Examples of Barre Workouts

Examples of Barre Workouts

With barre workouts, you are using some fundamentals of ballet, but you are also helping to strengthen and condition your body. Here are some classic moves often done during a barre class, whether you do it at home or in a studio.

Hip Extension

This is a standing barre movement that works on your lower body muscle groups, primarily the thighs, hips, and buttocks. It is a simple extension workout where you stand with your thighs and knees touching as close as possible. You place a small exercise ball behind one of your knees and pull up that leg by lifting the heel toward your buttocks. Do this for 10-15 reps, then move the ball and switch to the other side.

Releve Plie

For the releve plie move, you are going to work on your abdominals, abs, and thighs. It teaches you first position, which in ballet is when your heels are together and your toes are turned out. You start with your legs straight and put your hands on a ballet barre or the back of a chair. Tighten your abs and lift your feet until you are resting on the balls of the feet. A plie is then done when you bend down until your knees reach just over your toes, then release. It is repeated 15-20 times.


This is a barre-version of a traditional arabesque position. For the exercise, you are going to be standing in first position as mentioned earlier, then put your right hand on the barre or whatever furniture you are using. Bring your left leg back and point your foot to create an arabesque movement. Your other arm will be placed palm-down on your shoulder. Bend your left knee while it is still raised. This is all one rep and can be done up to 20 times, then alternate feet and do it again on the opposite side for 20 reps.

These are some of the more simple movements you will learn during your barre classes. As you have noticed, you do learn some traditional ballet techniques and positions, but they will then focus on strengthening your body and some workouts also involve hand weights that also work your arms, shoulders, and upper body muscle groups. While these movements are all done while standing, many barre workouts also do floor work, similar to some of the traditional yoga and Pilates movements.

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