat, and a chair or countertop. Some classes also use a Pilates Ball and resistance bands.
Review of Peloton Barre Classes
Ready to give Peloton’s Barre Classes a try?
What I liked about Peloton Barre:
- Music: The one thing that you can always count on with Peloton is the motivational music. The Peloton Barre Classes are no exception.
- Quick class options: There are some good quick class options if you are trying to squeeze some movement into your day with 15 minute, 20 minute and 30 minute workouts. That said, it would be nice if they had a full length option of 45 minutes.
- Full body workout: All classes I tried incorporated full body exercises.
- Focus on balance: There is an emphasis on balance which adds an element of fun.
- Convenience: On-demand streaming in your home. Perfect for the Mama who has to work around an unpredictable schedule.
- Prenatal & postnatal friendly: These low-impact workouts a great for the expecting or new mom – just remember to do proper core modifications.
Areas for improvement of Peloton Barre:
- Variety of movements: My biggest complaint is how repetitive the class flows were. I did 3 classes by Ally Love and 2 of them were almost identical in flow. Hannah Corbin’s classes also very similarly incorporated the same movements as Ally’s classes. Often with Barre the warm-ups utilize the same movements, namely the “Barre March,” but the rest of the class should offer fresh routines each time. I really need variety to keep me motivated – and Barre can provide that – there are so many different exercises that could be part of the routine, add in different speeds and muscle extensions and there really is no reason to have almost identical class flows.
- Breathing cues: Peloton Barre classes are lacking cues to remind you not only to breath, but when to inhale and when to exhale on specific movements.
- Right & left cues: Neither Hannah Corbin or Ally Love directed which side to do for each set of exercises, which is not a big deal, unless you are like me and forget which side you just did.
- Difficulty: These are definitely approachable Barre classes. Difficulty of these classes leans towards the “entry-level” Barre class participant. I’d love for them to turn up the difficulty so I really break a sweat.
All in all, I’m excited for the release of Peloton Barre classes, and I’m going to continue trying them. So far there are only 10 classes to select in the app. I hope to see additional ones with more variety of movements and increased difficulty.
For the true Barre lover, I’d instead recommend checking out MNTSTUDIO which provides both live streaming classes that can be viewed for up to 48 hours after the live class and on-demand via MNT Online.
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