Want a ballerina's body? Try a ballet barre workout today
Hitting the bar for a workout with a difference (no, not THAT type of bar) is all the rage – we're talking about ballet barre, of course. If you're looking for a fitness challenge that will hone, tone and strengthen your glutes, legs and core, we have the perfect workout for you!
We sent Tom & Hannah to investigate a ballet barre workout and they have come up with a workout you can do at home. Check out the video here:
What are barre workouts?
Ballet barre workouts have gained a sort-of cult status amongst celebrities, with Madonna and Kelly Brook both fans of the workout. Inspired by the exercises and stretches performed at the barre by professional ballerinas, you can expect to leave a class aching in places you never even thought possible – you'll feel the burn straightaway and see the results after just a few sessions.
Because you don't have to attend a class to experience the body benefits of barre, we've come up with this great workout that you can do at home. Ballet barre workouts contain elements borrowed from yoga, pilates and of course, ballet, relying upon your own bodyweight for resistance – these moves will seriously challenge your balance and core stability to help you achieve a ballet dancer's body – sleek, strong and streamlined are the key words!
The best part about this workout? No studio or barre needed – you can use the back of a chair at home, and incorporate props such as resistance bands, light weight and yoga straps to mix things up a little. There's usually a cardio element in barre workouts, but the focus here is most definitely on muscle toning. Our barre workout is suitable for all fitness levels; just make sure you stretch properly before you start to avoid waking up aching from tip to toe. Whether you've tried barre before or are completely new to the concept, give it a go!
Body benefits – what can ballet barre do for you?
You want to know what a workout is going to do for your body before you try it, so we're here to fill you in. Here are a few of the body benefits you can expect by fitting our ballet barre workout into your busy schedule at least once a week (obviously more, if you have the time!)
Give you a toned, stronger core
Your core is responsible for supporting your whole body and it incorporates your obliques, deep transverse abdominal muscles, glutes and muscles of the lower back. By strengthening your core, you're letting it take the strain of everyday activities and sports. In addition, developing a stronger core can help:
- Encourage better posture
- Aid your balance, flexibility and co-ordination
- Flatten your tummy
- Provide support to the lower back (great if you suffer from back ache) and help to prevent injury
Whilst pilates is also a great exercise to give you a stronger core, our ballet barre workout will also help to tone your glutes and legs!
Tone those glutes
Who doesn't want a shapely, toned posterior? Just make sure you activate your glutes before working out, particularly if you're sat working at a desk all day. Our barre workout can help to target the glutes, creating a more toned posterior to be proud of, just in time for spring and those skinny jeans! Ballet barre workouts aren't just for women – this workout is challenging enough to help you build strength where you need it most – in your core and your legs.
Toned, honed legs
Whilst a thigh gap isn't required to be happy with your body, toned legs can not only help you to feel more confident, they can also help reduce your risk of injury whilst exercising, particularly if you're into running or training for a marathon. Barre workouts work your hips, which increases flexibility and aids movement, plus all those squats and stretches are great for toning your legs.
Improve your posture
Way too many of us are guilty of slouching (1) - you might not be aware of it, but spending all day slouched over your desk can be really bad for your back, and your health in general. Barre workouts focus on aligning your body whilst improving flexibility, and the benefits to your core strength can help you to stand tall and feel more confident, whilst also helping to prevent back, neck and shoulder injuries.
Get a dancer's body
What's one thing dancers have that we all want? A great physique. If you're looking to be strong, lean and toned, ballet barre workouts are the way to go. Ballet dancers focus on holding poses to become stronger and boost their stamina, whilst stretching ensures they're super-flexible. Try our barre workout and you'll soon have a body fit to rival any ballet dancer's.
Fitting a barre workout into your training program
We think everyone should try ballet barre – young or old, guys and girls – the benefits speak for themselves! But don't quit your strength training and cancel your gym membership just yet; this workout is best used in conjunction with other forms of training for complete overall fitness. We recommend fitting this workout into your routine once or twice a week (or more, if time allows), to focus on your glutes, legs and core strength. It's a great alternative to sit-ups or pilates, and trying something new means you're less likely to get bored with your workout (and more likely to stay motivated!)
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