The Language of Barre

// Athletic V

A foot stance. The heels are glued together, toes are apart. Turnout happens from the hips. Toes typically are at 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock on the floor.

// Bend

Closing the angle of a joint. For example, bending your elbows in bicep curls during weight sections.

// Down-an-Inch, Up-an-Inch

A specific instruction to encourage you to move your body down one inch only, and back up one inch – and not any further – while you’re pulsing.

// Extend 

Opening the angle of a joint. For example, straightening your leg or arm from a bent position.

// Flex

 Closing the angle of a joint. For example, flexing your foot is bringing your toes closer to your nose.

// Heavy Tailbone

Heard often during class, a heavy tailbone refers to protecting your lower back & spine by engaging your abdominal muscles and straightening out your spine. This creates alignment from your head to your tailbone.

// Isometric

Muscle contraction against resistance that doesn’t a change in muscle length or involve movement. Think pulling your abs up and in during plank. Also called a “hold”.

// Parallel

Feet are placed so that the toes are facing directly forward. Typically the feet are either glued together or hips width apart.

// Pulse

A small movement (just and inch) done to the beat of the music. A very small range of motion.

// Pressback

Often done in thighs or glute work, pressing your knees in a backwards motion by engaging your thighs and glute muscles.

// Releve

Also called “tippy toes” – when you lift your heels up off of the ground or mat, balancing on the balls of your feet.

// Seat

The top of your upper thigh and bottom of glute muscles, where you sit!

// Tuck

Referring to the tailbone & pelvis, a tuck is also known as a posterior pelvic tilt. To tuck, the tailbone is dropped down and abdominal muscles are pulled up and in towards your spine.

// Wide Second

A foot stance. Feet are taken wider than hips-width, turned out into a V shape. The heels of your feet can either stay flat or lift to tippy toes. Knees are stacked over the ankles.

I hope that by having a better understanding of the terminology I use during barre classes, you are able to feel more comfortable and confident at the barre!



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© 2020 Danielle Havens.