Barre exercises include both slow exercises, which stretch and warm up muscles, and fast exercises, which help strengthen muscles. Each barre exercise has a specific purpose, such as to strengthen feet, increase extension, improve flexibility, and help a dancer find their ballon. Proper placement (positions of feet and arms in ballet) and posture is emphasized in all exercises.
Passe Press: Use one hand, to hold onto something for support, such the back of a chair or a countertop. Stand side-ways with your legs in a wider than hip-width stance and your toes turned out, then bend your knees into a deep plie, trying to get your thighs parallel to the ground. Then, come up to a figure four position, bringing the outside leg up, toe to knee, leg turned out. Keep the outside arm in ‘high fifth,’ or raised above the head. Repeat for eight counts, moving from second position plie to figure four, then perform another set of eight with the inside foot in releve, or raised so you are on the ball of your foot. Repeat on the opposite side.
Plié Fly: Stand in plié position, elbows bent 90 degrees and palms facing forward. Bring hands toward each other in front of you, palms facing your face. Return to starting position.
Windmill: Stand in plié position, squat deep, and bend forward slightly from hips. Rise up as you rotate right shoulder back and raise right arm straight up. Return to starting position; repeat on opposite side to complete 1 rep. Count up to 20.
Triceps Shaver: Stand tall in first position. Raise your arms overhead, bend elbows out to the sides, and lower the arms (weights) slightly behind your head. Brace your abs in tight and press up onto the balls of your feet. Extend your arms overhead slightly in front of your body, palms facing forward. Lower your heels and bend your elbows at the same time, lowering the hands (weights) behind your head (almost “shaving” the back of it). Repeat 20 times total.
Calf Raises: Stand at forearm’s length from the back of a chair or exercise bar, holding on with your right hand 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.
Inner Thigh Leg Lifts: Lie on your left side, resting your head on your left arm or using your left hand to prop your head up. Bring the right leg across the left, so that the right knee is pointing toward the ceiling. Flex the left foot and lift the leg, taking tiny pulses upward. Make sure you are getting the whole thighbone up off the floor when you lift. Perform this for about 2 minutes on each side.
Tendu Lift: Hold onto something for support, like the back of a chair or a countertop, and face it. Bring your heels together, toes turned out, and knees softly bent. Take the left leg back behind you into an attitude position, with the raised leg bent, keeping the leg as parallel to the floor as possible. Extend and bend the raised leg for 8-16 counts, then pulse the leg upward for 8-16 counts, keeping the leg out directly behind you. Finally, move to a curtsy, bringing the working leg behind standing leg, so that the ankles are crossed. Flow back and forth between curtsy and a figure four position for 2 sets of 8 counts. Repeat on the right side.
Rolling planks: Get into a plank position on the floor and begin by holding for 15 seconds. For the next minute, transition between left, right, and center planks, holding for 15 seconds each, without ever dropping your knees or breaking the plank. The one-minute plank sequence is center + left + right +center. Rest after one sequence, then repeat the rolling planks sequence two more times.
Back Raises: Lie on your back on 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 10minutes, varying your speed from medium-fast to fast.
|Tips:Keep your back straight and weight distributed correctly throughout the exercises, to avoid strain and injury.Keep the legs relaxed but engaged, not forcing the movement.All movement should be performed smoothly, and not jerking through the sections.|
With devotees like Madonna, Kelly Ripa, and Natalie Portman, it’s not surprising that women everywhere are flocking to barre workout classes.
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