Back-to-Barre Basics, Anyone?

Throughout these past several months, I’ve become a Barre Believer. And why’s that? Well, because week after (grueling yet habit-forming) week, this fitness program works its transformative powers on my entire body.

Based on scientific findings that small, precise isometric motions exert more effort on those hard-to-reach muscle groups, the Barre workout effectively develops a lean physique without the high intensity impact of other resistance training regimens.

In case you’re unfamiliar, Barre combines various elements from ballet, yoga and Pilates. Classes generally take place inside a dance studio, but with some ingenuity, you can practice without even leaving the house.

The following Barre-approved exercises sculpt noticeable full-body results, regardless of skill or activity level. All you gotta do is just lift…tone…burn.

Aaaaaand, go!
barre moves you can do at home

Tone the Arms:

*You’ll need 3- or 5-pound dumbbells to perform these exercises.

  • Elevated Hammer Curls (targets Biceps)
barre bicep exercise

If you’re too cheap for actual weights (like me!), improvise with water bottles

  1. Stand with your feet parallel, about shoulder-width apart, and bend your knees slightly.
  2. Keep your back straight, shoulders relaxed, core engaged and hips tucked inward.
  3. Raise your arms to shoulder-level and straighten your elbows, with both palms facing each other.
  4. Curl your right forearm back toward your shoulder, while keeping your upper arm stable at the elbow.
  5. Return your right forearm to its initial position, then repeat step 4 with your left forearm.
  6. Perform this move with  alternating arms for 20 repetitions, making sure they both remain steady and elevated.
  • Back Arm Lift (targets Triceps)

barre tricep exercise

  1. Stand with your feet parallel, about shoulder-width apart, and bend your knees slightly.
  2. Hinge your upper body forward at the waist, so your back is inclined at a moderate angle.
  3. Keep your shoulders relaxed, core engaged and hips tucked inward.
  4. Extend your arms straight behind you and straighten your elbows, with both palms facing each other.
  5. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, while making sure both arms stay entirely stable.
  6. Keep your shoulders engaged and lift both forearms with controlled movements toward mid-level.
  7. Alternate repeating steps 5-6 for 20 repetitions, making sure your arms remain steady and elevated.

Trim the Thighs:

*You’ll need a chair or tall step-stool to perform this exercise.

  • Parallel Plié Pulse (targets Adductors & Quadriceps)

barre thigh exercise

  1. Stand elbow-distance behind the chair and position your legs parallel, touching at the knees and feet.
  2. Hold onto the chair back with a light grip and elevate to your highest tiptoe point.
  3. Bend your knees into a deep plié, keeping your hips tucked inward and inner thighs squeezed together.
  4. Hold this position for 5 seconds, then raise up halfway before lowering back into a deep plié.
  5. Repeat step 4 for 20 repetitions, making sure your thigh muscles remain tightly engaged.

Tuck the Butt:

*You’ll need a chair or tall step-stool to perform this exercise.

  • Leg Bend Press (targets Gluteus)

barre glute exercise

  1. Cross your forearms, folded at the elbows, across the chair back, then rest your head on them.
  2. Tuck your hips inward until your back is flat and extend your right leg out behind you.
  3. Bend your right knee and flex the foot, squeezing your right glute to engage the lower muscle pocket.
  4. Lift your right leg with controlled movements, while making sure your back and hips remain stable.
  5. Return your right leg to its initial position and press it straight outward before bending your knee again.
  6. Repeat steps 4-5, alternating between lifting and straightening your right leg, for 15 repetitions.
  7. Switch to your left leg and perform this move on the other side for an additional 20 repetitions.

Tighten the Core:

*You’ll need a chair or tall step-stool to perform this exercise.

  • Elevated Plank (targets Obliques & Rectus Abdominus)
barre core exercise

a chair works better for this move than a stool

  1. Place your hands, palm-down, on the chair seat and lock your elbows to support the upper body weight.
  2. Flatten your back on a slight incline and engage your core to produce a standing plank position.
  3. Stretch your right leg straight out behind you along the same plane as your back, then point your toes.
  4. Raise your left foot onto its highest tiptoe point and tighten your thighs to keep the lower body stable.
  5. Bend your right knee into your chest, rounding your spine to scoop the abs deeply inward.
  6. Hold this position for 5 seconds, then extend your right leg straight out behind you again.
  7. Repeat steps 5-6 for 20 repetitions, making sure the core and thigh muscles remain tightly engaged.
  8. Switch to your left leg and perform this move on the other side for an additional 20 repetitions.
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4 thoughts on “Back-to-Barre Basics, Anyone?

  1. I love barre classes! I used to be obsessed with Barre3 and went 3 times a week. Now I live in a place with no barre studios, but they do have a class once a week at the gym that I like going to. The moves may look easy but they definitely kill!

    Like

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