If you're sick of SoulCycle, or hate awkward run-ins with your classmates at the campus gym, perhaps it's time for you to move your fitness regime elsewhere. What better way to switch it up than to try out some of NYC's barre classes for a full-body workout that changes your expectations of what a fitness class should be. 

Wait, so what exactly is a barre class

It's a workout routine where classes combine "postures inspired by ballet and other disciplines like yoga and Pilates", while using the "barre" (yes, a horizontal b-a-r) for balance. These workouts don't require a wide range of motion─ in fact, barre is comprised mainly of contracting muscles while holding one posture (AKA isometric exercise) and small movements that strengthen and tone the target muscles. Prepare for lots of planks and push-ups!

1. Pop Physique

Head over to the Bowery or NoMad locations to workout in one of the cutest fitness studios in NYC. Nothing quite pumps you up for an hour of sweating like being surrounded by neon lights and fruit-themed wallpapers. On top of that, Pop Physique sells adorable apparel, including tanks and socks featuring a hilarious assortment of barre-related puns. This studio is great for beginners, since instructors will happily break down all of the movements for you in every class. Sweet and simple!

Difficulty Level: 3/5

2. Physique 57

If you're the kind of person who feels the need to lay flat on your mat for half of a workout class, you're not alone. Luckily, the instructors at Physique 57 are great cheerleaders who really encourage you all the way to the end of class, regardless of your skill level. Just when you think you can't hold your plank anymore, you'll manage to hold out for another 30 seconds! Talk about progress. 

Difficulty: 4/5

3. barre3 

For more variety in your classes, barre3 is the place to go and mix up your routines. It can be boring repeating the same hour-long workout with the exact same music playing in the background time after time. If you're dreading hearing the same Drake song every time you go to barre, try barre3 for a change.

Difficulty: 4/5 

4. Pure Barre

One of the more popular barre classes in the U.S., Pure Barre tends to be much more intense than other studios in terms of your workout. While most barre classes will leave you feeling sore for a day or two, Pure Barre works muscles that you didn't even know you had. Activities such as walking, laughing, and lifting objects will likely be difficult for you after attending a session. Good luck!

Difficulty: 5/5