Barre workouts combine ballet, strength training and Pilates, creating a total body workout that tones and strengthens. Here are five barre studios to check out in and around Washington, D.C.

It’s the start of a new year, which means a lot of us are recommitting to our health and elevating our workout routines. If you want to tone your whole body in a fun class setting, you have to try barre.

Pure Barre

[gallery type="rectangular" size="large" ids="6246,6247"] If you’re just trying out barre for the first time, Pure Barre may be a good place to start. Though it is quite challenging in terms of the workout itself, the routine is very structured and follows a similar formula every class no matter what studio location you attend. Pure Barre classes run 55 minutes long and incorporates all parts of the body. You usually start with a warm up, planking, and then move on to arms, legs, glutes, finishing off with abs and a cool down. The instructors are uniformly trained and can offer many modifications for beginners. The key to barre, and especially important in Pure Barre, are small controlled movements called pulses. You’ll never be making wide range motions in this type of class. Before your first class you should learn about what to expect, Pure Barre terminology, and the technique.


[gallery type="rectangular" size="large" ids="6250,6249"] FlyBarre focuses more on the strength aspects of barre. This workout tends to be more aggressive than other routines, and slightly choppier in flow. One of the key techniques is an exercise in which you lay down on the mat facing the barre and hook your feet behind the barre. Using a resistance band wrapped around the barre, you lift up your shoulders and head, and pull on the band with your arms. This motion repeats in various directions for a full song and does absolute wonders for your abs. There are differently timed classes you can try. If you’re looking to take your time and really work each part of the body, go for the 60 minute class. Need a quick, but tough workout? Try out the 45 minute power class, which works at a non-stop pace to sculpt and strengthen. There is also a more focused abs and arms class, as well as a more athletic, heavy-weight sports class. You can view the full list of studio options here.

Xtend Barre

[gallery type="rectangular" size="large" ids="6251,6252"] Xtend Barre focuses more on how dance is incorporated into the workout, so if you’re less about lifting weights and more about ballet moves, this may be the studio for you. The movements tend to be bigger and more fluid, and the workout a bit more cardio focused. You’ll be able to get your heart rate up and make your way around the room in an Xtend Barre class. The signature class offered is the high energy, low impact Extend Barre class. It runs an hour and works out your full body. If you’re interested in learning more about other types of classes (there’s one that is more Pilates focused and one that’s about circuit training), you can visit their site here.

Barre 3

[gallery type="rectangular" size="large" ids="6253,6254"] Barre 3 has a unique approach in that it combines the small controlled movements of Pure Barre with the larger sequences of Xtend Barre. Their technique focuses on holding a position in place to make sure form is correct and to awake your body’s muscles, then you begin moving small with pulses, after you extend the position to a wider range of motion and increase your heart rate. The studio offers its Barre 3 full body class, but also features community classes, free class specials, and classes for pregnant or postpartum women. You can learn more about Barre 3 and what to expect from the workout, here.

 B.Fit Barre

[gallery type="rectangular" size="large" ids="6255,6256"] Unlike the other barre studios mentioned which have multiple locations, often across the country, B.Fit Barre is a local Washington, D.C. studio. Located above a shops in a revitalized row house in the Logan Circle neighborhood on 14th Street, it provides a sense of community and personal attention the other studios can’t. Because it only has one location, you tend to see the same people come through, and due its location the class sizes are smaller than average. If you’re looking to really hone in on the technique, and see results based on your personal needs, this is the studio to check out. They offer three types of classes, B.Fit Barre, Barre Burner, and Barre Basics. Of course if you’ve never done barre before, you should head to the Barre Basics class (which only runs twice a week, so make sure you look at the schedule ahead of time), where you’ll learn how to do each movement correctly. The B.Fit Barre is a standard 60 minute, full body workout class, and the Barre Burner is the more advanced version without any stretch breaks, running 45 minutes. Take the time before you go to read about the B. Fit Barre experience, and class options. Have you tried any of these barre studios? Is there another studio in D.C. area you love? Let us know in the comments below!

Best Spin Classes in D.C.