Raising the barre

Published Dec 16, 2018, 12:17 am IST
Updated Dec 16, 2018, 12:17 am IST
This routine is a form of physical exercise inspired from classical ballet.
Split along the Pole
 Split along the Pole

For those who really mean it, there are a million ways to get into shape. Here is one of them barre workout.

Barre is a form of physical exercise, derived from the disciplined body training of classical ballet, and usually conducted as a group fitness form in studios. It incorporates movements derived from ballet combined with those drawn from yoga and pilates. Barre classes typically focus on small, pulsing movements with emphasis on form, alignment and core engagement. Ballet-inspired workouts are a great way to develop lean muscle mass, while improving one’s balance, flexibility and range of motion.


Here are some barre workouts. In the absence of barre, a sturdy chair with a tall back can be used as well. 

Relevè Pliè Relevè Pliè

Relevè Pliè 
Stand with your feet apart, legs straight, and hands gently resting on the back of the barre. With your spine tall and abs tight, rise up onto the balls of your feet. Plié by bending your knees out over your toes (only lower about half-way down). Straighten your legs (squeezing your inner thighs together as you extend), and then lower your heels. Repeat it 20 times. This movement engages the thighs, abs, calf-muscles, ankles and feet.

Split along the PoleSplit along the Pole

Split along the Pole
Stand close to the pole. Place your right heel near the pole. Bend down from your torso and extend your arms to the floor. Slowly ride your left leg along the pole to attain your maximum reach. Repeat on the other side. Feel the stretch on your hamstrings and enjoy the blood rush to your head. This one is a total body toner, engaging head, neck, shoulder, arms, abs, glutes, thighs, ankle and toes. Go for it, only as much as your body permits you on the first day. Keep practising. That 180 degrees is not far away.

Leg Extension Leg Extension

Leg Extension 
Stand tall with your heels together and turned out at 45 degrees (first position). Bend your right knee along the left leg and slowly raise and extend it over the barre. Hold the barre lightly with your right arm and extend your left arm to the side. Make sure that your supporting left leg is straight and your hips are aligned with the heels. Keep your right pelvis turned out, and knees facing the ceiling. Hold the position for at least 10 seconds and allow your pelvis to reach and extend to your toes of the right feet. Keep toes pointed. You can also take the movement a step further by bending the left hand over to reach your right foot. Hold again for 10 seconds. Repeat the same on the left. Do 10 times on each side. This one beautifully engages the thighs, legs, core and obliques and opens up the pelvic region.

Hand StandHand Stand

Hand Stand
Stand a little ahead of the pole (the right distance depends on your height and the length of your leg from the pole). Go down on to the floor on your arms. Raise one leg and take the support of the pole and then push the other leg back, allowing your body to lie inclined from the pole to the floor. Once you get a good hold of the position, bend your left leg over your body. Keep toes pointed. Curve your spine. Hold it for a few seconds. Repeat the same with the other leg. The posture gives a great blood rush to your head, strengthens the shoulder, spine and glutes and does wonders to the abs.

Side Split along the BarreSide Split along the Barre

Side Split along the Barre
Stand tall in first position. Hold the barre lightly with both your arms. Turn your left hip out and raise your left leg to the left side of the barre. Allow your right leg to slide along the floor, letting your body droop to a slant. Hold the position for a few seconds according to your comfort level. This position is akin to a side split on the floor, and can be a slight challenge to hold for long. However, the longer the hold, the more are the benefits. Repeat on the other side. This works excellently on inner thighs, hips, and core adding elasticity to your limbs. From barre, now we move to the pole. At home, the same postures can be implemented using a pillar or the wall.