Crunches are classic, but they are quick to bore (and strain the neck and back). Spice up your ab workout routine with these three barre exercises you can do at home.
Muffin Top Melter
Kate Albarelli, a former professional ballet dancer, created the Figure 4 method by incorporating techniques from classical and contemporary ballet, yoga, pilates, and The Lotte Berk method. Follow these steps to perform her signature move, the Muffin Top Melter. The results are self-explanatory, right?
- Place both hands on the barre, then back up until you are hinged forward and in a push up position. Maintain a soft bend in the knees.
- Raise your right leg up behind you while keeping your left knee bent. Bend your right leg in half, then turn the right knee out (kind of like a male dog does his business), keeping it behind you.
- Raise your right arm, make a fist and bend the elbow. Now, lift your right hip up (keeping knee bent) and tap your elbow to your right glute. Look backwards to your right side as you perform the motion.
- Return to the original position and repeat twenty times, never dropping the leg.
- Feeling strong? Perform twenty more mini-taps.
- Repeat on the left side.
Grand Plié Side Crunch
Another oblique crusher, this move incorporates the classic ballet plié, which engages your thighs along with your torso.
- Place your right hand on the barre, standing with your feet wider than your hips, knees and toes turned out about 45 degrees (without straining your joints).
- Bend your knees to lower into a deep plié. Knees should bend over your toes (but not past) as your left arm extends overhead.
- Lean your torso slightly in toward the barre.
- Extend legs back up, shifting weight towards your right foot.
- Bend your left knee and elbow, trying to tap your elbow to your left thigh.
- Step back into plié position and repeat the movement. Try for two to three sets of 24 reps.
- Don’t forget to work your other side!
Plié in Relevé
You don’t need to be a ballerina for this move either, but you’ll look like one as you rise and dip on your tippy toes.
- Place your left hand on the barre, right hand on your hip. Feet should be hip-width apart and parallel.
- Rise up on your toes, then bend your knees, sinking your seat towards the ground. You should have a heavy tailbone, which means your abs are engaged and your hips are underneath your shoulders.
- Pulse down an inch, then up an inch, down an inch, up an inch. Repeat.
- Try knocking your knees together, then open, knock together, then open. Repeat.
- Keep your abs tight through all the motions.
After doing these exercises for a few weeks, your center will be radiating with strength (but not enough strength to break a Boss Ballet Barre, the strongest portable ballet barre on the market). Contact us for help deciding which barre is the perfect match for your workout needs.
Bonus: three more barre exercises for tighter abs!