Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of barre workouts. There’s a million studios popping up all over the place and people are hooked. I would know because I’m a barre instructor in Carmel, CA! I fell in love with barre workouts a few years ago. The energy of the classes, use of the ballet barre, and fun music brought me back to my dancing days. It was only natural for me to become an instructor!
Barre is a combination of Pilates, Yoga, and dance conditioning that sculpts and tightens your guns, buns, thighs, and core. Don’t be fooled by its low-impact, mainly isometric exercises (which consists of holding poses with isolated muscle fine toning movements). You can expect to sweat, shake, and love every second of it because the results you’ll see and feel are safe and fast! Barre enthusiasts notice better posture, less back pain, more muscle tone, weight loss, increased flexibility and even reduced stress!
I’ve combined two of my favorite things, barre and circuit training, to create a hybrid workout that will sculpt lean muscle from head to toe and burn major calories! If you’ve ever been to a traditional barre class you know that individual exercises are not repeated. You may do a couple of sets of thigh, but it will also be three variations. This workout takes barre inspired exercises and puts them in a circuit format to speed up your results and amp up the burn.. yes, even more! Grab a set of dumbbells, find a barre, chair, or something sturdy to hold onto and get ready to shake!
Static Barre Squat with Lateral Arm Raise
Start with your feet hip distance, parallel. Bend into your knees as low as you can. Make sure your knees are tracking over your toes and back is flat. Hold one weight in each hand, palms face in towards your thighs. Pull your abs in and lift your straight arms up to shoulder height. Return to starting position for one rep. For an added challenge, keep your heels lifted off the ground!
Static Wide Second Squat with Bicep Curl
Start with your feet wider than hip distance, toes turned out at a 45 degree angle. Your feet should be wide enough so when you squat down your knees are stacked directly on top of your ankles. Bend into your knees as low as you can, try to get your thighs parallel to the floor! Make sure your knees are tracking over your toes. Tuck your seat by squeezing your glutes and pulling your pelvis underneath you. Abs pulled in, your back should be flat like you’re in between two walls. Hold one weight in each hand, straight arms out in front of your body at a 45 degree angle, palms facing up. Come into a bicep curl. Straighten arms back out to starting position for one rep.
Standing Tricep Lifts
Start with feet hip-distance, parallel. Slightly bend your knees. Bend forward at the hips. Back should be flat, abs engaged. Bring your straight arms up behind you as high as you can and in towards your body, palms face in. Squeeze your shoulder blades down and back. Chin should be off your chest (look down and slightly in front of you). Squeeze the back of your arms as you lift up one inch. Lower down one inch to starting position for one rep.
Standing Straight Leg Raise
Start with heels together toes wide apart, back should be up against the barre, chair, etc. Point your right foot in front of you. Pull your abs in, squeeze and tuck your seat, and bend slightly forward at the rib cage. Lift your straight leg up as high as possible. Squeeze the top of your thigh to keep your knee straight. Hold your leg here as you pulse up and down an inch for one rep. Complete all reps before switching legs.
Tricep Dip with Leg Raise
Start sitting on your seat, feet planted on the ground in front of you. Place wrists directly underneath your shoulders, fingertips facing forward. Squeeze and tuck your hips up to the ceiling and shift your weight back in between your arms. Lift your right leg straight up towards the ceiling, toes pointed. Keep your hips still as you bend your elbows straight back as low as you can. Straighten arms for one rep. Complete all reps on one side before switching legs.
Weighted Isometric Donkey Kicks
Start in an all-fours position, wrists underneath your shoulders, knees underneath your hips. Place a weight behind your right knee. Pull your abs in and lift your right knee up until you feel a catch in your glutes. Square your hips to the floor and make sure your back is flat (there should be no major arch in your lower back). Bring your heel in as close to your seat as possible and pulse your knee up and down an inch. This is one rep. Complete all reps on one side before switching to the left side.
Push-up to Mountain Climbers
Start in a push-up position. Wrists should be underneath your shoulders. You can do modified push-ups on your knees if needed. Pull your abs in and slightly squeeze and tuck your seat to protect your lower back. Lower down into a deep push-up. Push back up into starting position. Bring one knee into your chest keeping your hips in line with your back. Do 4 mountain climbers. This is one rep.
Lay on your back and cross your right leg over your left like you’re wearing a skirt. There should be no daylight between your thighs. Bring your legs up to a table top position. Cross your arms over your chest and place each hand on opposite shoulders. Pull your belly-button down towards your spine as you curl up towards your knees. Come back to your starting position for one rep. Complete all reps on one side before switching to the other side.
Have you ever taken a barre class? What did you think? Do you prefer group exercise classes or one-on-one training? Let me know in the comment box below!
Health and happiness,
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