Barre is definitely a new fad and very popular in the fitness world. Barre incorporates small isometric movements for a total body workout that may look very simple, but are even more difficult than mindless running and require more effort than you can imagine- the sweat proves it. Ever wonder how every single ballerina is so toned and skinny? Barre incorporates exercises from ballerinas and yes you can look that fit too!
There are a few different places which offer barre exercise classes, but the two that I have tried are classes at Pure Barre and Pink Barre (can be pricey, so I actually went through ClassPass– some cities have 1 free month) and at home online with Barre3 (normally 15 day free trial and then only $15/mos with videos from 10 minutes to 60 minutes working all areas of the body, but currently they have a special for 3 months, a DVD and Barre ball for only $25).
Why I Love Barre:
It definitely makes you toned. You can do these moves anywhere- at work, at home, in the shower. You’ll sweat quite a bit if you are doing it correctly. Your posture will improve and you’ll naturally stand taller. You’ll feel slimmer and have a more narrow everything.
Who Is It For:
Barre is mainly good for people who really want to tone up. Initially, it was difficult for me since I am such a cardio maniac, but I sweated just as much as running my very first class and hurt in areas that I didn’t know I even used.
What Is Difficult:
It does lack cardio; however, Pink Barre does a good job of mixing it up with some cardio classes. When I did Barre3 at home, I would sometimes run for 30 minutes outside and then come back and do a 15 minute video to get a mix of both.
How to Do It At Home:
My favorite YouTube Barre videos you can do at home:
Beginner 40 minutes | Intermediate 40 minutes | Slightly Advanced 40 minutes
Use a sturdy chair, 2-5 lb weights or none, a small plushy pillow if you don’t have a ball.
Or you really just want a fast 15 minute barre workout to do, then here’s my secret regime:
100 Calf Raises
Stand at forearm’s length from the back of a chair, with your right hand resting on the chair for support. Move your feet into a V position, heels touching and toes pointing outward. Lift your left arm overhead, keeping your elbow rounded and bending ever so slightly forward at the waist. Without tensing your lower back, squeeze your glutes and raise your heels about two inches. Lower to the floor. Repeat 60 times.
100 Thigh Raises
Stand at forearm’s length from the back of a chair, with your right hand resting on the chair for support and your feet hip-distance apart. Raise your heels as high as is comfortable. Keeping your back straight and your heels lifted, lower down a third of your height. Lower your body one inch and raise up one inch at varying speeds.
100 Fold Overs Both Sides (Bend Knee Sideways and Extend for an Extra Burn)
Bend your knees slightly and hinge forward from the hips so that your torso is parallel to the ground. Hold on to the back of the chair with both hands and point your elbows down. aise your right leg as high as is comfortable behind you (but no higher than hip height). Lower and lift your leg one inch from this position. Do 100 mini-lifts, varying your speed from medium-fast to fast. Switch sides and repeat.
100 Bridge Lifts
Lie on your back on the floor (or a yoga mat), with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Step your feet apart as wide as possible. Rest your arms on the floor at your sides. Press your rib cage into the floor, squeeze your glutes, and tilt your torso to raise your seat about five inches off the floor. Lower back down to the starting position. Repeat for three minutes, varying your speed from medium-fast to fast.
100 Leg Lifts On Each Side (Be sure to tighten your abs, squeeze your glutes & use your arms)
Stand with your feet together, chest lifted, and abdominals drawn in. Raise your arms in front of you to shoulder height and bend your elbows to 90 degrees. In one motion, bend your right knee and lift your leg to hip height as you lower your arms down to your waist. Return to the starting position, then switch sides. This is one rep; repeat 100 times without pausing (200 with both sides). (This should feel like marching in place at a fast pace.)
Happy Hump Day! Go get BARRE-fied!