It’s no surprise that Victoria’s Secret favourite Martha Hunt is a fan of hitting the barre. All those pliés and passés offer major toning and conditioning benefits, as well as a cardio hit, says Xtend Barre founder and trainer Andrea Rogers, who counts Hunt among her clients.
Since launching the full-body, dance-inspired workout in 2007, Rogers has taken it global – there are now 40 studios all up, including 22 in Oz, and more opening over the next year. So, with the 2018 VS Fashion Show having rocked NYC just weeks ago, how do Xtend Barre’s model fans step up their barre game ahead of walking the runway?
“In the lead up to a big show, we increase the intensity of training by adding things like ankle weights, dumbbells and resistance bands,” says Rogers.
Want to get in on the barre action? Hit up a class – or turn to these do-them-anywhere moves when you're at home or travelling. Over to the pro...
“At Xtend Barre we don’t squat – we plié," says Rogers. "Pliés are great for your thighs, butt and core.”
Stand behind a chair and face it with your legs together and toes pointing forward. Gently place your hands on the chair back for support. Squeeze your inner thighs together and lift your heels as high as you can off the ground. Keeping your shoulders stacked over your hips and your thighs engaged, bend your knees and lower your body straight down until your thighs form a 45-degree angle with the floor. Without dropping your heels, extend your knees to come back up to a standing position. That's 1 rep. Repeat 8-16 times for 3 sets.
Tricep dip with leg circle
“Tricep dips are fantastic for upper body toning and adding an extra lower body movement that seriously challenges your core as well – hello abs!”
With your hands and feet firmly on the ground, push yourself up from a seated position. Bend your elbows an inch to dip your body down, while lifting your right foot off the ground towards the ceiling and drawing a circle with your foot. Return your right foot to floor and straighten your arms.
“This exercise is a secret weapon for building your core strength.”
Start in a high plank position with your feet together. Draw your right knee up to your hip, knee pointing to the right, tapping right toes to left knee. Hold for 8 counts. Extend your right leg to the side, hovering toes off the floor and keeping hips and shoulders square. Hold for 8 counts, then return to starting position. That's 1 rep. Do 4 slow reps and 8 at tempo. Complete 3 sets.
Flash trick step
“Get your blood pumping and work up a sweat with this high-energy move. You only need space for a mat.”
Stand with your feet together. Crouch down to place your palms on the floor outside of your feet, then jump your feet back into a high-plank position. Immediately jump them forward between your hands, then stand and jump, hands overhead. Softly and with your feet wide, lower into a plié, arms extended out to the sides. Jump your feet together to return to starting position. This is 1 rep. Complete 4 slow and then 8-16 at tempo for 3 sets.