Time: 20 minutes
Doing a proper warm up is essential for every exercise, but is especially crucial for barre workouts. Dancers typically warm up for at least 30 minutes to an hour before launching into their training, and most ballet-inspired barre workouts definitely follow suit.
Flexibility is an essential part of barre training, as one should strive to strengthen their muscles throughout a full range of motion with each exercise movement. Doing a barre warm up sequence before each barre workout will help you loosen your muscles and allow you to become more flexible with each workout. Here is a barre warm up routine that moves top-down to systematically stretch all of your muscles before your workout.
Cody’s Barre Warm Up Routine:
Arms & Neck:
Roll your head in 10 circles clockwise, then 10 counterclockwise.
Swing your arms in large circles; 10 clockwise, 10 counterclockwise.
Stand with your side to a wall, place the palm of your hand on the wall, and lean forward so that you are pressing your arm slightly behind you, keeping the elbow straight, to stretch your biceps. Do this for each arm.
Torso & Back:
Stand away from the barre in a wide stance, bring your left arm over your head and lean to the right to stretch your left side. Extend your right arm up and lean to the left to stretch your right side.
With one hand on the barre, and your feet together, slowly roll your back downward, one vertebrae at a time, and let your head hang at the bottom. Then roll your back upwards and arch it as you lean back as far as possible. Repeat these back rolls 5 times.
Legs & Feet:
Face the barre and place one leg on the barre, letting the groove between your calf and ankle rest there. Make sure you keep your knee straight and toes pointed for this, then lean your torso over your leg and reach for your toes. Repeat on the other side.
Place both hands on the barre and lead forward into it with your whole body (make a straight, diagonal line with your body from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet), trying to keep your heels on the floor behind you. Slowly bend each knee slightly, one at a time, to increase the stretch on each calf. Pedal your heels up and down slowly like this until your calves feel limber.
Face the barre and place both hands on it. With one foot at a time, place the top of your foot against the floor and press down against it to stretch your ankle and improve your pointe. Repeat on both sides 5 times.