Photo: Barre Lab
If you’re averse to lifting weights but covet the lean physique of a ballerina, then it’s time to step out for a barre class. A mix of ballet, pilates and yoga, barre brings you all the benefits of those activities.
This fitness fad is all the rage, and isn’t showing any signs of fading away. Touted for its many benefits – improved strength, posture and muscle definition, greater endurance and flexibility, for starters – this low-impact workout makes it the perfect option for pregnant women or if you need a break in between your regular HIIT or spin classes.
Barre also targets the muscles that stabilise and support the body, making it a full-body workout without aggravating those injuries you’ve sustained from playing competitive sports back in the day. In other words, it is tough on the muscles but easy on the joints.
We rated several barre studios based on ambience and amenities, instructors, and how effective and enjoyable the workouts are – and here are our picks:
Barre 2 Barre
Photo: Barre 2 Barre
Right in the heart of the Central Business District is Barre 2 Barre, the only studio in Singapore offering a unique barre class on trampolines called BarreAmped Bounce. It’s a fun but and challenging collection of classic barre routines done on a JumpSport fitness trampoline, which creates a dynamic surface that offers the stable support of the added handle bar but the difficulty of a cardio machine.
The method was created by fitness celebrity Suzanne Bowen, who has more than 16 years’ experience in the industry and was classically trained in The Lotte Berk Method, the original barre studio in the US. Based on that classic technique, she developed BarreAmped, which focuses on a neutral spine and a solid foundation of alignment.
The cosy studio is a stone’s throw away from Clarke Quay MRT station, comes equipped with towels and a water dispenser, as well as an array of shower products. The classes are 50 minutes long and capped at 12 students each so we received ample attention from the instructor and were comfortable spaced out. The class I tried, Barreamped Mixed Levels, was pretty popular, and for good reason: it gives results. After a straight session of muscle toning and cardio, I could feel my body firm up (and ache) the next day.
If you’re looking to get your sweat sesh in, tone up and de-stress, this is definitely the class to attend. It is suitable for all ages and fitness levels, so don’t worry about not being able to catch your breath.
3 Pickering St, 03-01 Staircase 1, 048660
As Singapore’s first boutique barre studio, WeBarre offers classes that combine yoga, pilates, ballet techniques, and strength training, making it a full-body workout.
The workouts are developed by Rachael Fraser, a professional dancer who teaches pilates and barre.
You can choose from six types of classes conducted: Fundamentals, HIIT, Pre-natal, Mums and Bubs, Signature and private sessions. Beginners are advised to try the Fundamentals class, which goes at a slower pace in an intimate setting, while those aiming to torch calories can take on the HIIT class. For fitness regulars looking for a fun workout, the Signature Multi-Level class will help you hit your exercise quota for the week.
The convenient location in the heart of Tanjong Pagar and sleek, homely studio were a plus to begin with, and lockers, mats, workout and bath towels are also provided. But what sealed the deal was the workout. Being a regular swimmer, I thought I could handle the Multi-Level class, but boy was it an intense session. With a lethal mix of toning and cardio, it certainly challenged me, but the patient and upbeat instructor was a great help. Finishing off with a refreshing shower completed the very rewarding session.
86B Tanjong Pagar Rd, S 088507
5A Stanley St, S 068724
39C N Canal Rd, S 059295
Photo: Barre Lab
The brainchild of Yoga Lab and Breathe pilates, Barre Lab’s unique method combines the precision of pilates and the mindfulness of yoga to sculpt your body while calming your mind.
Led by a team of instructors who specialise in barre, pilates and yoga, Barre Lab’s classes – including Barre 101, Barre Power, Barre Stretch and Prenatal Barre – cater to every fitness level. Each full-body workout is carefully choreographed and set to invigorating music that leaves you feeling rejuvenated and empowered.
I did a beginner class at Barre Lab to start things off, so that I could nail the basics and get your hips, knees and ankles properly aligned. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it’s in fact a fulfilling full-body workout. In terms of facilities, Barre Lab is not as fancy as the others (no locker room or lounge area), but they definitely make up for it in terms of the range of classes available. Maybe I’ll head back for a higher level class like Barre Power next, when my muscles have recovered.
60 Duxton Rd, Singapore 089524
Photo: Upside Motion
Upside Motion offers a range of activities including aerial yoga and pilates, but their Xtend Barre workout melds ballet and pilates techniques for a full-body cardio workout. It is designed to target smaller muscle groups, strengthening and lengthening the body from head to toe. Using props like resistance bands, weights and balls, it trains your core while improving flexibility and sculpting muscles.
If you’re time-pressed, the studio also offers express 45-minute sessions that you can squeeze in during lunch hour.
While Xtend Barre combined pilates and ballet, it was fast-paced enough to make it a challenging and fun cardio session for me. The movements are pure barre without HIIT, but it was still intense enough to get my heart pumping and my muscles working hard thanks to the Xtend Barre Stick, which provides more resistance to the workout. The class was well-paced and well delivered, the moves well-explained and demonstrated. This is a workout for those who are looking for a more regulated and targeted barre method.
36 Armenian Street, 02-03, S179934