4 Common Barre Moves to Expect at Your First Class

Barre classes can be intimidating. Kelly Griffith of Xtend Barre DC and Fuel Pilates shares some common moves to expect so you’re not completely out of the loop.

By: Melissa Romero

The barre fitness movement has been on the rise for a couple of years now, so it’s not surprising that studios are now offering hybrid classes, mixing the best aspects of two different workouts into one. Xtend Barre DC, which opened its first DC location last month in Mount Vernon Triangle, combines barre and Pilates into one invigorating workout aimed at giving your body that long and lean physique. 

But both Pilates and barre classes can be intimidating, especially if you’re in a room with a bunch of current and former dancers who can dance circles around you. Xtend Barre’s Kelly Griffith performs some of the common moves you can expect at Xtend Barre, and most Pilates and barre classes.

Exercise 1: Shaving Plie into Releve

Bring weights together above head with palms in. Bend elbows as you plie. Extend legs and arms back to starting position. Add releve (lift heels) if possible.


Exercise 2: Tricep Dips

Extend one leg to the ceiling, bend knee into chest as you bend elbows. Repeat.

Exercise 3: Chair Plies

Lift heels and engage abs. Plie, lower to knees over ankles, thighs parallel to the floor. Hold or advance by reaching glutes to heels. (Note: If you have bad knees, eliminate releve and lowering glutes.)

Exercise 4: Hamstrings with Ball

Open the working leg to the side while squeezing the ball. Repeat. 

Photographs by Michelle Bosch.

For more workouts, visit Well+Being's Fit Check page.