Signature moves of a barre addict - Juice Daily

Signature moves of a barre addict

If you’re going to be addicted to something you might as well make it barre. The dynamic fusion of Pilates and ballet is designed to sculpt your booty and tone your core. Donna Adams, founder and owner of The Barre Studio, outlines the signature moves of a barre addict. Try them at home or workout with Donna on Bodypass and get the dancers body you’ve always wanted.

1. Butt lift

How: Make a pillow for your forehead by your placing your hands and forearms on top of one another. Lay your head on your hands and relax onto the barre (or a chair). Start with both legs parallel and your knees slightly bent. Keep your knees bent, as one foot lifts off the floor, heel to bum. Lift the working leg from your hip keeping both knees bent and aiming your toes towards the sky. Keep your abs tight and back flat/straight. Lower the leg with resistance to the starting position, then repeat.

Muscle Focus: Glutes and hamstrings.

Reps: 20 each side.

Tip: Keep your weight in the heel of your supporting leg and your hips square.


1. Butt lift. Photo: @thebarrestudio

2. Barre push-up

How: Step half a metre away from the barre with your legs together. Place your hands shoulder width apart on the barre. Lift your heels high, squeeze your booty and drop your hips until there is a straight line from your heels to the crown of your head (think diagonal plank). Bend elbows outwards and lower chest to the barre taking your whole body with you (don’t leave your booty behind). Squeeze your elbows together and push back to the starting position.

Muscle Focus: Shoulders, chest, arms and core.

Reps: 15.

Tip: Essentially, these are assisted push-ups which allows for a full range of motion without losing form. Keep your core braced and if you want to make it more challenging, move your feet further away from the barre.

2. Barre push-up. Photo: @thebarrestudio

3. Barre bridge/happy hips

How: Lay on your back with your hands by your sides, knees bent, balls of the feet on a low barre (or bench). Ensure your bottom is close to the barre and squeeze your ankles and knees together. Lift your hips as high as you can, tilt your pubic bone towards your nose and activate your abdominals. Lower the hips halfway down and then lift back up.


3. Barre bridge/happy hips. Photo: @thebarrestudio

Advanced option: Lengthen one leg towards the sky and point your toes. Pulse your hips up and down while keeping your hips square.

Muscle Focus: Glutes and hamstrings.

Reps: 20 or 10 each leg for the advanced option.

Tip: Keep the feeling of your heels drawing towards your bottom, it will connect more muscle fibres in the backs of your legs.

3. Barre bridge/happy hips, advanced option. Photo: @thebarrestudio

4. Side arabesque/waist chiseller

How: Facing side on to the barre (or kitchen bench) take a big step away, pitch over and rest your forearm on the barre. Lift the outside leg to where your flexibility will allow while reaching your arm out to the side of your hip, fingers stretching towards your foot. Lift your leg up an inch and then lower an inch. Repeat.

Muscle Focus: Quads, hamstrings, glutes, lats and obliques.

Reps: 20 pulses then 10 second hold with leg extended (on each side).

Tip: Press into the barre for resistance and keep your gaze in front of you rather than looking at your leg. This will force the obliques into exactly the right position to feel the burn.


4. Side arabesque/waist chiseller. Photo: @thebarrestudio

5. Plié lifts/ballerina legs

How: Facing side on to the barre, place one hand on the barre and the other out to the side (second position). Keeping you heels together, open your toes out to a small “V”. Lift heels off the ground and adjust feet so that your heels touch. Bend the knees into a plié, keeping them in line with your middle toes.

5. Plié lifts/ballerina legs, Part 1. Photo: @thebarrestudio

5. Plié lifts/ballerina legs, Part 1. Photo: @thebarrestudio

Straighten the leg closest to the barre as you bend the opposite leg by drawing the toes up the inside and resting them on the supporting knee. Lift your outside arm above your head into a fifth position. Lower your leg back down into the plié position as you bring your heels together.


5. Plié lifts/ballerina legs, Part 2. Photo: @thebarrestudio

For an extra challenge after you have finished stay in the one legged position and try to balance with both hands off the barre.

Muscle Focus: Inner and outer thighs, glutes and quads.

Reps: 15 both sides. Hold at the end for 10 seconds.

Tip: Try to imagine your back is sliding up and down against a wall the whole time. This will improve your posture (keeping your back straight) as well as challenge your core.

6. Parallel pliés/shapely thighs

How: Face side on to the barre and place one hand on the barre and the other hand out to the side into second position. Bring the legs together with your big toes, ankles and knees all touching. Bend the knees keeping the spine in a neutral position. Lift and lower the heels and repeat 10 times. Now keep your heels lifted and pulse your hips up and down, keeping your spine and pelvis in a neutral position. Repeat 15 times.

Muscle Focus: Inner thighs, quads, ankle stability.

Reps: 10 heel lifts 15 pulses.

Tip: Imagine you have two winning lottery tickets between your ankles and knees the whole time. Don’t let those babies go!

Parallel pliés/shapely thighs

6. Parallel pliés/shapely thighs. Photo: @thebarrestudio

7. Parallel arabesque/booty burn

How: Hinge forward from the hips with your arms extended until your palms rest on the barre. Bring your heels inline with your knees and hips. With legs parallel, slightly bend your knees and ensure your upper body remains square to the floor. Keep the supporting leg bent and extend your working leg behind you keeping it straight and pointing the toes. Brace your abdominals as you lift your leg to hip height and lower back down.

Muscle Focus: Glutes, hamstrings, core and shoulders.

Reps: 10 lift and lowers, 15 pulses each side.

Tip: Keep abs engaged and arms straight.

7. Parallel arabesque/booty burn

7. Parallel arabesque/booty burn. Photo: @thebarrestudio

Donna Adams

About the person who wrote this

Donna Adams

Donna is a qualified Pilates and barre instructor and the founder of The Barre Studio. She was introduced to barre after the birth of her first child and was instantly hooked. Her classes are fun, fierce and friendly and she is passionate about helping others achieve a healthy, active lifestyle.

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