We are pumped to share one of our favorite stories from Self here on FitSugar!
Barre classes may make you easy on the eyes, but at $20 or more a pop, they're definitely not easy on the wallet. Rather than take a second job to pay for our latest fitness addiction, we turned to Beverly Hill-based Cardio Barre instructor Stacey Bosworth to get the inside scoop on scoring a long, lean dancer's body in your living room. "This at-home workout is effective because it targets the whole lower body. Cardio Barre is amazing because it is a no-impact workout that allows you to lengthen and strengthen your muscles while burning fat. It will also help increase your flexibility and strength," says Bosworth.
Celebrity devotees, including Dakota Fanning, Neve Campbell, and Heather Morris, can all attest to the fact that Cardio Barre has given them "a lifted tush and leaner, dancer-like legs!" Incorporate these three moves into your regular routine three times a week for maximum results.
Come down to the floor on both forearms with your knees bent. Your left hip is directly over your left knee. Your right leg is bent to a 90-degree angle with your foot flexed. Extend your right leg toward the ceiling as if you were pushing the ceiling away from you (see photo above). Bring your right leg down past your left hip and then back up toward the ceiling, keeping your leg parallel to the floor with your kneecap pointing toward the ground and your foot flexed. You are doing a full range of motion, trying to imagine extending your leg all the way through the ceiling.
Keep reading for more barre moves you can do at home!
First Position Plié and Relevé
Use a portable barre, countertop, or sturdy table that is at least hip level. Lightly place both hands on the surface and bring your feet into first position, heels together, toes turned out from the hip socket to the corners. Your feet make a small V shape. Never turn the toes out all the way, because it is hard on the knees. Lift your heels off the floor and press onto the ball of your foot, keeping your ankles strong. Keep your heels lifted the whole time. Straighten the legs and bend them so your knees are over your toes (below), keeping the torso upright and elongated. It should look as if you are sliding up and down a wall. Stretch the legs fully at the top with your heels lifted. Then bend the knees back into a plié.
Use a portable barre or countertop that is at least hip level or, if you have good balance, just stand in the center of your room. Lift your left arm out to the side if you're holding onto a countertop or barre, or lift both arms out to the side if you are not holding onto any surfaces for support. Brush your right foot off the floor so it's lifted up in front of your body, keeping the leg straight and torso upright (below). The leg is turned out, which means your kneecap will face slightly to the corner. When you bring your leg back down, you can either close the foot into ballet fifth position (both feet turned out and the right heel intersecting with the left big toe) or bring the leg behind you into a slight lunge. Then proceed to brush the foot up from the floor, again maintaining your posture and keeping your leg straight and long. The leg does not have to lift high. It should seem as if the leg floats back up into the air and back down effortlessly.