Bellevue Club trainer Maryann Carpenter shares a quick barre workout for those interested in trying a new kind of strength work or who just want to channel their inner ballerina. Perform the complete series on one leg and then repeat on the other leg.
Exercise 1: Side Crunch Hip Opener
Strengthens obliques, quads, hip flexors and external rotators while increasing range of motion in the hips
Resting your right forearm on the barre, extend the left leg pointing through the toe. Reach the left arm overhead, extending and stretching the side body. Engaging the core, draw your knee toward your elbow. Return to the starting position and repeat eight to 10 times.
Exercise 2: Plies to Side Leg Kick
Strengthens the quads, glutes and hamstrings
Start with your legs in a plie position and your hands in prayer. Step out and lift your left leg as high as your flexibility allows while moving your forearm to balance on the barre. Use the barre for resistance so you’re working the hamstring and glute muscles and not the lower back. Return to the starting position and repeat eight to 10 times.
Exercise 3: Knee Bend to Side
Strengthens glutes, hip flexors and obliques
With your forearm on the barre, extend your left leg out parallel to the floor. Place your left hand behind your head, elbow turned out. Keeping your upper body stable, draw your knee toward your elbow. Extend the leg back into the parallel position and repeat eight to 10 times.
Exercise 4: Hip Opener
Strengthens the abdominal muscles and increases range of motion in your hips
Start in the knee bend position from the previous exercise. Rotate the entire torso toward the barre, contracting the abdominals and bending the knees. Return to the starting position and repeat eight to 10 times.