Check Out These Easy Swaps for Xtend Barre Workout EquipmentNov 24, 2020
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So you’re ready to start Xtend Barre on Openfit. Congratulations on making the best decision of your life! (Okay maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but this can be a pretty fantastic experience.) Whether you’re starting with the 7-day calendar, testing out an Xtend Barre Live class, or committing to the Xtend Barre and XB Pilates hybrid calendar, there’s probably one question you’re bound to ask….”What equipment do I need?”
Don’t be intimidated by thinking you need a full-on ballet barre for these barre classes. A chair or any sturdy object can work just fine! Other than that, you really just need an Openfit subscription to access these world-class workouts.
Now, there are some optional equipment suggestions. If you want to fully gear-up, we’ve listed them out below, plus some household items you can swap in instead.
But if you don’t want to use them, you can still get in a challenging workout! Trainer Andrea Rogers and her cast demonstrate with and without equipment, so you’ll be able to follow along no matter what.
Either way, we can’t wait to meet you at the barre!….err….chair!
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Xtend Barre Equipment: What You Need to Get Started
1. Chair or Barre
In Xtend Barre, you’ll do movements where you stand on one leg and extend, lift, and kick the other. You’ll also do some exercises where you balance on the balls of your feet. Having a sturdy surface to hold on to will help you balance and maintain proper form during the workout.
You can use a traditional ballet barre (like this one), or this portable, storeable barre that can fit in smaller places. Or, a chair works great, too! You’ll see that many cast members in the Xtend Barre videos use chairs.
The Swap: Back of the couch or a table top. Just make sure it’s sturdy and about waist high.
2. Light dumbbells
Andrea will lead you through a few different sculpting arm series to challenge your arms and upper body. To help you really define your arms, light dumbbells are recommended as optional equipment. But they don’t need to be heavy! One to three pounds will be plenty to get you feeling the burn. If you’re looking on Amazon, try this set of light weights.
The Swap: Canned food or water bottles. A 15-oz can weighs about one pound, and a 28-oz can weighs about 1.75 pounds. If you opt for a water bottle, a 16-oz bottle will give you about a pound of weight (and hydration after!).
3. Rubber Ball
There are a few different ways this seven to nine inch rubber ball is used. Sometimes it will serve as an elevated surface for one hand during push-ups, and sometimes it will be a support for your back during core work. The combination of supportiveness and flexibility makes it super versatile. You can find one on Amazon here — it even comes with a pump!
The Swap: Throw pillow or blanket. These will provide some support, height, and a little bit of added weight, while still having some give.
4. Resistance Band
Dumbbells aren’t the only thing that can make an exercise harder. Resistance bands are a great way to intensify a movement, and they can be used in different ways than dumbbells.
For Xtend Barre, you want the resistance bands that are closed loops (not the one with handles). They come in different weights or thicknesses, and you’ll want something on the lighter side for these workouts. This set comes with five different options.
The Swap: Unfortunately, there aren’t really any household items you can swap in for a resistance band. If you don’t have one, try to mimic the effect of it by moving slowly and with control as you come in and out of a movement.
XB Pilates features exercises that are inspired by movements that you would do on a reformer, but without that giant contraption! To do this, you’ll use sliders. They’ll allow you to slide your feet in all directions while you’re on the floor. You can grab a set here.
The Swap: Paper plates or dish towels. The key is to finding something that will slide along your floor without ripping or tearing.
You’ll do some ground work in both Xtend Barre and XB Pilates. A yoga mat is ideal because it will provide some padding and prevent sliding, but you can also use an exercise mat (which is typically thicker than a normal yoga mat).
The Swap: Carpet or a towel. These may lead to more slipping, but they save you from the pain of a hard floor.
7. Grip Socks
Since you don’t wear shoes in traditional barre classes, grips socks are often required to keep you from sliding on a slippery floor. They’re like regular socks, but with little rubber grips on the bottom (as the name suggests!).
If you’re doing your Xtend Barre workouts on a wood floor or slick carpet, these are recommended to keep you grounded. Here are some of our favorite options.
The Swap: Workout shoes. They’ll give you the grip you need, plus some extra support on your arches which can be nice sometimes.