If you’re inspired by the toned, graceful physiques of Ballerinas, then you need to try Barre. This intense workout truly shapes and firms the body. No wonder so many celebrities and fitness experts are jumping on the Barre bandwagon! While most Barre classes are taught inside studios, many Barre exercises can be done virtually anywhere. To inspire your fitness journey, we’re excited to share the “Barre on the Beach Series” with you.
In collaboration with our friend, Natalie McDaniel (a Barre instructor in Carmel, California), Inspirations & Celebrations recently started a new 5-part fitness tutorial series. In Part 1, we learned how to sculpt and tone the arms and Part 2 taught us 5 booty-sculpting moves for a better-looking backside. Over the next few weeks, stay tuned as Natalie shares fun Barre exercises you can do at home or on the beach!
Barre on the Beach – Part 3
Because cellulite and fat often get stored in women’s lower bodies, it explains why it’s so challenging to tone the legs and thighs. Aside from wearing body-shaping spandex, if we want to improve the appearance of our legs, we’ve simply gotta put in the work by exercising. To help us get longer, leaner legs, here are 5 firming Barre exercises that sculpt, define, and tone the inner and outer thigh muscles.
NOTE: In these moves, Natalie uses a mini exercise ball. If you don’t have a ball, substitute with a towel. It’s also advisable to keep in mind that these exercises are subtle movements. To make these moves more effective, focus on working the muscles as you go through each exercise.
With your feet placed in a turned-out position, elevate your body by standing on your toes. Glue your heels tight together as you widen your knees, bringing your hands to your hips for balance. Slowly lower your body as much as possible, without allowing the heels to come unglued. Make sure to keep the shoulders stacked in line with the hips. Start to lower down an inch, and then elevate up an inch, maintaining bent knees. Repeat this pulsing movement 25 times.
Keeping your hands on your hips, bring the knees together tightly, with toes facing forward. Make sure to keep a neutral spine, while engaging your core (tighten your abs). As you lower the body down, make sure the knees remain pressed tightly together. Begin to pulse down an inch, and then up an inch. Repeat this pulsing movement 25 times.
Position a ball (or towel) in between the highest part of your inner thighs. Walk the feet close enough together, so that the ball feels like it’s being squeezed tightly between the legs. With feet facing forward, stand on the balls of your feet. Take the hands upward by positioning them straight in front of the shoulders, and clench your fists. This challenges your balance, making your muscles work harder. Bringing the body to its’ lowest possible point, start to pulse up and down an inch, while keeping a tight pressure on the ball. Repeat this 25 times.
Keep the ball in the same position in the highest part of your thighs. Bring your hands back on your hips, making sure to keep a neutral spine. Stay on the toes with the feet facing forward, with knees bent. Start to pulse and squeeze the ball in between the thighs as tightly as possible, completing 25 sets.
Bring your hands into a prayer position in the center of your chest. While keeping the ball squeezed tightly in between the thighs, come back onto your toes, with parallel feet. Maintaining the same neutral spine with straight legs, start to lift the heels up and down off the floor. You will feel this working the thigh muscles as well as the calves. Pulse up and down off the floor, never allowing the heels to touch the ground. Repeat this move 25 times.
How to follow the ‘Barre on the Beach’ Series
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For more exercise tips and tutorials from fitness experts and celebrity trainers, check out the Fitness section on Inspirations & Celebrations. Be well and stay inspired on your fitness journey!
Fitness Contributor: Natalie McDaniel