Workout GIFs: The Best Barre Workout Ever

Who needs a barre and a dance studio when you have the back of your sofa and a GIF workout?

If you can't tell by now, yes, we're still harboring a not-so-secret (at least anymore) dream of being a prima ballerina—you know, just in case all of our recent fawning over Mary Helen Bowers and Simone De La Rue didn't quite tip you off. So when we had the chance to step up to the actual barre—which, yes, can stand in for the proverbial plate in this metaphor's instance—you better believe we were slipping into a leotard faster than you can command us to plié in a menacing Eastern European accent. The girls at Barreworks, our local lean-ing, lengthening and strengthening mecca, filled us in on the five basic moves requisite at virtually any class that you can also replicate with the back of your sofa or a kitchen table. We totally won't tell if you wear a tutu to do them, either.

Pliè in Second

 

1. Legs stand slightly wider than hips, feet turned out 45 degrees from the hips.

2. One hand on barre, opposite hand holding weighted barre ball.

3. Bend the knees, tracking them over your second and third toes. Arm with weighted ball bends at the elbow.

4. Stretch the knees and arm stretches over head into a side bend towards the barre.

 

Repeat 8-16x. 

Repeat on the other side to even out the body.

Lunges with resistance band

 

1. Standing with one leg forward, opposite leg back.

2. Resistance band placed beneath the front leg, handles in hands.

3. As you bend the knees, arms lift forwards with palms facing floor. Stretch knees and arms lower. Repeat bending knees, this time arms open to the side keeping arms slightly in front of the body.

 

Repeat 8-16x.

Repeat on the other leg to even out the body.

Attitude Sequence

 

1. Facing barre, two feet under hips with hands gently placed on top of the barre.

2. Brush one leg up front into table top, toe pointed. Same leg brushes against the floor and back and the body tilts forwards slightly and standing leg bends.

3. Repeat brushing up to table top, and back to parallel attitude.

4. Move slow. Keep hips and back knee pointing towards the floor and when the bottom knee bends, keep the knee over ankle.

 

Repeat 8x.

Repeat on the other side to even out the body.

Side plank with Barre Ball

 

1. Hand beneath shoulder with legs stacked. Weighted barre ball into the opposite hand. Modify: On forearm with the elbow beneath shoulder, one knee bent on floor and no weighted barre ball.

2. Lift top arm to t-shape, slowly curve arm under the ribcage and open back to start. Gaze follows the ball.

 

Repeat 8-16x.

Repeat on the other side to even out the body.

Bridge with Big Barre Ball

 

1. Begin on your back with knees bent and feet on top of the Big Barre Ball. Modify: feet flat against the floor, hip width apart. Place the arms by your side, palms flat against the floor.

2. Lift hips off the ground, squeezing your gluteus muscles and pause at the top of the bridge. Slowly lower hips and repeat the movement.

3. Be sure to keep your head on the floor at all times, and lift yourself up to the tops of your shoulders and never your neck.

 

Repeat 8-16x.

Photographed on location at Barreworks in Toronto with trainer Paulina Witkowski.

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