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SEP 17, 2020


Barre classes can be described as the fusion of ballet movements with Pilates principles. Think tiny, precise movements and a low-impact workout with lots of reps.

It’s one of those classes that looks real easy, but you’ll soon realize barre is deceptively hard. You should never underestimate the power of small movements and pulses. You will literally need to hold on to the barre to stand up by the end of class.

So, get your grippy socks ready and head to one of these barre studios in NYC to feel the burn.

Physique 57 is known as the OG barre studio in NYC — they basically created the barre craze. And it totally makes sense why people got addicted. The smart, effective, workout will leave you sore yet craving more. In addition to their signature class, Physique 57 also offers interval-focused barre classes as well as Sweat Burn Tone, a high-intensity take on barre. All four locations feature a gorgeous locker room where you can primp and prep after the intense workout.

Arguably the sweatiest of all barre classes in NYC, barre3’s classes are a whirlwind that will leave you drenched and wondering what the heck just happened. The athletic class is based on barre3’s signature three-step sequence: hold, move small, move big. Trust us — you will feel the wrath of this intense workout the next day, in the best way. The adorable, light-filled Greenwich Village studio overlooks 6th Avenue, and is steps away from Liquiteria if you need some post-class nourishment.

Pure Barre is well-loved across the nation for their fast-paced, high-energy, signature barre class, as well as their newer workout classes; The Pure Barre Empower class takes you into a 45-minute killer workout that integrates low-impact cardio as well as a step-up for a more challenging barre experience, while the Pure Reform targets, shapes, and defines all major muscle groups through resistance‐based strength training. With several locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, you’re never too far away from Pure Barre.

If you want tons of hands-on adjustments during class, Bar Method is your best bet. The instructors go through extensive anatomy training and are not afraid to call you out if you’re not nailing the movement. Don’t be afraid, though — it comes from a place of encouragement and safety. Bar Method isn’t the sweatiest barre workout, but there’s something to be said about a class that leaves you sore… but not too sweaty to hit up brunch afterward. And if you do want to shower after class, there’s a full locker room with all the products you need.

Hailing from Los Angeles, Pop Physique is the most Instagram-worthy barre studio in town, complete with quirky wallpaper and bright pink accents. The studio is known for their “cheeky” humor (literally — much of their marketing revolves around how great your, uh, backside will look thanks to Pop Physique) and insanely fun workouts. Check them out at their Nomad or Bowery locations.

Yoga and barre studio Shaktibarre is all about a mind-body approach to fitness. While all instructors bring their own flavor and style to the barre classes, you can expect a workout focused on the chakras (yes, chakras in a barre class!) and self-love. Hang out after class in the cafe area (chow down on some avocado toast!) and be sure to check out Shaktibarre’s empowerment focused community events.

In barre classes at Exhale, you’ll be shocked how heavy a set of two-pound weights can feel. These tiny, small arm movements are tough! For a hotter experience, check out the Barre+Cardio combo, which gives you the best of both worlds — the core challenging moves of a barre class plus energetic cardio intervals. Who says you can’t do burpees in a barre class?

Don’t let the name confuse you — Pure Yoga offers not one, not two, but six different styles of barre (which the studio calls “Figure 4”) at both their Upper West Side and Upper East Side locations. The Figure 4 classes are the self-proclaimed “most challenging barre experience in the city”. These non-stop classes will each have a different flair (based on length and necessary experience) but they’ll all get your pulse up and keep it up for the entire time. If you have a ballet background or are a total barre-babe, try out their Figure 4 Fit or Figure 4 Strength classes (advanced athletes only). But if you’re a beginner, try Figure 4 Barre or Figure 4 Stretch instead, which will teach you the basics.

It’s tush-toning time. At least, if this two-location Manhattan mobility studio has anything to say about it. Their innovative barre workouts are all about those long holds, increasing range of motion, and kicking your body out of its usual slumped-over posture. You’ll point, you’ll balance, you’ll sweat. And as an added bonus, the ’gram-worthy space (think: wood floors, mirrors, natural light) also offers TRX and Pilates classes. How’s that for a 3-in-1?

Xtend’s spacious Brooklyn studio is frequented by brides-to-be, young moms, and stroller-touting 30-somethings looking for a low key but ab-building fitness plan. Meanwhile, their Tribeca getaway has a bougie young professional feel. Regardless of where you go, you’ll be combining ballet and Pilates with more traditional barre moves for toned limbs and core. No dance background? That’s okay — all levels are welcome. Just be ready to sweat.


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