Is HIIT + Barre The Fitness Combo That Will Take Your Body To The Next Level?

Is HIIT + Barre The Fitness Combo That Will Take Your Body To The Next Level? Hero Image
Photo: @brittanybendallfitness

Barre workouts are popular for a reason. Those small, ballet-inspired movements make you a lot stronger. The problem? You don't get any cardio in doing barre, which isn't great for your overall health.

The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate cardiovascular activity, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous cardiovascular activity. So what’s a barre lover to do? Try HIIT barre, which combines the toning benefits of barre workouts with the cardio benefits of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for one explosive workout. This quick routine will strengthen your entire body while getting your heart rate up. For these workouts, use a kitchen chair, countertop, back of a bed, or any other waist-high surface to act as your ballet barre. Have a mat or large towel handy for the arm and ab exercises. You’ll also need a watch, stopwatch, or your phone nearby to time your moves.

Combination 1

These three moves are designed to target the inner and outer thighs, quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and core. Repeat each move for one minute.

Move 1: Second plié curtsy.

Start in a wide second-position plié with your toes and knees turned out and knees bent. Step your right foot behind your left shoulder, keeping your knees and toes turned out. Stay bent in the knees and keep your heel lifted. Step your right foot back to second position. Repeat with the left leg, stepping behind the right shoulder. Continue alternating sides, keeping the knees bent the entire time. To modify this, don't bend the knees quite so much.

Move 2: Plié curtsy relevé.

Start in a wide second position plié with your toes and knees turned out and your knees bent. Step your right foot behind your left shoulder, keeping your knees and toes turned out and staying bent in the knees and keeping the heel lifted. As you extend back to second position, rise up onto your toes for a relevé (heels lifted). As you alternate sides, drop your heels down into a curtsy and then rise into relevé in second position. To modify this, don't lift up on the toes. Instead, when you step into your curtsy, tap the same hand as back leg to the floor.

Move 3: Plié curtsy jump.

Start in a wide second-position plié with knees and toes turned out and knees bent. Jump your right foot behind your left shoulder, making sure to keep your knees and toes turned out and staying bent in the knees. Instead of rising up onto relevé in second position, add a jump so you're transitioning from a curtsy back to second position plié. Then jump into a curtsy on the other side. Continue alternating sides. To modify, tap the same hand and back leg to the floor and do not jump.

Combination 2

These moves are designed to target the thighs, glutes, and calves. Repeat each move for one minute. Use a waist-high surface to act as your ballet barre for these exercises.

Move 1: First position relevés.

Start in first position with your heels together and your toes 2 inches apart. As you straighten your legs, lift your heels off the ground, rising up onto your toes. Lower your heels down to the floor, keeping your legs straight. Repeat.

Move 2: First-position jumps.

Start in first position with your heels together and your toes 2 inches apart. Bend your knees, keeping your heels on the floor. As you straighten your legs, push off the ground and jump into the air, pointing your toes. As you lower back down to the ground, bend your knees, keeping your heels on the floor. Continue jumping up and landing with your knees bent. To modify this, continue with first-position plié relevés, omitting the jump.

Combination 3

These moves are designed to target the entire body, specifically the triceps, the core, shoulders, and arms. Repeat each move for one minute. Use a mat or large towel for comfort for these exercises.

Move 1: Plank leg lifts.

Start in a plank position with your hands under your shoulders and your toes tucked with knees off the floor. Lift your right leg off the floor, pointing your toe and keeping your leg straight. Place your right foot down and repeat with your left foot. Continue alternating feet. Modify: Perform plank leg lifts on your knees alternating lifting one leg off the floor then the other.

Move 2: Triceps can-can.

Start in the triceps dip position. Lift your right leg off the ground with your knee bent in a tabletop position. As you bend your elbows, kick your right leg up to the sky straightening your leg. Straighten your elbows and then bend them again while bending the knee back to a tabletop position.

Continue with the right leg for 30 seconds, kicking and bending the leg as you bend the elbows. Then switch legs and repeat for another 30 seconds. To modify this, do a regular triceps dip, keeping both feet flat on the mat and bending the elbows and straightening them.

Move 3: Jogging mountain climbers.

Start in a plank position. Lift your right foot off the floor and draw your knee in toward the nose and then immediately switch and do the same with the left leg. Continue switching between legs at a fast pace so that you are jogging the feet. To modify this, perform walking mountain climbers by taking the jog out between switching feet and walk the feet instead.


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