If you are in tune with the latest workout fads, then you must have heard about barre and cardio barre exercises. Barre studios that are popping up all over the place these days after cardio barre has become the latest fad. Many celebrities like Madonna and Natalie Portman swear by these exercises and why not when they are so effective! We help you get onto the cardio barre bandwagon without having to pay the high price of the classes. Let’s see how you can do cardio barre exercises as a part of your home workout and get a dancer’s body.
What are barre exercises? How do they help?
A barre is a stationary horizontal rail that is present in ballet studios. The handrail is used for warm up exercises before practicing ballet. The exercises that are done using this hand rail as support are known as barre exercises. These have now been incorporated into cardio exercises and are high energy and low impact exercises which combine barre work with weights. The cardio barre workouts help in toning and sculpting your muscles and elongate your body’s appearance.
Cardio Barre Home Workout
No handrail at home? Not to worry. You can replace it with a sturdy chair instead. You would also need hand weights between 2 to 5 lbs. These exercises are normally done barefoot.
1. Butt Firming Workout
- On a mat, come down in a position where your elbows, forearms and knees on the ground.
- Bring together both your palms in the front, under your face. The hips are right above your knees and your torso is parallel to the ground.
- Now raise your right leg away from the ground, as if trying to push the ceiling with your foot.
- Then bring it down so that the thigh is parallel to the ground, the knee pointing downwards and the lower leg at right angles to the thigh.
- Repeat this ten times. Then switch legs. This exercises bursts all the fat from the butt and thighs and makes them more toned.
2. Releve Plie
- Releve and Plie are two positions in ballet which we incorporate in this workout. You do not need a barre for this. A chair with a high back that reaches your hips will do.
- To start, stand behind the chair straight with the spine and the abs tucked in. Place your hands on the back of the chair. Put your heels together and your toes out at 45 degrees.
- Now slowly raise your body up, standing on the balls of your feet. This is the releve.
- Now from the same position, plie by bending your knees over your toes. Straighten your legs, squeeze your inner thighs and come back to the original position by resting your heels together.
- Repeat this 20 times. It helps tone up your thighs and abs.
3. Rear Fly and Arabesque Lift
- Place the chair on your right and place your right hand on it, grab a dumb bell in your left hand.
- Stand with your feet parallel to each other and touching each other.
- Stretch your right leg behind and point your toes on the floor. Bend the left knee forward and hinge forward from your hips. Your back is flat and your left arm is reaching towards the floor with the dumb bell.
- Now open the left arm so that it is perpendicular to your torso and parallel to the ground. Lift the right leg up, behind the hip, parallel to the ground and keep your entire body taut.
- Repeat this 20 times and then switch sides. This exercise helps firm up glutes, thighs, hips, upper back and upper arms. It also helps elongate your body.
These are simple exercises that need to be done in continuous motion to music with beats. When you do it, you get into the rhythm and it would seem to you that you are doing ballet to cardio beats. They are highly effective and can help you tone up the fun way, right from the comfort of your home! Do them 3-4 times a week to see a remarkable improvement in your body.
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