8 of the Best Barre Moves For Abs

8 of the Best Barre Moves For Abs

Ever wonder which exercises in a barre workout are the best barre moves for abs? The short answer: all of them. Every movement in Xtend Barre, whether it’s technically a barre ab exercise or not, demands core strength and stability. And that’s by design, explains Andrea Rogers, creator of Xtend Barre.

“Xtend Barre works to lengthen and strengthen your entire body, while maintaining a strong connection to your core throughout the entire class,” she explains. “Emphasis on proper alignment in neutral spine and neutral pelvis, while drawing the abdominals in and up, will strengthen and tone your core even during our standing barre segment. We work to sculpt and strengthen your core the entire class!”

That being said, there are some barre exercises for abs that will really set your midsection on fire. We asked Andrea to help us round up the heavy hitters and assemble the most effective barre ab workout. Here are the best barre moves for abs.

Build lean muscle and core strength with Andrea’s body-shaping workouts in Xtend Barre. Try it here!

 

1. Scissors

  • Lie on your back, draw your knees in toward your chest, and wrap your arms around your legs.
  • Lift your head, neck, and shoulders off the ground. Place your hands behind your neck and extend your legs so that they’re perpendicular to the floor. Point your toes.
  • Keeping your head and shoulders lifted, lower your right leg 45 degrees.
  • Quickly switch your legs so that your right leg is perpendicular to the floor and your left leg is lowered 45 degrees.
  • Continue to switch your legs for your desired number of reps.

 

2. Standing Oblique Cinch

  • Stand to the right of a barre or chair.
  • Leaning to the left, place your left forearm on the barre to help maintain your balance. Lift your right arm overhead and extend your right leg to the side so that just your right toe is grazing the floor. For added resistance, hold a one-pound dumbbell in your right hand.
  • Use your oblique muscles to cinch in your waist as you raise your right leg and draw your right elbow down toward your right thigh.
  • Lower your right leg and lift your right arm overhead, returning to your starting position. Repeat for your desired number of reps before switching sides.

 

3. C-Curve Lower and Lift

  • Take a seat in the center of your mat. Squeezing a playground ball between your thighs, bend your knees so that the bottoms of your feet rest on the floor.
  • On a count of four, slowly lean back about 45 degrees and draw in your abs, forming a C-shape curve with your spine.
  • On the next count of four, lift your chest and sit up, “stacking” the spine in a neutral position so that your shoulders are directly above your hips.
  • Repeat for your desired number of reps.

 

4. Hip Lifts

  • Lie on your back and place a playground ball between your thighs.
  • Lift your legs and bend your knees so that your calves form a tabletop position. Rest your arms at your sides with your palms facing down.
  • Pulse your legs in toward each other twice, squeezing the ball. Then, maintaining a tabletop position with your legs, use your abs to lift your hips off the ground.
  • Slowly lower your hips and repeat for your desired number of reps.

 

5. Side Plank Pulses

  • From a supine position, roll onto your right side. Place your right forearm on the floor so that it’s perpendicular to your torso and your right elbow is directly under your right shoulder. Place your left hand on your waist.
  • Stack your left leg on top of your right. Using your right forearm and the side of your right foot to support your weight, lift your body into a side-plank position.
  • Slightly lower your hips toward the floor, then use your abdominal muscles to quickly lift them. Continue to lower and lift the hips in a quick, pulsing motion for your desired number of reps.

 

6. Plank Rocks

  • Starting on your hands and knees, extend your right foot behind you and place your toes on the ground.
  • Extend your left foot behind you and lift up into a plank position. Draw in your abs, flatten your back, and make sure you’re in a straight line from head to toe.
  • Use your toes to rock your body forward so that your shoulders extend beyond your fingertips. Rock back so that your shoulders are stacked above your wrists.
  • Continue to rock forward and back for your desired number of reps.

 

7. Bow and Arrow Abs

  • Take a seat in the center of your mat. Pull your legs together and bend your knees so that the bottoms of your feet are resting on the floor.
  • With straight elbows, lift your arms so that they’re parallel to the floor and your palms are facing in toward each other. (For added resistance, hold a one-pound weight in each hand.) Lean back a little and draw in your abs to form a C-shape curve with your spine.
  • Holding that C-curve position, twist your torso to the left and draw your left elbow down toward the mat.
  • As you come up to a seated, neutral-spine position (your shoulders should be directly above your hips), twist to the right, extend your left arm in front of you, and draw your right elbow back, as if you were pulling on the string of a bow.
  • Repeat for your desired number of reps before switching sides.

 

8. C-Curve Oblique Twist

  • Take a seat in the center of your mat. Squeezing a playground ball between your thighs, bend your knees so that the bottoms of your feet are resting on the floor.
  • Lean back about 45 degrees and draw in your abs, forming a C-shape curve with your spine. Lift your arms so that they’re parallel to the floor.
  • Maintaining that C-curve with your spine, use your obliques to rotate your torso to the left. Return to face forward.
  • Repeat for your desired number of reps before switching sides.
Jenessa Connor

About

Jenessa Connor has written for Men’s Journal, Shape, Runner’s World, Oxygen and other health and fitness publications. When it comes to exercise, she’s a bit of a dabbler, but she always comes back to running, CrossFit and yoga. Follow her on Twitter.