This quick barre workout focuses on the legs. It is short but intense! By the end you will get the term “barre chair.”
It has been awhile since I posted a workout! With all the time spent making videos, I sometimes forget that some of us like to look at photos to workout. When I was a teenager I actually started subscribing to magazines like Fitness and Shape and I used to cut out the workout features and put them in a binder. I would then take this workouts with me to the gym or do them at home and follow along. I still do this with my Pilates Style magazine!
This workout is called Barre Chair. And no, it is not a high stool that you perch on while ordering your favorite cocktail. This is something that creates a much bigger hangover and that is a thigh hangover. If you haven’t experienced it, get ready! The best part of this workout is that the combos are simple but very effective. You will be shaking by the end!
This workout is done using the 4 barre chair positions. I’ll break them down then follow the workout towards the end of the post. Easy-peasy.
Incline Parallel Chair
Set Up: Start with both hands on the barre shoulders, hips, knees and toes pointing towards the barre. Feet should be about hip width apart. Toes point forward with heels directly behind toes. Bend your knees slightly keeping your heels flat on the floor. Incline your chest slightly forward.
Form Tips: Keep pulling your abs up and in while in this position. Keep your spine straight taking out any arch in the back. Keep your neck long and in line with your spine. Look forward towards the barre.
Move: From this position you can pulse by bending the knees deeper and then coming back to start (with the knees still bent). You can also slow the move going down one inch and up one inch. You can lift and lower your heels keeping everything else still and then pulse with your heels lifted (see photo below).
Upright Parallel Chair
Set Up: You can do this move with one (pictured) or both hands on the barre. Start with your feet about hip width apart and your shoulders over your hips, your hips over your knees and your knees over your ankles so you are in one nice long line from head to toe. Maintaining that alignment, bend your knees and lift your heels off the floor.
Form Tips: Keep the abs pulled up and in. Keep the knees going out straight past the toes and not turning them in towards each other or out towards the side. Do not hinge forward at the waist. Avoid arching through the lower back.
Move: From here you can pulse or move down an inch and up an inch. You can also tuck the hips by tucking the pelvis forward and then returning back to the starting position (neutral spine).
Flat Back Chair
Set Up: Start facing the barre with both hands on the barre. Bring the feet together so that the ankles, knees and thighs are touching. Toes point forward with heels directly behind the toes. Bend your knees and sit back like you are sitting into a chair. As you sink down into the chair, the arms straighten all the way and your back remains flat.
Form Tips: Keep your knees directly over the ankles. Aim to get your seat low enough so that it is in line with your knees. Keep your back flat like you are sitting in a high back chair or you are performing this move against a wall. Keep the arms straight. Your weight should be back so that if you were not holding on to the barre you would fall back.
Move: From this position you can pulse, move down an inch and up an inch. You can also lift and lower the heels and perform pulses with the heels lifted.
Round Back Chair
Set Up: Start with either one (pictured) or both hands on the barre. Stand with your heels together and toes apart in a narrow V or ballet first position. Lift your heels off the ground and walk your feet together until they are touching. Bend your knees creating a diamond shape with your legs.
Form Tips: Keep your shoulders over your hips over your knees. Keep your knees going out over your toes to they are not turned too far in or out. Pull your abs up and in. Keep your spine straight and your chest open. Do not tuck or arch your back but remain in a neutral spine position.
Move: In a Narrow V you can do pulses. You can also shake your hips from side to side keeping your knees bent.
If you finish the workout and decide you need more, do it again! You can also always add in additional moves in each position like accenting your pulses up or down, pulsing down in 3 beats and up in 1 beat or doing a full range of going all the way down and halfway up.
For more barre workouts, check out my library! If you are looking for 5 minute workout videos, follow me on Facebook for weekly quickie workouts.
Excellent workout as always. It's challenging, fun and easily one of my favorite workouts!
Fantastic class! Great technique pointers. Always new exercises to challenge oneself!
I am excited to take classes with Brittany in person this summer! I have followed Brittany online for some time. I particularly like the Barre and Pilates workout videos. Her workout techniques reflect current thinking and best practices. She supports all levels of fitness. Definitely worth a try!
Brittany is the BEST. She is inspirational, motivational and innovative. No two classes are ever the same. I'm sad when the summer classes end, but I'm looking forward to checking out her online classes this fall and winter.
My wife and I decided to give Balance Barre Fitness a try and we were not disappointed. We thought the classes would be pretty easy but were surprised at how rigorous they were. The class was great for working on our coordination and core strength. I don't get to many ...