Chances are you’ve heard of barre. With hundreds of studios popping up around the country, it’s a fitness craze that’s likely to stick around. Think classic ballet meets group exercise (minus the tutu and leotard).
A typical class will take you through a series of isometric moves aimed at building lean muscle, increasing flexibility, and improving mind-muscle connection.
The only downside: price. A typical studio session will run you anywhere from $20-$35. Luckily, you can get all the benefits of barre without the hefty price tag! Even better, no ballet barre is needed; all these moves can be performed with your bodyweight and around your house.
Grand Battement Back
Begin by standing with your left side to a taller counter or table, placing hand atop for support.
Place your left food in front of the right, with toes pointed outwards in opposite directions.
While bending forward slightly at the waist, kick right behind you, brushing the floor with your toes. Be sure to keep the spine a neutral (flat) position and the stationary leg straight.
Return to your starting position and repeat for desired number of reps.
Repeat on the opposite side.
Sumo Squat To Lunge
Start with feet placed wider than shoulder width, with toes angled out slightly.
Hinge at the hips, sitting back on your glutes and maintaining an upright posture.
Press up through the heels, returning to your starting position. Pay special attention to the knees, making sure they are tracking over the toes and not caving inward on your way up.
From standing position, step backward with one leg, letting the hips sink toward the floor into a lunge position. Make sure your feet are pointed directly forward and that the leading knee doesn’t go past your toes.
Press up with the leading foot, repeating step 4 with your other leg.
Works: Quads, Glutes, Hamstrings
Single-Leg Glute Bridge
Lay flat on the floor with hands at your sides and knees bent.
Raise one leg, brining the knee toward the chest.
Raise hips from the floor and toward the ceiling, pushing through the hell and squeezing your glutes. Be sure to keep the back flat.
At the top position, pause for a moment, squeezing the glutes to achieve full extension.
Slowly lower the hips back to the floor and repeat for desired number of reps.
Repeat with the other leg.
Works: Glutes, Hamstrings
Facing away from a low couch or chair, place hands on edge with arms fully extended at shoulder width (forearms should be pointed forward).
Walk feet away from the body, balancing on your heels.
Slowly lower your body by bending at the elbow until your upper arms are perpendicular to the floor. Try to keep elbows as close to the body as possible and forearms pointed forward.
Raise your body back to starting position.
Works: Triceps, Chest, Shoulders
Standing Side Leg Raises
Begin by standing with your side to a chair or counter, placing hand atop for support.
Raise the outside leg as far as possible to your side while maintaining an upright position. Movement should originate from the hips.
Lower the leg back to its starting position and repeat for desired number of reps.
Repeat with other legs.
Ball Squeeze With Calf Raise
Begin by facing toward a taller counter or table, placing hands atop for support.
Place a small pillow or ball between the upper thighs.
While tightly squeezing the ball between your thighs, raise your heels off the ground.
Hold that position for a second, keeping tension in the thighs.
Lower heels back to starting position.
Works: Adductors, Quads, Glutes, Calves
Stand facing a countertop or sturdy table. Place hands on edge, slightly wider than shoulder width.
Walk feet back, straightening the body with weight placed on the balls of your feet.
With hands directly under the shoulders, lower chest, keeping the body straight and the spine in a neutral position.
Push body up and away from the counter/table, fully extending the arms until you’ve returned to the starting position.