5 Barre Exercises To Get Toned Physique

Ballet barre workout is a great way to burn calories and get toned physique. (Image via Unsplash / Hamid Hamido)
Ballet barre workout is a great way to burn calories and get a toned physique. (Image via Unsplash / Hamid Hamido)

Barre workouts have recently become a popular way to get your muscles working. It’s time to run to your nearest barre for a graceful ballerina-inspired workout that will shake up your fitness routine. Barre is pronounced as bär in a French accent. These workouts have a heavy focus on legs, glutes, and core muscles, so yes, you will get great abs and a toned butt if you include them in your workout routine!

Barre workouts combine elements of pilates, dance, yoga, and functional muscle training. You can learn to do a barre workout without any previous dance experience, for it can be tailored to be as balletic as you like.

A barre workout can be fun and intense, providing mind and body exercises that will help you drop calories and tune your mind.


When choosing a barre exercise, however, it’s important to listen to your own body’s needs. You should feel your muscles shaking, but never in pain. If you feel pain at any point instead of muscle fatigue, stop exercising immediately.

From Natalie Portman to Gigi Hadid, celebrities love barre workouts and so will you! If you ever need some inspiration to start a class, take a cue from these leading ladies.

Five Best Barre Exercises To Tone Your Physique

1) Knee Bend

The Knee Bend exercise is one of the most effective and simple drills you can do to work your glutes, abs, and balance. It’s also great for improving your posture.


Here's how you can do it:

  • To perform a standing barre, place your palms lightly on a chair or barre and spread your feet about hip-distance apart.
  • Bend forward, placing one foot behind and keeping the other foot directly in front of you.
  • Slowly bend forward from the hips until your back is parallel to the floor.
  • Hold for 5 seconds, then return to a standing position by straightening your legs.
  • Repeat 12 times on each side.

2) High Fifth

High-Fifth ballet barre movement is a fun way to work your legs, glutes, core, and shoulders.


Here's how you can do it:

  • Stand in a wide leg position, holding dumbbells at your sides.
  • Do not allow your knees to bend over your toes.
  • Extend your legs and lift up onto your toes while bringing the dumbbells up overhead.
  • Your arms should be extended as you perform this exercise.
  • Pause, then return to a deep squat position.
  • Repeat 12 to 15 times.

3) Ronde De Jambe

This exercise involves all the hip muscles. Hip flexors, abductors, extensors, and outward and inward rotators must all be activated for the pattern to be completed. Since so many muscles are involved in this exercise, it's very easy for dancers to grip their legs rather than concentrate on the length.


Here's how you can do it:

  • Place your heels together and toes turned to 90 degrees.
  • Bend your knees slightly, and lift one foot off the floor.
  • Place this foot about 15 centimeters in front of you with a pointed foot.
  • Move your leg from the front of your body all the way to the back, completing a C shape.
  • Switch sides and repeat on the other leg for 15 reps total.

4) Plié Bend and Stretch

Pliés are a common exercise performed in ballet. They refer to bending movements of the knees, a bending action where your knees bend over your toes while your heels remain on the floor.

A demi-plié is a small bending, and a grand plié is a full bending where your heels come off the floor. Pliés assist dancers in many exercises, especially jumping.


Here's how you can do it:

  • Stand with your feet together, a few inches away from the barre.
  • Bend your knees slightly, with your heels lifted off the floor.
  • Imagine you're sliding down a wall and hold for 5 deep breaths.
  • Lift up onto demi pointe, imagining yourself as light as a feather.
  • Hold for 5 deep breaths.
  • Lower back down to flat-footed plié and repeat for 15 reps.

5) Standing Obliques

This exercise tones and sculpts your oblique muscles, which are the smaller muscles on your sides. Instead of letting momentum take you up while performing this move, try to let it be driven by your muscles.


Here's how you can do it:

  • Stand upright, with your feet placed hip-distance apart.
  • Make sure your shoulders, hips, and feet are all aligned.
  • Put your hands over your head.
  • Bend to the right, using only your left oblique muscle to slowly return to an upright position.
  • Repeat 20–30 times on each side.


The aforementioned workouts are good for all levels of fitness, from beginner to advanced, for those who have the long-term goal of toning their bodies as well as those who just want to work out occasionally.

There are many variations in ballet barre workouts. As you advance and start to understand your body movements and limits, you can choose from more challenging variations.

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Edited by Susrita Das