Barre workouts can be an amazing, super-challenging, and addictive way to tone up. But as great as they can be for forming a round booty and sculpted arms, they can sometimes miss the mark when it comes to range of motion. You're targeting small muscles with those micro-movements sometimes referred to during class as "down an inch, up an inch" or "little pulses," but solely focusing on these kinds of intrinsic, tiny moves could be limiting your gains. Don't get me wrong—I use these moves in my method, BarreAmped, but I don't get stuck on these moves alone. They aren't the only way to perform barre exercises.
Although targeting these tiny movements is a great way for beginners to get comfortable with the form, a good barre technique should include bigger ranges of motion, cardio, and aligned stretching as well, so that the body doesn't adapt and then stop changing or getting stronger. This is where my BarreAmped boot camp routine comes in. You can add this workout to any regular barre training (or any resistance training, such as Pilates or yoga) that you feel needs some extra juice. It's an interval-based cardio and strength routine that is designed to allow your heart rate to go up and down, so you can really ignite that metabolism and help you achieve faster and better results. All you need is a stopwatch and a mat. Please make sure you are warm before you begin.
Wide Second Position Plié with Twist
Stand with legs wide and turned out at the hips. Knees should be above heels or mid-foot, and toes should be tracking along with the knee rotation. Bring hands to your heart, stand and twist right knee to left elbow. Move back into the plié before twisting to the left. Repeat this at your own pace for 1 minute.
Works: Quads, inner thighs, core + HR boost
Stand with legs in a military squat position. Bring hands to your heart and keep back straight. Lift up into a controlled jump with arms swinging back. Land softly, making sure not to lock knees on landing. Repeat this at your own pace for 1 minute.
Works: Quads, glutes, calves + HR boost
Fold-Over Tabletop with Weight
Come to all fours (quadruped position) with hands directly under shoulders and knees directly under hips. Place a dumbbell behind right knee, keeping it bent. (I suggest between 2 and 5 pounds). Pulse leg up toward ceiling without letting your back move. Perform on right side for 1 minute, then change sides and repeat.
Works: Glutes, hamstrings, and lower back + slows down HR
Bring hands below shoulders and knees back but still on the ground, then lift feet to begin in a modified push-up position. Keep spine neutral and head lifted. Inhale. Bend elbows back and on a slight diagonal to target the triceps as well as the chest. Exhale and press back up. Repeat at your own pace for 1 minute. Tip: If your lower back sags, opt for a smaller range of motion and just bend at the elbows without bringing chest down to the floor.
Works: Chest, triceps, and core, including your diaphragm + steadily increases HR. Heart rate will begin increasing steadily.
From a straight-arm plank position with hands directly under shoulders, legs straight and resting on the balls of your feet, bring right knee to right shoulder. Switch between right and left knees back and forth as quickly as you can without losing proper form. Repeat for one minute. Tip: The faster you go the bigger the HR boost, but never sacrifice form for speed.
Works: Shoulders, chest, abs, hip flexors, and quads + increases HR
You can complete this boot camp barre interval workout up to three times through. These quick, effective, super-charged moves will leave you shaking because you shook things up in your fitness routine. Prepare to see news changes in your body, too.