Regardless of your fitness experience, completing your barre certification and teaching a barre class can feel like a daunting task. Choreography, alignment, beat matching, modifications, and motivation - so much to remember and cover in an hour. But if we can offer one piece of choreography advice in our years of experience helping others through their barre training, it's that less truly is more.
Here are our barre certification tips on how to teach LESS choreography while still giving your clients the MORE they deserve.
Ditch The 32 Count
Depending on your prior fitness training, you might default to teaching on the 32 count phrase which is about every 4 eight counts. Breaking it down one step further, those that teach to the 32 count typically incorporate about four exercises/variations within that time frame. While this is fantastic for aerobics style group fitness, we want those that go through our barre certification to understand you don't have to always switch your choreography to keep your class engaged. Your cuing and how you layer your exercises will keep the class engaged AND they will be able to more easily follow along.
Make It A Marathon
Think of the exercises you teach as a marathon, not a sprint. In the Barre Intensity world we'll classify a sprint as 2-8 eight counts and a marathon at 9-16 eight counts. "That's a long time"! Yes, we know, but during this time you're cuing alignment, muscles working, mind body connection and being motivational. You're also layering in Intense Strength and Intense Cardio choreography, terms defined in our Instructor Training Manual. Trust us, you'll need this time to fit everything in. More time in an exercise means less choreography and high intensity.
Pick 2-3 Exercises
When planning your classes, pick two - three main exercises per class section, with the exception of upper body which should have about two per muscle group (biceps, shoulders, triceps) and include 2-4 variations per exercise. Doesn't seem so bad when you think of it that way. Here's an example of what we're talking about, pulled right from our Barre Class Blueprint blog post.
Thigh Section: Chair & Lunge
- Chair Pulses (heels down)
- Chair Pulses (heels up)
- Full Range Chair
- Lunge Pulses
- Lunge Thigh Squeezes In
- Lunge Thigh Squeezes Out
- Lunge Full Range with Option to Knee Lift
Layer and Build
Layer and build is a Barre Intensity certification and training class principles and just so happens to be one of our favorite. When we layer and build, our class flow is improved and intensity is increased. Although we are "building on" which means adding choreography, our base exercise remains exactly the same. Take a bicep curl for example - we start with standard bicep curls, then layer in squats with the curls, and lastly, build with knee lifts. What starts off as bicep curls ends up as a bicep curl/squat/knee lift combo. Fairly basic choreography taking up about 2 minutes, or more, of class time.