4 Barre Exercises You Can Do From Home

Article by Ashley Barrett Kanoff

Photography by Ashley Barrett Kanoff & Devon Sajeski

Originally published in Newtown City Lifestyle

Barre3 is full-body workout that combines strength-training, cardio, and mindfulness that leaves you feeling balanced in body and empowered from within. Located in the Village at Newtown, the barre3 Newtown studio was opened in 2013 by Lauren Ziel after discovering barre3 online classes. Lauren fell in love with the low-impact movement that delivered a deep muscle burn and an endorphin high. It’s a workout that leaves you feeling strong, balanced, and ready to tackle the other 23 hours in your day with focus and energy.

One of the best aspects of the workout is that anybody can do it! Each posture, each movement, is designed to be edited to fit your body to find a deeper mind-body connection. You’re in control and creating the power in your body to find the best version of you. 

The following barre exercises can be done from anywhere and without any props if you choose. If you happen to love these exercises and would like to try a class to continue to sculpt and shape your muscles at the Newtown barre3, just mention this article for a free trial. 

Call 215.860.1625 to schedule or you can also register for a class through the MINDBODY app. 


barre3 Newtown, 2875 S Eagle Rd, Newtown, PA 18940

Sumo Squat (to warm up the body)

Step feet out wider than hip width and turn out the toes slightly. Bend your knees and sit you seat down behind you like you’re sitting in a chair with your hands in prayer. Your weight is in your heels, toes light. The knees are stacked over the ankles. Your spine is on the incline, shoulders released down the back, abs pulling in around your spine, tailbone reaching long.

Action: Push into the heels, engaging the back body, and rise tall. Being careful not to lock the knees or thrust your hips forward at the top. Stand tall through the spine as you push your palms back. Then repeat, sitting back into the squat. Do this large range motion for 2-3 minutes to get your body warm for deeper muscle work.

Benefit: Warm the body to prepare for more load and resistance and prevent injury.

Power Leg (targeting the legs, primary burn in the quadriceps)

Stand tall with your feet parallel, hip width distance (directly below your frontal hip points, not the outer hips). Lift your heels, bend your knees and slide you back straight down an imaginary wall behind you. Hold low here. Press into the toes, stabilize your heels and ankles. The knees are forward over the toes and the hips line up over the heels. Engage your core and stack the shoulders over the hips with a long, upright spine. This is a balance challenge, so feel free to use a counter or chair for additional stability. 

Action: In a small range of motion, just 1 inch, bend your knees and slide your back straight down and then lift back up only that same small 1 inch. Repeat this 1 inch move for 2-3 minutes. For any discomfort in the knees or low back, consider hinging the chest slightly forward.

Benefit: Build strength in the legs, specifically the quads for better movement. Find stability in the ankles, knees, and hips. Increase balance and find better posture.

Plank (weight bearing posture targeting core and upper body)

Place palms at shoulder width distance on the floor or on a counter/chair and extend the legs back, feet in parallel, hip width distance. Elbows are soft, not locked, and slightly rotated inward. Shoulders are wide and down the back. Spine is long with heart lifting towards the ceiling, ribs and abs pulling inward. Tailbone reaches long, hips are level. Lift and lengthen the legs and press through your toes. 

Action: Continue to press the palms and the right toes into the floor then bend your left knee and pull in towards the chest. The key is to keep the shoulders and hips level and stable while moving the knee. Move slowly and feel the load of the lifted knee in your core. Return the left toes to the floor and repeat with the right knee. Remain steady through your core as you move the legs. Imagine balancing a tray of drinks on your back while the legs move one at a time. Repeat for 1 minute.

Benefit: Build strength in the core, all around the spine. Train your body tall and long to have good posture, a healthy spine, and a strong center.

Bridge Lift (targeting back body: glutes, hamstrings, and core)

Sit with your knees bent in front of you, feet hip width distance on the floor. Roll down onto your back, then slide your hips closer to your heels so the knees track directly over the ankles. Adjust for comfort in the knees as needed. Press into the feet and lift your hips up. Your feet are heavy in the floor, knees over the ankles, hips are level and lifted. The base of your shoulder blades stay anchored on the floor, plug the shoulders down as well, There’s a tunnel of air under your neck.

Action: Keep your spine long and hips level, as you lower your hips down to a hover above the floor. Then push from your heels and lift the hips back up without lifting the shoulder blades or arching your back. Feel the lift through your hamstrings and into your glutes. Repeat for 2-4 minutes. Option: For a deeper connection, hold the hips up and stabilize. Then lift one knee up to table top without shifting your hips or moving your spine. Feel the action move up into the ab wall, all around the spine. Slowly place the foot down and repeat with the other leg into a march. Keep this slow for 30 seconds - 1 minute. 

Benefit: Strengthen the back body and build balance in the body, front to back. Strong glutes protect the low back and the knees and are powerhouse muscles that keep the hips healthy and strong. 

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