Find Balance and Grace With This At-Home Barre Workout

Find Balance and Grace With This At-Home Barre Workout

If you’ve ever envied the sleek musculature and graceful carriage of a dancer, a barre workout at home can help slim your frame and improve your posture. Dancers have impressive flexibility, coordination, and alignment — and that’s what Xtend Barre, created by Pilates instructor and former professional dancer Andrea Rogers, delivers.

“We approach movement as a dancer would, working with very few props, and staying aware of how we’re moving,” says Rogers. The result? “More endurance, strength, and flexibility, with greater mind-body awareness and focus.”

Openfit hosts all of Andrea’s Xtend Barre classes, suitable for every fitness level — from the two-left-feet beginner to the seasoned dance pro. And if you need encouragement, accountability, and form checks from a live trainer, Openfit Live now features live Xtend Barre classes! You can sign up for one at virtually any hour of the day and learn from some of the best instructors in the business.

Up for a taste of Xtend Barre’s fitness-boosting medicine? Try this 15-minute full-body workout below, based on some of Xtend Barre’s most effective movements.

Gain functional strength and total-body definition with the high-energy exercises of Andrea’s Xtend Barre program. Try it here!

 

Plié Tendu

Target areas: Glutes, adductors, calves, quadriceps, shoulders.

Instructions

  • Assume second position: torso tall, feet wider than shoulder-width, toes turned out, arms extended outwards.
  • Keeping your torso vertical, bend your legs into a plié.
  • Rise from the plié, then extend your right leg and point your toes, lightly tapping them on the floor.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat.

Perform

  • 30 seconds slowly.
  • 30 seconds at a fast pace you can control.
  • 30 seconds with your arms in high fifth position—reaching overhead.
  • Repeat the entire sequence performing the tendu with the other leg.

 

Dancer Arm Circle

Target areas: Shoulders.

Instructions

  • Holding a light dumbbell in either hand, stand with your feet parallel and wider than shoulder-width.
  • Keeping your shoulders down, extend your arms outward to the sides, palms down.
  • Circle your arms forward, drawing about a 12-inch diameter circle in the air with each hand.

Perform

  • 10 seconds slowly.
  • 30 seconds at a fast pace you can control.
  • Repeat the entire sequence, this time drawing circles in the reverse direction.

 

Second Position Tendu Sweep

Target areas: Adductors, glutes, quadriceps, calves, core.

Instructions

  • Stand tall with your feet in second position (feet wide, toes turned outwards), right hand extended out to the right, left hand holding a countertop or high chair for balance.
  • Plié as deeply as you can comfortably.
  • As you rise from the plié, point your right foot, touching the floor lightly with your toes.
  • Sweep the toes of your right foot in a half-circle lightly along the floor, finishing with your right leg crossing over your left.
  • Simultaneously draw your right hand in front of and across your body.
  • Reverse the motion to return to the start position. Continue performing reps for 40 seconds.

Perform

  • 40 seconds on one side.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

 

Second Position Relevé (Jump Optional)

Target areas: Calves, quadriceps, adductors, glutes, core.

Instructions

  • Stand tall with your feet in second position (feet wide, toes turned outwards), holding a countertop or high chair with both hands for balance.
  • Point your toes and balance on the balls of your feet.
  • Keeping your torso upright, lower your heels to the floor and plié.
  • Rise from the plié and come up onto the balls of your feet.

Perform

  • 10 seconds slowly.
  • 30 seconds at a fast but controlled pace; or 30 seconds with a sauté — a small jump — off the floor on each rep.

 

Foldover

Target areas: Glutes, hamstrings, lower back.

Instructions

  • From a standing position, fold forward, placing your forearms on a countertop or on the back of a high chair, and your head on your forearms.
  • Maintain a flat back and press your chest towards the floor.
  • Without over-arching your back, raise your leg right leg directly back behind you as high as possible, keeping the toes of your right foot pointed.
  • Lower your leg to the floor, tapping the toes of your right foot to the floor.
  • Repeat.

Perform

  • 30 seconds slowly.
  • 30 seconds at a fast pace you can control.
  • Repeat the entire sequence with your other leg.

 

Hamstring Series

Target areas: Glutes, hamstrings.

Instructions

  • Stand tall with your hands lightly touching a countertop (or the back of a chair) for balance.
  • Bend your right knee lifting your heel as high as possible.
  • Squeeze your right hamstrings isometrically.

Hold: 30 seconds.

  • Keeping your heel lifted and maintaining excellent posture, pulse-squeeze your right glute, pushing your right knee back as far as possible on each rep.

Repeat: 20 seconds.

  • Keeping your heel lifted and maintaining excellent posture, raise your knee out to the side, pulse-squeezing your glute and abductors on the right side.

Repeat: 20 seconds.

  • Switch to the other side and repeat the entire sequence.

 

Side Lying Développé

Target areas: Abdominals, obliques, quadriceps.

Instructions

  • Lie on your left side, propping your body up on your left elbow, legs stacked, feet pointed.
  • Raise your right leg an inch or two away from your left. This is the starting position.
  • Bend your right knee, drawing the toes of your right foot lightly along the inside of your left leg.
  • Kick your right leg up towards the ceiling.
  • Lower your leg, returning to the starting position.

Repeat: 40 seconds slow, 40 seconds fast.

  • Perform the same movement in reverse, keeping your right leg straight as you raise it upwards, then bending your knee, so your toes come close to your left knee, then straightening your right knee as you lower your leg to the starting position.

Repeat: 40 seconds slow, 40 seconds fast.

  • Roll onto your right side and repeat.

 

Try Our Other Programs!

If you enjoyed Xtend Barre you’ll love the other programs in our Openfit member library. We have routines to help you lose weight and get strong, including:

  • Xtend Barre Pilates – Andrea Rogers gives a fun, modern presentation to this popular workout, helping you achieve a tighter, leaner body in just 21 days.
  • Rough Around The Edges – A team of professional stuntwomen guide you through 30 days of workouts that include cardio, MMA conditioning, strength training, and dance. Come as you are and get fit!
Andrew Heffernan CSCS, GCFP

About

Andrew Heffernan, CSCS, GCFP is a fitness coach, Feldenkrais practitioner, and an award-winning health and fitness writer. His work appears regularly in Men's Health and Experience Life. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children. Learn more at andrewheffernan.com