Strengthen and sculpt the arms, legs, back and deep core muscles with this full body barre workout. This 25-minute workout combines ballet-inspired exercises with low impact strength training. Targeting both the major muscle groups (such as the quads, back and chest) as well as smaller stabilizing muscles around the knees, hips, shoulders and core. Beginner and advanced modifications are provided for all fitness levels.
Barre exercises are one of the best ways to strengthen the deep core muscles, as well as the stabilizing muscles surrounding your joints.
Barre workouts typically involve a series of controlled movements that focus on strengthening the core muscles, improving posture, improving joint stability and increasing flexibility.
Today’s barre fusion workout combines popular barre moves with high-rep strength training exercises to build lean muscle and burn fat.
Using a set of light weights creates extra resistance, building strength and definition in the arms, back, shoulders, core and legs. It also naturally raises your heart rate, providing a low-impact form of cardio.
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Barre is a hybrid workout that combines ballet, pilates, yoga and strength training. It emphasizes challenging core strength and creating long, lean muscles throughout the body. Barre fitness specifically focuses on: improving core strength, building strength in the stabilizing muscles, and increasing flexibility, balance and posture.
What Are The Most Popular Barre Exercises?
Classic barre exercises were inspired by ballet dancers, and include the plié, relevé, first position, second position and arabesque. Barre is also known for its deep core strengthening exercises, including clamshell pose and plank variations.
Targets: Inner thighs, top of thighs (quads), calves, shoulders and core.
How To Do A Relevé in First Position with Lateral Raises
Start standing, feet together, hips stacked under shoulders, spine long and tall. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in towards your body.
Find first position by rotating your toes out 45-degrees, keeping heels together.
Then, press through the balls of your feet to lift your heels off the ground, performing a high relevé. Focus on keeping your core engaged, avoiding any flaring of the ribcage.
Slowly and with control, lower your heels, returning to first position.
Then, perform a lateral raise by lifting the dumbbells out to your sides, keeping soft bends in each elbow as you raise the weights to shoulder height.
With control, lower the dumbbells, returning to starting position.
Chair Position Bicep Curl
Targets: Inner thighs, outer glutes, quads, core and biceps.
How To Do Chair Position Bicep Curls
Start standing in a narrow stance, feet together. Hold a dumbbell in each hand.
Bend your knees as you lower your hips down, as if sitting in a chair. Hold this position.
Then, curl the weights up towards your shoulders, performing a bicep curl.
With control, lower the weights, returning to starting position.
Second Position Pliè Squat with Upright Row
Targets: Glutes, quads, hamstrings, inner thighs (adductor muscles), shoulders, upper back and core.
How To Do Second Position Pliè Squats with Upright Rows
Find second position by stepping wide, heels in, toes facing out towards the corners of the room. Imagine your back is pressed against a wall. Slide your back down the wall, lowering into a wide “squat” position. Tuck your tailbone (anterior pelvic tilt) to engage your core.
Hold a pair of light weights in your hands in front of your hips, palms facing in towards your body.
With control, lift the dumbbell in your right hand up to shoulder height, keeping it close to your body as you lift, performing an upright row. As you raise the dumbbell, simultaneously raise your right heel, performing a heel lift on the right.
Slowly with control, lower both the dumbbell and your heel, returning to starting position.
Repeat, this time switching sides and performing an upright raise on the left and lifting left heel.
Balance Leg Lift
Targets: All three glute muscles as well as the lower back and core.
How To Do Balance Leg Lifts
Start standing on your left leg. With a soft bend in your left knee, hinge forward gently resting your fingers on a ballet-barre, chair or the heads of your dumbbells.
Then extend your right leg behind you, leg straight and toes pointed. Keep both hips square to the ground.
Squeeze your glute to lift your right leg, performing a leg lift. Keep a soft bend in your standing knee.
Slowly and with control, lower your right toes to tap the mat, returning to starting position.
Modification: Place your hands on a chair or countertop for increased balance support.
Targets: Rectus abdominis and transverse abs.
How To Do Boat Pose
Start sitting on the floor with your legs bent at 90 degrees. Lean back slightly sitting on your sit bones (two sitting bones and tailbone), keeping a nice long spine, shoulders down and back.
Place your hands behind your knees and lift your feet off the ground. Bent legs are extended out in front of you.
Slowly straighten your legs out in front of you. Raise the tips of your toes to eye-level or just higher.
Then straighten your arms, extending them out at shoulder height, palms facing down. Pulse your arms up and down 2-3 inches, while holding boat pose.
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