Barre Cardio Bodyweight Workout

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I get it, life is crazy busy and although you live in leggings, making time to actually sweat in them can be difficult.  Enter this barre + HIIT fusion workout that’s sure to strengthen and tone while increasing your metabolism and endurance, in 30 minutes or less.

The super-efficient HIIT exercises get your heart pumping while the barre-inspired strength exercises are incredibly effective for transforming the so-called ‘problem areas’ for women.  Meld these two training methods together and you have the perfect workout for the modern day woman.

So whether you want to squeeze in a workout during your lunch break or tone up for a fast-approaching event, this 8-exercise circuit workout has you covered.

Below are 8 exercises that require just your body weight.  Each exercise requires total body engagement with an emphasis on maintaining a tight core.  Perform each exercise for 1 minute, trying not to rest between exercises.  Once you complete all 8 exercises, take a 1 minute break and repeat the entire circuit x 3 sets [24 minutes of work + 3 minutes rest = 27 minutes total + warm up/cool down = 30 minute workout].

Barre Cardio Workout

Move One: second + first position squats + arms
Muscle Focus: glutes, quads, inner thighs, and shoulders

1.  Start at the bottom of a wide second position plié squat with heels turned in, toes pointed out, and arms extended at your sides.
2.  As you stand up, pull one leg toward your midline as you bring your arms overhead.  Focusing on squeezing the glutes while drawing the inner thighs together, engage the shoulders as you bring the arms   overhead.
3.  From this first standing position, return to the starting position in a wide second position, and then plié squat with arms extended at your sides.
4.  Alternate pulling your right and left leg toward your midline as you stand up into first position.
5.  Repeat this movement for 1 minute, keeping your chest lifted and core engaged.

Barre Cardio Moves

Move Two: jack, jack, power jack
Muscle Focus: calves, glutes, deltoids, lats

1.  Stand with your feet together and your hands down by your side.
2.  In one motion, jump your feet out to the side and raise your arms above your head.
3.  Immediately reverse that motion by jumping back to the starting position.
4.  That is one standard jumping jack.  You’ll perform 2 reps of the standard jumping jack and then add in a power jack.
5.  For the power jack, you will explosively jump up, leaving the ground.  As you jump your feet out to the side, raise your arms above your head.
6.  Repeat this jack, jack, power jack movement for 1 minute.

Barre Cardio

Move Three: second position + punches
Muscle Focus: glutes, quads, inner thighs, core, obliques, and arms

1.  Start at the bottom in a wide second position plié squat with heels turned in, toes pointed out.
2.  Maintain an isometric hold in this wide second position plié squat while punching your right and left arm across your body.
3.  Twisting through your core, and engaging your obliques with each punch.
4.  Alternate punching with your right and left arm for 1 minute while maintaining a flat back and tight core.

Barre Cardio Moves

Move Four: crisscross squats
Muscle Focus: glutes, hamstrings, and inner thighs

1.  Start at the bottom of a standard squat, feet shoulder width distance apart and chest lifted.
5.  Explode up, leaving the ground and squeezing your glutes and hamstrings while drawing your inner thighs together.  Land at the top of your squat with legs crossed.
6.  You are crossing the legs for inner thigh engagement.  Alternate crossing the right foot in front of the left foot and vice versa.
7.  Return to the starting position and repeat this movement for 1 minute.

Barre Cardio

Move Five: second position + t-raise + heel lifts
Muscle Focus: calves, glutes, quads, inner thighs, shoulders and back

1.  Start at the bottom with a wide second position plié squat.  Make sure your heels are out, your toes are pointed out, and your arms are straight down in front of your body.
2.  Maintain an isometric hold in this wide second position plié squat, while you simultaneously lift your heels off the ground, and raise your arms straight out in front of your body at shoulder height.
3.  Keep your heels raised as you extend your arms out to your sides, engaging your shoulders and squeezing your back.
4.  Then drop your heels and return to starting position.
5.  Repeat this movement for 1 minute, keeping your chest lifted and pelvic/hips tucked under your shoulders.

Barre Cardio Workout

Move Six: crisscross jacks
Muscle Focus: calves, glutes, inner thighs, chest, back, and shoulders

1.  Start in an upright, neutral position.
2.  Bring your arms straight out in front at shoulder height.
3.  In one motion, jump your feet out to the side as you extend your arms at your sides, at shoulder height.
4.  Immediately reverse that motion by jumping your feet together, landing with your legs crossed, as well as your arms crossed straight out in front of your body.
5.  You are crossing your legs for inner thigh engagement, and your arms for chest engagement.  Alternate crossing the right foot/arm and left foot/arm with each rep.
6.  Repeat this movement for 1 minute.

Barre Cardio

Move Seven: second position + back fly
Muscle Focus: glutes, hamstring, quads, inner thighs, back, and shoulders

1.  Start at the bottom with a wide second position plié squat.  Make sure your heels are turned in, your toes are pointed out, and your arms are extended straight out in front of you at shoulder height.
2.  As you stand up, squeeze your glutes and hamstrings while bending your arms at the elbows.  Draw your elbows straight back, engaging your back muscles for a back fly.
3.  Don’t stand all the way up because you want to keep the legs engaged throughout the entire movement.
4.  Return to starting position and repeat this movement for 1 minute, keeping your chest lifted and core engaged.

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Barre Cardio Workout

Move Eight: speed skaters
Muscle Focus: glutes, hamstring, quads, hip flexors, and core

1.  Start in an athletic standing position.  Then explode off your left leg, jumping laterally to the right. Land on your right leg while sweeping your left leg behind you, and bring your left arm across your body.
2.  Once firmly planted on your right leg, push off and jump laterally to your left, landing on your left foot, sweeping your right leg behind you, and your right arm across your body.
3.  Continue alternating this side-to-side lateral bound for 1 minute, staying low in the legs while keeping your chest lifted and core engaged.

Barre Cardio Bodyweight Workout Summary

Perform each exercise for 1 minute, trying not to rest between exercises.  Once you complete all 8 exercises, take a 1-minute break and repeat the entire circuit x 3 sets.

Move One: second + first position squats + arms
Move Two: jack, jack, power jack
Move Three: second position + punches
Move Four: crisscross squats
Move Five: second position + t-raise + heel lifts
Move Six: crisscross jacks
Move Seven: second position + back fly
Move Eight: speed skaters

With benefits like leaner legs, lifted glutes, stronger core, increased metabolism and endurance, why not give this barre cardio workout a try.

Lindsey Bomgren is a veggie-loving group fitness and barre instructor, personal trainer, blogger, and founder of Nourish Move Love— where she shares all her tips and tricks on how to stay healthy and fit.

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1 comments
Francy Marcotte
Francy Marcotte

From a lifelong dancer who constantly had to justify it throughout adolescence, thank you for using ballet terms such as second position in this workout.