You are here

The 15-Minute Barre Workout for Strong and Sculpted Legs

  • Bethany Rogers

    How It Works

    Warm weather has arrived, which means it's time for shorts, sundresses, and swimsuits—all things that show off your legs. Head to the barre to make sure those gams are summer-ready and strong. Sure, you could hit the weight room and bust out some squats, deadlifts, and calf raises—those all work, but Suzanne Bowen, creator of BarreAmped and the new DVD BarreAmped Fire: Extreme Sculpt Legs Workout says these barre moves work just as well. Need any more convincing? You don't need any equipment, and the entire workout takes just 15 minutes. "You can use just your bodyweight to develop strength and muscle definition equally in the quads and hamstrings with these barre exercises," says Bowen. "Your butt and calves will get a lift, too, and you'll feel so strong you won't be able to help wanting to show them off."

    Ready? All you'll need is something stable to hold onto, a timer, and a mirror to keep an eye on your form. Start with a simple warm-up—Bowen suggests jogging for five minutes or doing dynamic stretches (think jumping jacks, high knees, butt kicks, and walking lunges). Then move on to the following barre exercises, which build on each other so you'll easily flow from one move to the next. Once you've gone through the entire workout, go back to the third move (Split Lunge), switch legs, and repeat, moving through the remainder of the workout.

  • Bethany Rogers

    High V Position

    Targets: quads, calves

    1. Holding onto a support, bring heels together and turn thighs and feet out so you form a narrow "V" shape.
    2. Lift heels off the floor, making sure that they remain connected. (Don't let them come apart.)
    3. Keep shoulders over hips, and hips over heels to form a neutral spine. Bend your knees low enough so that your quads engage and maybe even begin to shake. (This is normal!)
    4. Pulse up and down for 90 seconds.
  • Bethany Rogers


    Targets: quads, calves, lower back, abs

    1. From High V, shift hips forward and lean your chest back, keeping a straight line from head to hips. Your weight should be distributed over the balls of your feet and heels stay lifted and glued together.
    2. Pulse up and down for 90 seconds.

    Make it easier: Continue to work in High V position for another 90 seconds, until you build enough strength to perform Waterski with power.

    Make it harder: Pulse in a bigger range of motion for 60 seconds, then remain very low for the remaining 30, pulsing in tiny movements up and down.

  • Bethany Rogers

    Split Lunge

    Targets: quads, calves

    1. With your right hand lightly on the barre (or another support object), step right leg forward and left leg back. Keeping shoulders over hips, bend both knees into a 90-degree lunge.
    2. Raise right heel up. Pulse up and down in small movements for 90 seconds.

    Make it easier: Drop your right heel (Bonus: Doing the movement this way works your glutes, too.)

    Make it harder: Pulse in a large range of motion for 60 seconds, then stay low and pulse in tiny movements for the remaining 30 seconds.

  • Bethany Rogers

    Lunge Over Lift In Parallel

    Targets: butt

    1. From Split Lunge, hinge forward at the hips over right leg keeping a small bend in the standing knee and body weight over your heel.
    2. Square your hips and extend the left leg straight back, forming a straight line from head to toe.
    3. Keep torso still, squeeze the glutes and pulse your left leg up for 90 seconds.
  • Bethany Rogers

    Lunge Over Pretzel

    Targets: butt, hamstrings

    1. From Lunge Over Lift, bend left knee and rotate your leg out to the side so knee points out and heel points in.
    2. Pulse left leg up for 90 seconds.

    Make it harder: To engage the hamstrings even more, pull your heel in tight toward your butt,

  • Bethany Rogers

    Lunge Over Pretzel On Relevé

    Targets: butt, hamstrings, calves

    1. From Lunge Over Pretzel, raise right heel (lean weight more in the right big and second toes rather than the pinky toe to keep your ankle properly aligned). Keep left leg bent and core tight.
    2. Pulse right standing leg (heel still lifted) for 60 seconds. For the last 30 seconds, pulse left leg up and down.

    Make it harder: Pulse right and left leg up at the same time for 90 seconds.


Samantha Lefave

Samantha is a writer who is living, eating and sweating her way through NYC. You can find her running half-marathons like it's her job, Instagramming her favorite food and fitness finds or, let's be honest, eating peanut butter straight from the jar.

 More →
More from Samantha
  • 10 Plyometric Leg Exercises You Need for More Power
  • 6 Things to Know About Exercising on Your Period
  • How to Clean Your Headphones