Barre for beginners
This workout combines ballet moves with yoga and Pilates to give you a workout that increases strength and flexibility. Our beginner’s barre workout has all the basics you need to strengthen your muscles and work up a sweat. So pull on those tights and pull up to your local barre class.
1. Pliés & pulses in parallel
Works: Quads & glutes.
(A.) Face the barre with your feet together in parallel (facing forward) and rest your hands lightly on the barre. For more of a challenge, you can have your feet hip-width apart with a ball between your thighs (pictured).
(B.) Bend your knees, keeping them in line with your feet and lower your hips to knee height. Keep your back straight as you stand back up. If you’re using a ball, squeeze it between your thighs as you lower and lift to give your inner thighs and buttocks a great workout.
Reps: Do 8 reps then shake out your legs for a few seconds’ rest and repeat for a total of 2 sets.
2. Pliés in first position
Works: Quads, glutes & core.
(A.) Stand side-on to the barre with your heels together and toes out. Rest one hand lightly on the barre, with the other out to the side at shoulder height.
(B.) Come up onto your toes and squeeze your heels together (with or without balancing a ball).
(C.) As you focus on tightening your thighs, buttocks and core, bend your knees and lower as far as you can, keeping your back straight.
Reps: Do 8 reps, have a few seconds’ rest, then repeat for a total of 2 sets.
3. Butt & ball
(A.) Stand on one leg and rest your forearms on the barre. Bend your standing leg and hold a ball behind the other knee.
(B.) Lift the leg holding the ball behind you, then bring it in so your knees touch. Keep your core engaged and squeeze your glutes throughout the movement.
Reps: Do 8 reps, have a few seconds’ rest, and then repeat for a total of 2 sets. Switch legs and do another 2 sets.
4. Elastic & abs
Works: Lower abs.
How-to: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
(A.) Hold the elastic in both hands and start with your arms up to the ceiling.
(B.) Lift your head as you pull your arms down towards the floor. Keep your chin tucked in and neck relaxed. As you lift your arms back up to the ceiling, lower your head back to the floor. Keep your hips and back anchored to the mat throughout the movement.
Reps: Do 8 reps, have a few seconds’ rest, and then repeat for a total of 2 sets.
Challenge: (C.) As you pull your arms down and curl your head up, lift your legs to a ‘table-top’ position with your knees bent at 90 degrees and your feet slightly pointed. Make sure you keep your hips and back anchored to the mat by engaging your core.
5. Extended lunge with arm
Works: Triceps & upper back.
How-to: Face away from the barre and bend into one leg in an extended lunge, holding an exercise band for resistance.
(A.) Start with your arms extended above your head, palms slightly touching and arms close to your ears.
(B.) Keep your head and neck in a straight line as you bend the elbows, bringing them behind your head, keeping your hands together. Straighten your arms to complete one rep.
Reps: Do 8 reps, have a few seconds’ rest then repeat for a total of 2 sets. Switch legs and do another 2 sets.
Our photo shoot
This workout was shot on location at YogaBar in Sydney. YogaBar offers a comprehensive selection of yoga, barre and Pilates classes at six locations. Go to theyogabar.com.au
Article first published 27th of March 2017