Looking for a workout that builds long, strong muscles while enhancing your balance, range of motion and flexibility? Then head to the barre for a ballet-inspired workout that will keep you on your toes. Try a class at your fitness center to learn proper form and technique, or go DIY at home with these five barre-inspired fitness moves.
1. Grande plié
Find a countertop or another sturdy surface that’s waist-high or slightly higher. Turn your feet out so that your toes are apart and heels together – making a “V” shape with your feet. While holding the counter for balance, bend your knees and slowly sink down – keep your heels together, your tailbone towards the floor and your back straight. Return to the starting position. Try 10 to 12 reps to start.
2. Lying changements
Lie on your back, lift both legs straight up and unbent, pointing your toes at the ceiling. At the same time, place your hands behind your head and engage your core as you lift your neck and shoulders just off the ground. While holding this pose, make small, quick scissor kicks with your feet, crossing your right ankle over your left, and then your left over your right. Try 20 to 30 seconds to start.
3. Standing pretzel
While holding on to a chair or counter, bend your right knee 90 degrees and extend your leg slightly behind you and out to the side. Maintain this position and make slight circles clockwise and counterclockwise. Do this for a total of 32 repetitions, and then repeat on the other side.
4. Relevé plié
Stand behind a chair, legs together and toes pointing forward. Stand tall, tighten your abs and rise up onto the balls of your feet. Bend your knees out over your toes to plié, going down to about a 45-degree angle. Then straighten your legs while squeezing your inner thighs together as you come up, and then lower your heels. Aim for 10 to 20 reps.
5. Fold over
Stand tall, then bend over at your hips with your arms extended straight in front of you. Keep your back straight and hold on to the counter – so your body is making a right angle. Raise your right leg up straight behind you, keeping it long and in line with your back. Lower your leg and then repeat 10 to 12 times. Then switch legs.
Spice up your routine
Check out our workout plans on Pinterest for ideas to refresh your fitness regimen.