How to Take the Plunge into Xtend Barre Without All the Jumping
Barre is a predominantly low-impact workout that delivers results, but jumping in Xtend Barre can be intimidating for some. That said, you needn’t let a few easily-modified movements scare you away.
“I think barre is the best workout if you don’t want to do a lot of jumping,” says Sarah Brannon, Openfit Live barre instructor. “Throughout the entire exercise library, there are really only two or three exercises that even require — I wouldn’t even say a jump. It’s more of a leap.”
What if you’re not ready to take the leap?
Like plyometric exercises you might find in a HIIT workout, jumping movements in barre engage type II muscle fibers, aka “fast-twitch” fibers, developing strength and explosive power while elevating your heart rate. However, even if you choose to modify jumping movements in Xtend Barre, you will still reap the benefits of a barre workout — and there are plenty.
Besides improving overall strength, balance, and flexibility, Xtend Barre can help create that sought-after “sculpted” look, especially in the glutes, quads, and hamstrings. “You’re not going to bulk up, but you are going to have muscle definition,” Brannon says. Additionally, because Xtend Barre strengthens some of the stabilizing muscles in the core and glutes, it can aid in injury prevention.
How to Modify 3 Jumps in Xtend Barre
In general, you can modify most jumping movements in Xtend Barre by replacing the jump with a step, plié (bending your knees), or relevé (coming up on your toes). Here are Brannon’s suggestions for modifying three jumping exercises.
1. First Position Plié into Leap
Modification: First Position Plié into Relevé
- Standing with your feet together, use one hand to hold onto a bar or the back of a sturdy chair. Roll back on your heels and point your toes to the sides in your natural turnout.
- Keeping your chest up, shoulders back, and butt tucked, bend your knees as deeply as you can into a plié while maintaining good posture.
- Push through your feet and, as you straighten your knees, lift your heels and come up onto the balls of your feet in relevé.
- As you lower your heels, move right into the next plié.
2. Second Position Plié into Leap
Modification: Second Position Plié Pulses
- Stand with your feet wider than hip-width, and your toes pointed outward.
- Keeping your chest up, shoulders back, and butt tucked, bend your knees almost as deeply as you can into a plié.
- From this position, bend the knees a little more and quickly return to plie. Using a pulsing movement, continue to bend the knees a little more deeply and return to plié for the specified number of reps.
3. Curtsy Leap
Modification: Curtsy Step
- Stand with your feet wider than hip-width, and your toes pointed outward. Lift your arms into first position (it should look like you’re holding a large beach ball against your chest).
- Cross your right foot behind your left foot and, keeping your chest up and back straight, bend both knees into a curtsy-like position.
- Straighten your knees and step your right foot back to the starting position.
- Cross your left foot behind your right foot and, keeping your chest up and back straight, bend both knees into a curtsy-like position.
- Straighten your knees and step your left foot back to the starting position.
- Perform an equal number of reps on both sides.