Breaking Down the Barre Craze: Which Ballet-Inspired Workout is On Pointe for You?

Ballet dancers have flexible bodies conditioned from hours of training. Their specialized workouts create long and lean frames — think Natalie Portman in Black Swan. Their shapely legs, abs, thighs and buttocks come through hybrid weight training, Pilates and cardio workouts with some straight-up ballet pole (barre) stretching.

Their moves are spreading like wildfire, and barre-style workouts are popping up throughout the world with a variety of applications. From sweat-inducing cardio sessions that are hardly a dainty ballet class, to classes that stay true to their ballerina roots, there is a barre workout for you!

If you don’t want to dance in Swan Lake, but do want to get a more toned ballet-ready body, read on as we break down the different methods and tell you which celebrities are on pointe for this craze.

It doesn’t matter which class you choose — you are gonna WORK! 

beyond barre


Feel the burn and see the results in your core, arms and legs, and the glutes.

You’ll need a ballet barre, a handrail (or a counter top), and a super cool GlideBoard.

Inspired by ballet, ice skating, and intense cardio classes.

Differs from others because of an intense approach that incorporates cardio for fat burning and endurance.

Attend a class at one of a dozen studios in the U.S.




Described as “ballet meets yoga and Pilates”

Utilizes a 3-step method where poses are held for longer periods with focus on small muscle movements. Session ends with a cardio blast.

Celebrity fans include Madonna, who may be striking a pose beside you at your next Barre3 class.

Required accessories include a yoga mat, small “prop” ball, ballet barre or sturdy chair.

Classes popping up in over 30 US cities, Canada and even the Philippines with more coming soon. DVDs: Seven different workouts sold on the website.


Pure Barre Crop


Similar to Bar Method except it moves at a faster pace incorporating cardio movements.

You’ll feel the burn in your hips, abs and glutes.

Celebrities like Kelly Ripa and Zooey Deschanel like this workout because of the Pilates-style technique.

Accessories: Ballet barre, small ball, hand weights.

Classes are located in over 156 cities across the U.S. DVD titles: Pure Barre Mile High, Barre Amped, Pure Barre: Pershing Square 1 and more.

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10_BootyBarre02 (1)


Created by dancer and celebrity fitness instructor Tracey Mallett.

Specifically designed to plump your badonkadonk by focusing on the gluteus maximus.

Popular workout because of the upbeat modern music and fast pace.

Requires the use of a ballet barre, small ball, and resistance band.

Classes located in over 100 US cities and 25 countries. Popular DVDs include: Booty Barre Ballet, Booty Barre Beginners and Arms and more.


cardio barre crop


Most similar to a traditional ballet class.

Heavy emphasis on dance-centric moves that are not necessarily for beginners.

Popular because of the dance element and bass-thumping house music to keep you motivated.

Required equipment includes a ballet barre and light weights.

Real-life results look like Alisa Gonzalez’s loss of 67 pounds with Cardio Barre.

Classes primarily in California. Several low-impact and advanced DVDs: Cardio Barre: Total Dancer workout, Cardio Barre Low Impact Series and more.


dailey method 1


Created by barre fitness instructor Jill Dailey

Workout consists of core conditioning, muscle strengthening, yoga, and orthopedic exercises.

Primary focus is proper alignment and active stretching.

Differs from other barre classes because it is non-impact and students receive positive individualized attention.

Classes are located in 55 studios across the U.S. and Canada. The Dailey Method has produced two DVDs with five separate workouts.

bar method crop


Students start with stretching, then move to arm exercises with small weights, barre stretching for thighs and glutes, and finish with floor work targeting the booty.

Muscles will burn from small isometric movements and slow pulsing that will make your legs quiver in protest.

Instructors are serious about form in this class. They’ll be watching for good posture and correcting as needed so you get the full benefit of the move.

Celebrity fans include Ginnfer Goodwin and her long and lean look.

Classes can be found in 19 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. DVD titles include, The Bar Method for Beginners, The Bar Method Change Your Body and more.

Also Read:

5 Best Moves Every Woman Needs for Strong, Toned Arms

Add Simple Yoga to Your Back to School Routine for Happy Focused Kids

5 Non-Crunch Ways to Build Your Core (Without Killing Your Neck)

images via, Daytondaily news,, Village,, Dailey method

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