Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Quick At-Home Barre Workout (...with pumpkins!)

Do you like barre workouts? They're all the rage, understandably so. At my gym, we offer (and I teach) a 60-minute barre class. We call it "Barre Fit" because it's a bit non-traditional. We don't have a  barre in the studio, so we improvise with chairs and/or weighted bars for balance. We also incorporate some traditional strength exercises, hence the "Fit." It's a really fun class to teach, and yesterday's class was no exception. 

It was Halloween, so I purchased a pumpkin for each of my students—the only weight we used for the duration of the class! How fun! Also, I taught in costume because #halloween. Here's the complete look:

My high school cheerleading uniform, circa 1999. I kept having these weird "never in my life would I ever imagine myself in this situation, in this uniform" moments throughout class. My students got a kick out of it. And the pumpkins. 

We used them as weights. They worked nicely for triceps press backs:

And weighted chair squats:

And sometimes we just held them as a way to easily move from one exercise to the next, or to further test our ability to balance while moving:

Again, the class I teach is a 60-minute Barre Fit class. If you're looking for a quicker barre workout you can do at home, I pared down our workout into the following 30-minute barre workout:

barre, workouts, easy workouts, at home workouts, fitness, exercise
You really don't need any equipment. Use a medicine ball (or a pumpkin, if you still have one). You can also use a weight. Remember to honor your body, though. If barre workouts are new to you, or if you're fresh off an injury or some other physical setback, please consult with your physician first. That said, let's break down some off the less obvious moves:

Dead Lift to Shoulder Press to Alternating Side Bends
Hinge forward from the hips while holding the medicine ball, then rise up to standing. Shift seamlessly into a shoulder press, and once the medicine ball is overhead, side bend to the right. Repeat from the top, bending to the left and alternating with every rep. If the medicine ball feels light, you can increase the weight—or use the opportunity to really focus on what your hamstrings and glutes are doing throughout the exercise. Translation: Squeeze and pull with those muscles!

Superman Lifts with Lat Pulls
On your belly for this one! As you lift and lower the arms and legs at the same time, pause for a brief second at the top to perform a lat pull. In other words, slide your shoulder blades down your back and pull as if you were holding on to a lat bar.

Leg Lifts Up and Over Medicine Ball
Place your medicine ball at the end of your mat. Sit in front of it, legs together and feet resting to the right side of the medicine ball. While keeping your back nice and straight, engage your core and lift your legs up and over the BOSU. Keep the legs glued together (and strong!) throughout.

Any questions? Read out: tara (at) adailydoseoffit (dot) com.
I'm always ready to help. 

Look at this beautiful class of mine:

They're the best.

Some other barre workouts for you:

Question: What's the most unconventional piece of fitness equipment you've ever used? What is your favorite Halloween treat? C'mon. I know you like at least one type of candy...

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