Image credit:
Barre-Workout: das ultimative Cardio-Training.
Image credit:

Barre Workout: A Mixture of Ballet, Pilates and Yoga

We need your consent to enable the rating function!

This feature is only available when corresponding consent is given. Please read the details and accept the service to enable rating function.


Barre or barre workouts are one of the most popular and unusual fitness trends from recent years - and it's been around since 1959!

A blend of ballet, Pilates and yoga, Barre strengthens, tones and stretches the body while working toward an elegant, confident posture. It's a workout that demands precision and ambition without lapsing into higher, faster, further. takes a closer look at the unusual workout and its benefits!

What is Body Barre Workout?

Barre workout is a type of full body workout. Barre Workout combines elements of ballet, Pilates, yoga and strength training. You can do the workouts in groups, but also with the help of online coaches easily at home in your living room. Barre workouts strengthen your muscles, improve your balance, and contribute to better, healthier posture. The intensity can be varied, so barre workouts are suitable for any fitness level.

Where Did the Idea of Barre Cardio Come From?

In 1950s London, following an injury, German-born ballerina Lotte Berk developed a new style of training that would combine the dedication and high performance of ballet with the gentle movements found in yoga. In 1959, she began teaching under the name Barre, borrowing from the name of the ballet barre that was used extensively in her classes.

She not only made sure that the exercises reflected the natural elegance of ballet, but also incorporated movements from physiotherapy that specifically built up the musculoskeletal system.

Among her students were also big stars of the world and so the fitness trend spread leisurely especially in the USA. Since 2010, there has been a veritable flood of courses after the film Black Swan Ballet whetted the appetite of a young, sports-minded public.

How Does the Barre Training Work?

Barre is usually practiced in yoga clothes. Barefoot or in socks with rubber studs for a better booth allow the feet to move freely and stand securely. This makes barre unique among workouts that usually disregard the feet instead of including them in the stretches and poses as well.

For most exercises, you'll need a ballet barre or, as a substitute, the back of a chair. Otherwise, there is a range of suitable equipment such as therabands, light weights or balls from rhythmic gymnastics.

Something very special is the ballet music, which usually runs in the background and is very different from the techno sounds of high-performance workouts and the soothing, swaying sounds of Pilates.

What Does a Barre Workout Class Look Like?

Barre also begins with warm-up exercises, but they are an integral part of the ballet movements. This makes the workout exceptional because, like ballet, you work through a routine set of movements and steps that loosen various joints, engage muscles and ramp up your concentration.

So you complete different exercises and dance steps, each of which works specific muscles. In the process, your upper body stays calm and relaxed while your lower body does the work. This not only improves your posture, but also your balance!

The fact that the routines are very set helps most people relax. Your head can focus entirely on feeling your body and performing the movements correctly, since your legs and arms already know the sequence. This lowers your stress level and allows you to just slide into a calm, focused state.

You will get to know and love many typical ballet steps in the Barre, such as Pliés, Relevés or Pas de Bourrées. They mainly shape your thighs, calves and glutes, so they are, so to speak, the elegant, refined form of the classic abs-legs-buttocks program.

Because one of the most important aspects of the barre workout is training good posture. During the class, a lot of emphasis is placed on posture with body tension without cramping. This also helps prevent back or neck problems and helps develop a sensitive awareness of one's own body.

In addition to the bar, other objects can be used such as weights, small balls or walls for support.

The class always ends with extended stretching and cool down.

Advantages of Barre Workout

Barre is surprisingly quick and easy to learn because the exercises are continuously repeated. Many hesitate at first because they consider the ballet aspect to be very demanding, but the workout actually includes mostly basic movements as taught in ballet schools at every level.

The undeniable advantage to many other dance-oriented or yoga-inspired workouts is the implementation of exercises from physical therapy that emphasize and promote the health aspect. Therefore, Barre is exceptionally well suited for people with physical ailments of any kind.

Many especially appreciate the aesthetic aspect, which takes the focus away from the pure idea of performance. Barre not only challenges your body and keeps it healthy, but also gives you charisma, elegance and self-confidence, which also strengthens your inner self.

At the same time, barre has a positive effect on your mobility and flexibility. All the influences from Pilates, yoga and ballet stretch you and loosen your joints and muscles. This also benefits people of older age, chronically ill and obese people!

And although barre follows set routines and movement patterns, it offers plenty of variety and the freedom to create new combinations.

For Whom Is the Barre Workout Particularly Suitable?

Barre is considered one of the few workouts that is really suitable for any age, any fitness level and also any physical limitation. Because the movements are usually well modifiable and thus individualizable, but always gentle for joints and muscles and determined solely by their own body weight. Thus, when expertly executed, there is hardly any risk of injury and also very good control.

For many, it is therefore attractive as a return to sport after an injury or a longer period without sporting activity. It reliably rebuilds the body and fitness and gives you back a strong body feeling.

It is also often recommended for pregnant women to switch from other, usually more intensive training programs to Barre. This is because it is the aspect of balance and reflecting a sense of one's own body that is worth its weight in gold with the major changes that come with pregnancy. It also puts little stress on the upper body, so rarely exercises are out of the question due to the bulging belly, making pregnant women feel less frustrated by their belly. But as in any case, it is important to talk to a doctor in advance about what limits you should draw and what effort is reasonable.

Barre has also come into fashion for those who do not want to train their muscles alone, but admire the athletic body and the self-confident posture of ballet dancers. This is what barre always trains with, which not only makes you look more elegant, but in everyday life you develop less discomfort due to bad posture.

But even for those who attach little importance to the dance aspect and are looking for a program that targets a variety of muscles and burns calories without always aiming for absolute exhaustion, Barre is an excellent training method. This is because it combines strength, stretching and endurance training in equal measure, without appearing overly demanding at first glance.

Where Can I Train Barre?

In the USA, barre is experiencing a boom and has been on the course schedule in more and more gyms since 2010. In Germany, it is still largely unknown, but is increasingly offered in ballet schools as an additional class. This is practical because the local teachers have often been dancers themselves and therefore have a lot of experience with ballet as well as with special physiotherapeutic exercises.

On the Internet, there are also a variety of online course offerings, with the help of which you can build your own ballet studio out of your living room at home thanks to a chair back!