Reading Time: 5 minutes

This barre fusion workout sculpts, shapes and lifts both body and spirit.

Barre classes are the rage everywhere — and now you can experience the body — and soul-lifting benefits of barre, with no actual barre necessary. Don’t be afraid to mix it up; bbarreless is a perfect cross-training option that delivers the perfect burn. Try adding some of these moves into your current training regimen or complete the do-anywhere workout as its own sweat session.

  • For best results in strength and toning, complete the workout three to five times each week.
  • Complete 20 repetitions of each movement and build up to three sets of each.
  • Alternatively, complete the moves as a conscious movement circuit and build up to three rounds.

The workout

Attitude to Curtsey

Training Focus: Legs, abs

How to Do It:

  • Start with your feet together, and externally rotate your hips so that your feet make a small V.
  • Lift your hands overhead, pulling your shoulder blades down and extending your right foot forward into fifth position.
  • Keeping your knees soft, lift your right foot and pulse three times.
  • Lower your arms into second position as you sweep your right foot back and sink into a curtsey. Your right foot should be behind your left heel. Pulse up and down in your curtsey three times.
  • Bring your right foot forward and your arms down to return to your starting positon, switch sides and repeat. Complete 10 reps on each side for a total of 20.

Tip: Keep your hips and shoulders square in your curtsey.

Plié to side crunch

Training Focus: Glutes, quadriceps, obliques

How to Do It:

  • Start with your feet in second position, wider than hip-width apart.
  • Lower into a deep plié. Make sure your shoulders are over your hips, your heels are under your knees, and your knees are tracking over your first and second toes.
  • Interlace your fingers and place your hands behind your head.
  • Engage your abs and push off your right foot into a side crunch. Imagine you are shortening the distance between your bottom rib and your hip bone to work your obliques. Crunch 20 times and then switch sides.

Tip: Inhale as you plié, and exhale as you crunch. If the movement is too difficult, you can keep it small until you build strength.

Present and relevé

Training Focus: Biceps, deltoids

How to Do It:

  • Holding one end of an eight-foot-long (or longer) latex resistance band in each hand, stand on the center of the band with your feet hip-width apart. The band should not be slack.
  • Keeping your elbows close to your body, rotate your shoulders out and down. Reach your arms out diagonally to the corners of the room and back in. Repeat 20 times.
  • Next, raise your arms to either side with elbows bent at 90-degree angles. Your upper arms should be parallel to the ground. Rotate your shoulder blades down, engage your abs and reach your hands up to the ceiling. Repeat 20 times.

Tip: Exhale as you reach, and inhale as you bring your arms back to their starting position. Feel your chest open when you reach toward the ceiling.

Forearm diamond hip opener

Training Focus: Gluteus medius

How to Do It:

  • Begin in a quadruped position (hands and knees) and then lower yourself onto your forearms. Make sure your forearms are parallel and your shoulders are over your elbows.
  • Lift your right knee and draw in your abdominals. Place your right hand on the back of your head, and exhale as you round your back like a cat.
  • Inhale as you open your right arm and knee. Repeat 20 times and then switch sides.

Tip: If the move is too difficult, keep your toe on the floor at first.

Praying mantis

Training Focus: Total body

How to Do It:

  • Begin in a quadruped position on your hands and knees. Make sure your knees are under your hips and your hands are under your shoulders.
  • Engage your abs and keep your spine neutral. Transfer your weight onto your left leg, lift your right leg off the floor and extend it behind you. Pulse your right leg three times.
  • Anchor your shoulders back, bend your elbows and lower your chest to the ground as you reach your heel up. Repeat 20 times and switch sides.

Tip: Keep your hips square to the floor, and exhale through the working portions of the exercise.

Monkey arms

Training Focus: Core

How to Do It:

  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent, feet on the floor and inner thighs together.
  • Place a soft yoga ball behind you against your lumbar spine. Put your hands behind your knees to support your back as you round it against the ball. Contract your abs to deepen the curve of your torso.
  • Release your hands, and remaining in that C-curve, straighten your arms. Lift your right arm until it’s level with your ear, and then lower it. Repeat with your left arm. Complete 10 reps per side for a total of 20.

Tip: Keep your gaze on your knees, and think of scooping your abs to maintain the C-curve. Alternate lifting your arms (instead of raising one at a time) for a greater challenge. Exhale as you lift each arm to work your abs.

Contraction abs

Training Focus: Abs

How to Do It:

  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent, feet on the floor. Reach your hands forward and lower yourself to the ground, raising your arms so that your palms come up to face the ceiling and extending your legs.
  • Pull your shoulder blades down so that your arms hover above the floor. (Don’t let them touch the ground, as that can cause you to hyperextend your back.)
  • Engage your abs and bring your arms around to your sides and then forward, keeping your palms facing up as you roll up into a V-sit, simultaneously bringing your knees up so that your shins are parallel to the ceiling.
  • Roll back down, making sure your shoulders are anchored so that your arms hover and don’t touch the ground. Repeat 20 times.

Tip: Inhale as your arms come around to each side, and exhale as you lift your body to balance on your tailbone; then inhale as you roll down.

Photo credit: Todd Domenic Cribari, inspirostudio.com.

Discuss