A female wearing a sports bra and leggings holds a plank position on a carpeted floor in a barre studio.

The importance of engaging your core at the barre

09 July 2021

"Slight tuck of the tail bone, keep your back long and your rib cage drawing down." If you're a Barrecore Warrior you'll have heard this countless times from our instructors and if you're a Barrecore Novice, these three little commands are the most important thing the instructor will say throughout class.

These three small movements keep your core engaged and unless you're told otherwise (for example, in a round back chair) you should keep it that way from the moment you enter the Studio right up until your Savasana.

We did a quick Q&A with teacher trainer and barre instructor, Emily King, to find out why it's so crucial.

1. Why is it important to engage your core at the barre?

A strong core will improve your posture and in turn, help to perfect the execution of Barrecore moves. It takes a while to master the technique but once you have, you'll get more out of each class.

2. How do you benefit from having a strong core outside of a barre class?

Having a strong core will make you less likely to have back ache as you'll be better supported, it also improves your general posture making you look leaner and stand taller. Additionally, you'll find you get more out of any physical activity if you have a stronger core, be it running, HIIT or yoga.

3. How do I keep my core engaged during a barre class?

A common misconception when working out at the barre is the belief that by gripping or sucking in the abs alone means you're fully engaging your core. Unfortunately it's a little harder than that. As well as focusing on sucking the tummy in, also think about a lifting sensation from your pelvic floor. You need to create space between your ribs and hips but without letting your ribs flare out and lastly, think about your spine being long and neutral. It sometimes help to visualise someone pulling a piece of string which goes along your back and out the top of your head.

Here are a few examples of key Barrecore exercises and what they should look like with an engaged core.

Vertical V with core engaged

Forearm foldover with core engaged

Plank position with core engaged

Try it next time that you're in class, and if you have any difficulty hitting the right spot, just ask your instructor who will be more than happy to help.