Ballet dancers have amazing bodies.
Their training methods target the lower body and the core muscles.
Not only does this result in a great shape, but it also burns more calories.
The larger the muscle, the more calories it burns when engaged. And ballet uses the largest muscles in the body.
But ballet barre workouts are just for professional dancers, right?
Not at all! Anyone can do them, as long as you stick to the easier exercises.
The routines below are ones anyone can perform at home, even if you don’t have your own ballet barre.
Table of Contents
- 1 Ballet Barre Workout
- 2 Ballet Barre Warm-Ups
- 3 Ballet Barre Stretches
- 4 Ballet Barre Exercises
- 5 Ballet Barre Workouts: Only For Ballerinas?
- 6 Ballet Barre Workout: Conclusion
Ballet Barre Workout
A barre workout needs a routine to work on every target muscle. You have to know where to start, how to focus, and where to end the workout.
A good routine helps you have more fun training. It also prevent injuries. Let’s take a look at good ballet barre routines for beginners.
Ballet Barre Warm-Ups
Warming up the body is essential before doing any workout. Warming up before a barre workout is essential for professional dancers.
But warming up is critical for non-dancers and amateur trainees, too. A good warm-up routine consists of multiple moves. They ready the body for stretching and then intense workouts.
In other words, the warm-up helps your body get ready for more challenging movements. It increases the blood flow and elevates the body temperature.
Muscles loosen during the warm-up and ligaments and joints limber up and get ready for stretching.
Doing any exercise without an adequate warm-up is harmful. Even for light workouts, like walking, warming up is a good idea. For intense workouts, like barre exercises, you must warm those muscles up.
You can do many different exercises to warm-up your body for a barre workout. The best mostly focus on breathing and light stretching (we’ll go more into stretching in the next section).
An excellent warm-up process for a ballet barre workout includes.
Prancing helps you get ready for bigger movements. It focuses on moving the whole body using your heels. It also increases the heartbeat, which results in better breathing.
Raise your heels up and down and keep your knees soft. Do your prancing in place. You just want to wake up your muscles. Spend a few minutes prancing, before moving on to the next warm-up exercise.
The most popular warm-up routine for any workout is jumping jacks. This easy exercise helps you increase your heartbeat and gets every muscle working.
Your arms and legs move together while doing a jumping-jack. This also helps you get ready for harmonic exercises in your barre workout.
We won’t go into details on the jumping jack. Everyone knows how to do one. If not, there are plenty of Youtube videos. Do jumping jacks for about 30 seconds to get your heartbeat up.
Barre workouts focus on your hips a lot. You have to get them ready for the intense stretches and movements. Hip rolls are great for this.
Here is how to do a hip roll.
- Bring your knees to your chest.
- Extend one leg and draw a circle with the bent knee.
- Follow the movement with the rest of your body.
- Repeat the warm-up with your other leg.
Although most ballet barre workouts focus on the lower body, you should not neglect to warm-up your upper body. Luckily, warming up the shoulders is very easy.
You can do so by moving your shoulders up, back, down, and forward. Basically, roll them. Do this for around 30 seconds.
You can do shoulder rolls in both seating and standing positions. The standing position helps you warm your legs a bit more, too.
A ballet barre workout routine is all about focus and harmony between all parts of the body. Breathing is the critical focus area while doing the exercises. Focus on taking deep breaths while stretching and warming-up.
Ballet Barre Stretches
Stretches are critical for ballet dancers. They help them find more balance and strength. But barre stretches are incredibly useful for normal athletes, too.
You also learn more about your muscles and their limits by doing barre stretches.
And the good news is: there are some simple ballet barre stretches that everyone can do. You don’t need to complex ballet skills to do the stretches. And with a quality portable ballet barre, you can do them almost everywhere, as well.
These are some of the easiest and most popular ballet barre stretches.
The splits is one of the most critical warm-up steps. This stretch does not make use of the barre, but it gets you ready for stretching with a ballet barre.
Get into the splits by sliding a leg forward and the other back, until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Try to keep this position for 30 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.
This stretch helps you warm-up and train your thighs and glutes. The V thigh stretch burns a considerable amount of calories, too. Follow these steps:
- Hold the barre and stand an arm’s length away from it
- Place your heels together and turn your feet outward to create a “V” shape
- Raise your heels a few inches and hold the position as long as you can
This stretch is excellent for your bones. It also helps you work on your balance. Follow the steps below:
- Stand one arm’s length away from your barre
- Hold it with both hands
- Lift one of your legs backward
- Lean forward to create a straight line with the upper body and leg
- Hold the position as long as you can; you can move the leg up and down a few inches to challenge the body more
Standing Thigh Stretch
Thighs are critical in a barre workout and you need to stretch them before working out.
Because of their big size, the thighs are big calorie burners, too, which is an added bonus. Follow these steps to do a simple standing thigh stretch:
- Hold your barre with one hand and bend the knee on the same side as than hand a little
- Lift the other leg and bend the knee completely
- Hold the foot with your free hand and keep the position for 30 seconds
- Repeat the stretch for the other leg
Ballet Barre Exercises
There are multiple ballet barre exercises you can do in a workout. Some trainers recommend combining numerous activities and creating a 30-minute routine. Combined with warm-ups and stretching, that means a 45-minute barre workout that you can do daily.
We talked about the importance of warm-up before the barre workout. There are additional important tips for while you’re doing the barre workouts. These are focused on preventing muscle damage.
One of the most important tips concerns the clothes. We highly recommend a suitable set of workout clothes for a better barre workout. We’ll talk about clothes in the last section of this article.
To prevent muscle, ligament or joint damage, try to find the optimal limit for stretches and workouts.
Expert trainers recommend stopping any work out if you feel hard pain. You should also stop immediately if you feel pain in muscles that are not targeted by the exercise you are doing.
Considering all of the above tips, and after an adequate warm-up of course, try these exercises for a 30-minute barre workout.
Bending The Knee
This exercise focuses on the lower body. This exercise works on your glutes and abs, too. The other effect of a good knee bend is an improvement in posture and balance.
The knee bend is one of the most straightforward barre exercises. Follow the steps below:
- Place your hands on the barre. Stand with your feet at a normal distance.
- Move one of your feet backwards. Perform a small lunge for about five seconds.
- Move back to the normal position.
- Try to repeat the exercise 10 to 12 times for each leg.
The squat is a fundamental exercise in many workouts. It helps you strengthen your hips and legs. In the barre workout, trainers use the “plié” position for the squat.
Follow the steps below for a barre squat. Try to repeat the exercise 30 times:
- Start the exercise with your legs about a meter apart.
- Rotate your legs and feet so they face outward.
- Move your body down into a plié position. Your knees should stay above your toes.
- With your back in a straight position, move the plié up and down one inch or so.
Glutes And Knee Lift
This is another exercise with a focus on the legs and glutes. It is an easy one for beginners, because you can do it without any equipment. Follow the steps below and repeat about 30 times for each leg.
- Stand with your feet at a normal distance. Bend the knee of your supporting leg a little and lift the other leg.
- Raise the leg in front of you, with your knee bent knee. The raised foot should be pointed toward the floor.
- Move the raised leg back, but don’t touch the floor. Continue the movement until you push the leg behind you. This will press on your glutes significantly.
It’s better to do this exercise in a fold-over position. It focuses on the upper muscles of your leg. The core muscles are challenged, too.
You need a barre to do the rainbow arc. But you can also do it by putting your hands on a wall or a table. Follow the steps below and repeat 10 to 15 times for each leg.
- Hold on to the barre and walk backward to create a 90-degree angle at the hips.
- Lift your left leg up and to the side. It should reach the level of your hips, or higher.
- Move the leg back and past the left leg to touch the floor.
- Repeat the lift and create a rainbow arc with your leg.
- After finishing the move with the right leg, switch to the left one.
Hip Plank With Leg Raise
The core muscles are critical in barre workouts. Some exercises, like the plank, focus significantly on them.
Combining a plank with leg raises helps you strengthen your glutes, too. This exercise does not actually use the barre. Follow the steps below 30 times for each leg.
- Start in a high plank with your palms on the floor and your shoulders above your wrists.
- Raise one leg up and then back down to touch the floor with your toes.
- Try to engage the abs by holding them tight while repeating the exercise for both legs.
Ballet Barre Workouts: Only For Ballerinas?
Dancing is more than just an art from. It can also be a great workout routine. And you don’t even have to be good at it!
Anyone can do a ballet barre workout routine. It’s not just something for ballerinas. All you need is a barre, which you can buy on Amazon for much less than you probably think. We recommend the Vita Vibe BD48.
A dance workout will definitely help you lose those extra pounds. And it’s one of the most fun ways to get the muscles working!
The fun factor and the combination of music with movement is a great incentive to actually get off your butt and do a workout.
Ballet barre workouts use basic techniques from ballet dances. Doing this kind of training also helps you find balance. The increased flexibility that comes from barre workouts is also a big factor in improving the shape of your body.
The muscles that a barre workout targets are primarily your legs, glutes, and core muscles. This makes sense, since these are the muscles ballet dancers need the most and thus work on the most.
Ballet dancers have fantastic bodies, because they work so much on these fundamental muscles. You can look like that too, as long as you combine your workouts with a healthy diet.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of a ballet barre workout is that you don’t need any special equipment. I can hear you saying “but what about the barre?”
As mentioned, those are not expensive at all. But you can also substitute and similar surface. Many beginners simply use a wall or a table.
Plus you don’t have to be familiar with ballet to get started with barre workouts. In fact, you don’t need any dancing skill whatsoever.
Is A Ballet Barre Beginner Friendly?
There are many different ballet barre workouts. Some of them are definitely best for professional ballet dancers. But many are suitable for anyone.
You can do all of the exercises mentioned above at home. They don’t require any special equipment or skills.
The most important tip for beginners is to know the limits of your body. This is true for any type of exercise workout or stretch.
If you push too hard when doing these workouts, you could injure your muscles, joints or bones. Don’t forget, if you’re not a professional ballerina, a barre workout is about fun, burning calories and shaping up.
There is no need to push yourself too far. Just have fun. The results will follow. Overdoing it does not lead to faster results. Instead, it usually means a setback, in the form of an injury.
In a nutshell, ballet barre workouts are beginner-friendly only if you consider the following tips:
- Don’t forget to warm-up before doing the workouts
- Wear comfortable workout clothes
- Stop working out if you feel pain in any muscles that are not the muscles you’re working on. And if those muscles hurt more than usual, stop the workout as well.
Can I Lose Weight With A Ballet Barre Workout?
The short answer is yes. Any workout routine burns calories. If combined with a healthy diet, it helps you lose weight for sure.
Ballet workouts are mostly focused on the lower body and core muscles. They’re big muscles. These big muscles burn more calories when you use them than smaller muscles. As a result, you can burn more calories in less time.
There are lots of ballet workout routines that can help you burn fat. Some of them are even high-intensity interval training (HIIT). These are much more intense, but they can help you burn significant calories, in a short 15 to 30-minute routine.
One of the most popular ballet workouts for fat burning is:
- Join the barre hop
- Tricep dips
- Plie & relieve
- Semi fold over
- Tap & curl
- Straight leg (standing position)
- Extension parallel
Ballet Workout Clothes
You may think that classical performing dresses are suitable for a ballet workout routine. But that’s wrong.
Even professional ballet dancers have unique workout clothes for training. The dancewear is only for the final performance on the stage. So, how can you find suitable exercise gear for a ballet barre workout?
Consider the following tips:
- A medium-impact garment is best for the upper body. For females, a sports bra is great.
- The clothing should not limit your movement.
- Choose a pair of leggings that are not too tight or too loose.
- Don’t wear shorts or loose clothes. They restrict your stretches.
Ballet Barre Workout: Conclusion
Ballet workouts are not only for ballet dancers. Anyone can start a ballet barre workout routine. They focus on your overall health, by helping all of the muscles get stronger.
More flexibility, better balance, and great mindfulness are additional results of ballet workouts. You can start a workout routine without special equipment or skills.
The most important things to consider are to always warm up and stretch adequately, and to know your limits and not overdo it.