Feel the burn: full body barre workout
Want to tone up, improve your posture and sculpt a ballet-dancer body? Then you’re in the right place. Barre uses tiny, isometric movements to work every muscle, including ones you never knew you had! Be prepared to feel the burn with this full body barre workout from Define London founder Ashley Verma.
Legs and abs
Work your thighs and engage your core with this Define London move. If you don’t have a barre at home, no worries! Grab a chair, kitchen counter top, use the wall – anything that will provide some balance.
1 Stand arm’s length away from your barre (or makeshift barre) so you have space. Bend one leg behind you, and if you have a pilates ball, place it between your calf and hamstring. Flex the lifted leg and start to press back. Your supporting knee is bent to give that extra lower body sizzle as well as strengthen tiny little muscles you never knew existed. Do 20-30 reps.
2 Start to round the lower back, contract deeper through your core and pull your thigh towards your chest. Tucking and rounding through the spine will give a beautiful stretch to the back and a deep sizzle to your abs. For an extra burn, add a lift in the supporting heel when you bring the thigh forward. Do 20-30 reps.
3 Press the leg back to where you started and finish strong: push yourself for another 20 -30 push backs. Again, add a supporting high heel and a bounce in the supporting knee. Switch sides and start again. If you are new, try fewer reps but keep building.
Lower body sculptor
The pretzel: a Define London lower body sculptor that will have you into those skinny jeans in no time. No equipment necessary, all you need is some space to move and groove.
1 Slide to one side and separate your legs, one bent forwards, one behind. You are starting in a traditional pretzel position, so try to have both legs bent in or near a 90 degree angle, with your upper body weight over the front leg. Hands frame the front leg, or you can drop to your forearms. Begin to lift the back leg up and down. Notice that there is a diagonal from knee, to hip, to shoulder. To begin with, you can simply lift the leg. As you build strength, add circles, rotate the knee and toe, do press backs, and do combos with one lift and one press back.
2 Begin to pull the knee forward and then press back. Using the arm from the same side as your lifted leg, lift it and lengthen it behind you in sync with your leg – this is a sure way to cinch your waistline, blasting your core as well as your lower body.
3 Repeat on the other side. If you are new to working out, aim for 10 to 20 reps and then take a break. As you build strength and confidence add more choreography and more reps.
Read more: Barrecore’s top 5 moves for toning your arms
Full body burn
No equipment needed for this Define full body burn – just make some space so you can move your body. If you are working on a hardwood floor, a yoga mat or a small cushion under the knee might help with support.
1 Positioned on all fours, drop your tailbone under, chin is lifted out of the chest, and soften both elbows. Extend your right leg straight back and shift a little more weight to your right to keep your hips squared off. Zip the tummy tight and begin to lift and lower the right leg. Never lift the leg so far that you arch and flare the ribs open. You must work hard to keep the ribs knitted in and core massively engaged. Aim for 20 reps first to build strength. Once feeling stronger and more confident, play with slow, quick and three beat lifts. You can also add circles.
2 Continue lifting your leg straight back, and extend the opposite arm forward for a great stretch from fingertips to toes. Add a little lift in the arm while the leg lifts, too.
3 Contract round and pull the extended arm and leg in: bring your knee in to your elbow, and opposite elbow in to your hip, then lengthen back out. Do this for 15-20 reps. You can take it super slow, at a moderate pace, or fast if you wish. Your core works hard to keep you balanced, so always be mindful of strong posture.
4 Extend back out to where you started for another 10-20 lifts.
5 Place your left forearm onto floor and stack and rotate the hips open. Your right hand will remain on the floor to help give the body support.
6 Lift your right leg up and down, and introduce small circles, foot flexes or push backs if you feel confident. Always be mindful of perfect form, with ribs knitted in and shoulders down.
7 If you can, add an arm lift, keeping your supporting elbow and forearm on the ground. This is an advanced move so don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t perfect it straightaway!
8 Take the same reps and choreography on the other side.
With thanks to Ashley Verma, founder of Define London. Define run a variety of barre classes, suitable for both women and men, beginners and beyond. For more information visit their website: define.london