You don't need to be a dancer to benefit from working out with a ballet barre. Barre workouts usually rely on the resistance of gravity and your own body weight to strengthen and stretch your body from head to toe. Using a resistance band with the ballet barre can add variety to your workout and help you improve your strength and flexibility.
Use your resistance band to exercise the muscles in your legs, including your quadriceps and hamstrings. Attach one end of your band around your right foot and loop the center of the band around your left shoulder so you can hold the other end of the band with your left hand. Hold the barre with your left hand, keeping the hand of the band secured beneath your palm. Stand with your legs externally rotated so your toes are turned out. Draw your right foot up the side of your leg. Keep your hips still to feel the stretch in your inner thigh. Work the muscles around your iliotibial band by extending your leg straight in front of you and then lowering it to the floor. Make sure to repeat each exercise on both legs.
Upper Body Exercises
Sculpt the muscles in your arms, chest and back with the help of your resistance band. For a basic biceps and back workout, attach one end of your band to the ballet barre. Face the barre and grab the loose end of the band in one hand with your arm extended straight out at shoulder height. Back away from the barre until the band is almost taught. Bend your elbow into the side of your body as you pull the band toward you without moving your torso. Try this with two bands to work both arms simultaneously or turn and face away from the barre to target your triceps.
For toned abs and obliques, loop one end of your resistance band around the barre. Hold the other end with both hands and stand with your right shoulder toward the barre and step a few feet to the left so that your band feels taught. Pull the band across your body as you bend toward your left foot. Return to your starting position. Modify this exercise to target your external obliques by holding the end of the band with just one hand and bending sideways away from the barre. Be sure to repeat these movements for both sides of the body.
Resistance bands make great tools for stretching. Try a basic hamstring stretch with your band by looping the center of the band around your right foot and holding the ends in your right hand. Stand beside the barre and hold it with your left hand as you lift the right leg in front of you. Feel a stretch in your abductors by moving your leg to the side. To stretch the back and hip flexors, extend your leg behind you as you hold the band in front of your shoulder.
Get your heart pumping by using your resistance band for jumps at the barre. Attach the ends of your band to each foot and bring the center of the band to your shoulders. Loop each arm underneath the band so that it rests on your shoulders. Hold the barre with both hands and stand with your legs externally rotated in a ballet "first position." Bend your knees and then straighten them as you jump off the floor, pushing against the resistance of your band. You can also jump with your legs apart or on one foot at a time. Keep your jumps small when beginning this kind of workout, gradually increasing the height of your jumps as you build strength.
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