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Cardio Barre
An instructor ensuring perfect form.

There?s nothing particularly new about barre workouts. They?ve been plié-ing their way through this city for the past few years. But a different type of class is now setting the, er, bar a little higher.

Cardio Barre--created in L.A., where it has quite the celeb following--recently opened a studio in Hayes Valley. Inspired largely by ballet, it promises to strengthen, lengthen and tone your entire body through resistance exercises. Sound similar to other barre classes? It?s not. Here?s why:

The pace is crazy-fast You?re doing tendus, grand battements and other ballet moves at lightning-quick speed, so your heart rate is up almost the entire time. And there?s no stopping to take short breaks for stretching--all the warming up (and cooling down) of your muscles is concentrated at the beginning and end of the class.

The instructors are classically trained All teachers must have at least four years of formal ballet experience and go through a rigorous training session in Studio City. In related news, the instructors we saw had bodies we would go Black Swan for.

The routine isn?t the same every time Barre classes can get boring with all the repetitions. Cardio Barre instructors mix up not just the moves but also the order of the class, so you aren?t always segueing from arms to cardio to glutes to abs.

One more insider tip: Bring a towel with you so you aren?t lying directly on the carpet--though it is padded.

Single classes are $18; register here. 61 Gough St.; 415-659-8540 or

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