Everything to know before your first spin, yoga or barre class
Before stepping foot into a new workout class, it’s natural to feel nervous that you won’t know what to do and will end up looking silly. Especially if it’s an activity you don’t know a lot about. So we took three of the more confusing classes out there—yoga, spinning and barre—and gave you everything you need to know so you can walk in the door feeling confident.
Dress the part. You should tailor your outfit to the specific workout you’re going to be doing. Here are some good guidelines:
- For spinning classes, experts say not to wear running shorts or flared-leg workout pants, which can get caught in the bike gears.
- If you’re trying out a Bikram (hot) yoga class for the first time, yogis recommend that on the top men wear baggy t-shirts and women wear form-fitting tops and on the bottom some quick-dry capris or full-length fitted pants. That way the instructor can see your form. And no shoes!
- Barre instructors ask participants to wear leggings or capris instead of shorts because in certain positions you’ll use a ball or a tube around your thighs (in shorts you won’t be able to grip the equipment as well). Additionally, “sticky” socks are a bonus that will prevent your feet from sliding.
Watch a few videos to understand the rundown of the class. Your class may vary from the video, but these videos will give you a good idea of what to expect.
- Yoga usually goes from standing poses to sitting poses and finally ones where you lie down–you’ll move through different positions and often wrap up with some relaxing meditation. Here’s a great yoga for beginners video to check out.
- Spin classes involve an instructor at the front of the room leading the group through routines like hill climbs, intervals and sprints. And the whole time you’ll be listening to high-energy. motivational music. Hear exactly what happens during your first spin class from what to wear to how to warm up and where to sit.
- Barre classes are typically an hour-long, beginning with a warm-up then moving to arm, thigh, seat and ab workouts and concluding with a cool-down with the lights turned down low. This 20-minute at-home barre workout will get your blood-pumping and get you prepared for your first class!
Arrive early. Arrive 10 to 15 minutes before class starts to introduce yourself to the instructor and let them know this is your first class. Most instructors will give you a quick summary of what to expect and they can watch out for you to make sure you are picking up the workout throughout the class. This also gives you time to get situated in the workout room so you aren’t running around at the last-minute trying to find a spot for your mat or pick a bike.
Bring water and a towel. This is a workout class isn’t it? Expect to sweat and be prepared with a small towel and hydration.
Relax, breath and enjoy the experience. This workout is for you. Don’t compare yourself to others in the class — they’ve all been first-timers before too. Push yourself, congratulate yourself after class for trying something new and, most importantly, enjoy the new experience.
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Photo credit: Studio Barre