I discovered barre workouts while visiting a friend in Ft. Worth, TX, three years ago.  I was never a dancer (don’t let the word “barre” scare you!) and was very unfamiliar with what a barre was.  Luckily for me it didn’t involve a single ballet move, but instead busted my buns for an hour straight!  For a girl who was always trying to find a new way to strengthen and tone my lower body, it was love at first squat 🙂   Barre classes are different depending on the facility, but typically they involve a variety of leg, arm and abdominal work while at a ballet barre against a wall.

Harmony_barre_Pilates

There were no barre classes available in Hawaii at the time, so I continued to research and developed our Harmony barre classes last year when we opened our second studio on Oahu.  We had the space for a beautiful ballet barre so I was determined to offer these classes!  They combine 30 minutes of standing barre work with 30 minutes of a traditional Pilates mat class.  That means after doing countless squats, lunges, plies, and arm work with a weighted ball, you get to work your abs and core until your body is jello…fun huh??  It’s a perfect option for people wanting to amp up their workout and add some cardio to their traditional Pilates routine.

If you are in the area, come join us for a class and see the awesomeness of barre!   For those of you wanting a great workout at home or a preview of what barre is about, this video can be done by simply standing at the back of a chair in your living room.  We typically recommend going barefoot, but wear tennis shoes if that is more comfortable for you.  From a physical therapist standpoint, you will want to be careful with the squatting if you have any patellar tracking issues or chronic knee pain.  Start with small movements and build up if you aren’t having pain.

This video is 7 minutes long (I say 4 minutes at the beginning of the video but I got a little over excited when filming :)).  You will work quads, glutes, hamstrings, inner thigh and outer thigh.  Do the video once for a good “wake up the muscles” workout, do it twice or three times in a row for a full lower body blast!  Crank the music, have fun and let me know what you think!

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