Barre classes continue to grow in popularity for group fitness. They are similar to Pilates and Yoga being they are high-intensity with low impact on the body and a favorite of women over 40. At Hang 5 Fitness in Chicago, they offer a combination class with barre moves alternated with surf balancing moves to get more core training alongside the posture and leg work done in traditional barre classes.
But if you can't make it to class, try a few of these moves at home with a solid chair or barstool.
Leg Swings Front - Standing one hand on the chair swing your leg front to back opening the front of the thigh and hamstring. This is a great exercise for anyone who is a runner, sits many hours in a day or has low back pain. Swing front to back for 10-12 repetitions and repeat on the other side.
Leg Swings Across - Standing one hand on the chair swing your leg across the body keeping foot pointed up towards the ceiling. This dynamic stretch opens the IT band ( iliotibia band) which tichtens and puts pressure on the lower back. Thus this is another great exercise for anyone who is a runner, sits many hours in a day or has low back pain. Swing side to side for 10-12 repetitions and repeat on the other side.
Jete - A “jete is a straight leg kick. Perform 8 kicks straight ahead, 8 kicks to the front corner, then rear corner and straight behind. Be sure to have one hand onto the base to remain standing tall, with abs pulled in and chest lifted.
Demi Side Kick. With a slight lean onto the base lift leg to the side. Holding leg parallel to the side bring knee to chest and contract abs, then extend leg to the side. This pulled in knee and kick should be performed with a long stretch at the kicking portion and perofrmed 12-15 times then repeated on the other side.