Barre fitness workouts are sometimes compared to Pilates or Power Yoga, often because depending on your Barre instructor, she or he will incorporate Pilates moves and Yoga poses into the Barre workout. All three of these styles of exercise are very different, but very complimentary. Here is a barre workout that borrows some popular Pilates moves and modifies them to be more ballet-worthy.
Pilates Barre Workout
Face the bar and stand about two feet away from it. Bend your right leg and wedge a weight in the crook of your knee. Lean forward and place your hands on the bar in front of you, and pulse your weighted leg up and down behind you, then switch sides.
Fifth Position Leg Raises:
Lay on your back with your arms by your sides and your thumbs tucked under your lower back (this will help you stay conscious of the curve of your back). Extend your legs straight up and point your toes. Practice making little half-circles with your feet, switch them back and forth quickly so that you are alternating your right and left feet front and back. Continue this small, controlled movement with your feet & legs, but engage your abs and slowly lower your legs towards the ground, then back up.
Begin by balancing on your sit-bones and making a “V” with your legs and torso. Slightly bend your knees so that your calves & shins are parallel with the floor. Contract your abs, bringing your torso and knees inwards towards the middle, then exhale and extend them outwards. One contraction and extension is “one”. Now do one hundred.
Adductor Stretch & Squat:
Squat to one side in a low, forward-facing lunge, letting your hip adductors stretch and open up. Push down on your bent leg and use your muscles to rise out of the stretch, pass through the middle, and shift onto the other leg. Try to minimize using your hands (pushing on the ground) when rising out of each side squat. Move between your left and right side squats in sets of ten.
Glute Bridge Battement Tendu:
Lay on your back and center your weight on one foot as you lift the other off the ground. Engage your core as you raise your pelvis off the ground, coming into a one-legged glute bridge. Holding this position, swing your leg up towards your face (try to kick your face), then back down to tap lightly on the ground (“battement tendu” translates to “stretched beating”). Do 20 of these, then switch legs and repeat.