The term Barre stands for the handrail that ballerinas use in ballet classes as a form of support for performing various exercises. A barre workout is based on ballet poses with some yoga and Pilates exercise thrown in. It is an effective way of toning the entire body. Devotees of barre include Hollywood divas such as Madonna and Natalie Portman, and it has gained immense popularity among women of all ages. The best thing about barre exercises is that they are easy to do fitness exercises that help in body toning and weight loss. Barre moves involve isometric movements combined with stretches for toning the core muscles. It helps in developing long, lean muscles and gives you a sculpted figure that you always dreamt of.
Benefits of Barre Moves on Your Body
Barre exercises are a gentle and low impact way of toning your body that combines strength training and cardio. The benefits of doing barre exercises are several and just to point out a few, it helps in:
Improving Posture – The controlled movements and strict postures of the ballet-inspired barre moves helps in sculpting the entire body by stretching and toning the muscles so that you can have an elegant and upright posture, just like a ballerina.
Weight Loss – The best thing about barre moves is that it is a full body workout that does not target specific muscles of the body, but the entire body itself which helps in burning calories and building lean muscle mass by pumping up the metabolic rate. Barre exercises help in redistributing inches and drop a size to make you appear leaner and longer.
Burning Fat and Building Muscles – The wide range of motion involved in barre exercise increases endurance, muscle mass and strength. It works the core muscles along with the other large muscle groups of the body such as the thighs and glutes and helps in increasing the balance and better hamstring and quad recruitment.
Strengthening Muscles – The calculated and controlled movements strengthen the muscles while reducing the pressure on the ligaments, joints and tendons. Doing barre exercises on a regular basis is effective enough to strengthen the core muscles and reduce the risk of injuries.
Increasing Flexibility – The barre workout moves involves focused stretching along with a wider range of motion that helps in increasing the flexibility and strength at the same time. Both of these features are extremely important to live an active and happy life devoid of injuries.
Reducing Stress – Being an intense cardio activity, a session barre workout promotes the release of feel good hormone endorphins that reduces stress and anxiety and helps in elevating the mood instantly.
10 Easy to Do Barre Exercises for a Toned Body
No need to run to the gym every day for getting a sculpted body, flat abs and toned legs. You can get all that right in the comfort of your bedroom with the amazing barre exercises.
The wall bridge is one of the most effective fitness exercises at home. This pose is extremely easy to do and helps in toning the hamstrings, legs and hips and back muscles. It also helps in relieving back pain and strengthening the spinal muscles to prevent slip discs.
Lie on the floor facing a wall and put both your feet on the wall such that your knees and hips are vertically aligned. Keep your hands flat on the floor. Rise your pelvis from the floor and move it up and down but don’t let your hips touch the floor. Continue it for 1 minute. Repeat this sequence 5 to 6 times.
The Triceps Shaver targets the triceps, shoulder, abdomen and lower leg and helps in toning the arms and is the best way to lose arm fat. It is an amazing full body exercise that can be practiced anywhere in your home. Stand straight with a pair of light weights in your hand like 2 dumbbells or a pair of 500 ml water bottles.
Now bring your arms behind your back and hold them exactly behind your head, keeping your abs tight, lift your body up on the balls of your feet and raise your hands up slightly in front of your body hold this pose for 10 seconds and come back to the starting position. Repeat it 30 times at a stretch.
The feet bend is a common ballet pose that is one of the easy exercises to lose belly fat. This pose is an effective body toner that targets the abdomen, thighs, ankles and feet and helps in toning the mid-section of the body.
Stand straight with a chair in front of you, Lift up your body on your toes with the toes bend at 45 degrees while resting your hands on the back of the chair, now bend your knees out and lower yourself a bit, hold the position for 5 seconds and straighten yourself. Repeat it 20 to 30 times at a stretch.
The thigh work is an effective body fitness exercise like calisthenics workouts which help in total body toning. It targets the thighs, glutes, abdomen, ankles and feet. Stand straight with a chair in front of you, keep your feet closed together. Now lift yourself up on the balls of your feet by holding the back of the chair and then lower your body by bending the knee sand lowering the hips as much as possible. Lift up your body and again bend down. Repeat it 20 times at a stretch.
The fold over is a total body workout that helps in improving balance and increases core strength. It targets the hips, thighs, abdomen and arms. It also helps in increasing the strength of spine muscles and keeps the spinal cord healthy. Stand straight with a chair in front of you. Hold the back of the chair with both hands so that the elbows point down and bend your torso forward so that it becomes parallel with the ground.
Raise your right leg from the floor behind you so that it becomes parallel with the ground. Your leg should not rise higher that your hips. Now lower your leg (should not touch the ground) and lift again. Repeat the mini lifts at fast pace 60 times on one side. Come to the starting position and repeat it with the other leg.
Barre Passe Press
The barre passe press derives heavily from the classic ballet pose and helps in toning the quadriceps, upper thighs and calves. It is one of the easiest body toning exercises that you can do in the comfort of your home. Stand straight with a chair by your side. Hold the back of the chair with your right hand and stand with your legs placed wider than hip width and toes turned out.
Now, lower your body into a deep plie by bending your knees and try to make your thighs parallel to the ground while keeping your left arm raised at your side. Now rise and bring your left leg up so that the toes of your left leg touch the inner side of the right knee and then return it to the ground. Repeat this entire move 10 times. Then repeat it 10 times with the other foot.
Rotating Side Plank
This barre exercise helps in trimming the side waistline to give you a slimmer waistline. It is an effective exercise for fitness that targets the abdomen. Lie on your sides and stack up your feet one on another. Place your right forearm on the floor and your left hand on the hips.
Lift up your body from the ground with the support of your right forearm and push the hips towards the ceiling and bring it down towards the ground and again push it upward, continue this up and down movement for 2 minutes and repeat the same on the other side.
Inner Leg Lifts
This is yet another barre exercise that helps in toning the inner thighs so that you can get those envious toned legs that fashion models flaunt. Lie on your side and rest your head raised on your left hand. Put your right leg over the left one and let it rest on the toes with the right knee pointing upwards.
Lift the left leg and move it up and down in mini pulses. Repeat it for 2 minutes and do the same on the other side for 2 minutes.
Standing Leg Lift in Reach-Back Position
This is an amazing barre exercise for the legs that challenges the hamstrings and glutes. This particular exercise using full leg lifts helps in sculpting and strengthening the back while keeping your back pain-free. Stand upright with your heels placed together, feet turned out and hands placed on the hips.
Step back with your right foot behind you and bending the left knee. Now, lift the right leg up behind you while putting all the weight on the left leg. Lower the right leg back on the floor and repeat the same exercise with the other leg.
Squat to Lunge
This is yet another effective barre move that combined the effectiveness of the squat and the lunge that makes it a complete exercise for working the muscles of the core and the lower body. The extensive muscle movement in this exercise helps in burning additional calories and improving balance and strength. Stand with your feet placed slightly wider than hip-width apart and toes turned out towards the sides.
Now, lower your body to a wide squat position with your arms in front of you. Slowly rotate your body towards the left and bring your lower body to a lunge position by lifting the right heel and lowering the right knee down towards the floor. Keep your hands raised up in this position and then rotate back to the center to the squatting position. Repeat the same on the other side.
Break the boredom of regular exercises and stretching with these groovy and elegant barre moves that not only helps in toning your body, but also gives your graceful postures.