You sign up for a new barre class, thinking you know what you're in for: some ab work, lots of pulsing up and down, maybe something resembling ballet. Then, the next thing you know you're being instructed to tuck your pelvis, sit under a barre with your leg up, and "pulse" a muscle that you're pretty sure doesn't exist. Then the end of class rolls around, and you realize you feel strong, poised, and flexible — and it all seems way less intimidating.
If you're looking for a low-impact, strengthening workout that requires some finesse and mind-body connection, barre is an excellent choice. But there are so many studios out there with varying techniques and vibes, that it can be difficult to figure out which class is right for you.
Need a guide to show you the way? Here are the best barre workouts and studios in New York City, with insider advice about what to expect from each one. Grab your pair of fancy grippy socks, and get ready to pulse, tuck — and whatever else they may throw at you.