Barre Basics - get to grips with these key Barre moves

Updated: Mar 23

Barre is a unique form of fitness because you can work at a high intensity in a really safe way - key to this is making sure you are always in the correct form before beginning any movements.

These short videos will take you through the important things to remember when working through these movements in class.


Neutral Spine

Finding your neutral spine is fundamental to every position we do in each of our classes. Your spine being in 'neutral' means your core is braced correctly and your lower back is protected. This is one to think about both in and out of your classes so it becomes a natural habit for you.


Neutral Spine (All 4's)

Exactly the same as your standing neutral spine, when you're on all 4's it's fundamental to make sure your back is in the correct alignment before you begin any movement.


Wide 2nd Position Pliés

This is a position that we come to a lot during our classes. Taken from the world of ballet, your 2nd position is a wide stance in which the legs are turned out - a rotation that comes from your hips rather than your knees. Your feet should be pointing towards the diagonal corners of the room (around 10 to 2 on a clock). Your plié starts with a bend through knees which should press wide over the line of the ankles and track towards your second toes. Your shoulders should stay back over the line of your hips so your back is in a straight line as your press down through the plié. Keep your tailbone tucked under and heading straight for the floor as opposed to letting the tailbone and bum come slightly back behind you, putting pressure on your lower back. This one is definitely worth practising until you're confident you've got the technique right


Single Standing Leg Work at the Barre (Front-Facing)

The foundations of this position come from your neutral spine technique so it's important to be confident with that before starting any movement. Ensure you start off with your spine in neutral, your feet parallel, a soft bend through the supporting knee, shoulders relaxed down away from your ears and chin lifted away from your chest. When you begin to move one leg you want to ensure the spine stays still and you don't start to arch or curve through the back. Keep both hips level at all times to ensure your pelvis stays stable.


Single Standing Leg Work at the Barre (Side-Facing)

Starting from your front facing single standing leg work, we keep the back leg lifted, open the hips up to the front and pivot to face forwards on the standing leg. Your hips should come stacked on top of each other meaning the bottom hip can sit back behind the top. Tuck the tailbone under and make your bum isn't coming back out behind you. Your supporting leg should still be turned out with the toes tracking in the direction of your chair/barre.


Lunges

Love them or hate them, lunges strengthen your back, hips, and legs, while improving mobility and stability. It can be really easy to get the alignment slightly wrong here which will put unnecessary pressure through your knee. Start off with one foot in front of the other and a slight space between both legs. Send your weight straight through the centre of your lunge and think about your back knee heading for the floor. When you're in the lowest part of your lunge you should have a straight line from your shoulder, to your hip to your back knee. Your front knee should be in line with your ankle and not pressing in front of the ankle. Keep your tailbone tucked, lower back lengthened and core engaged.


Plank Effectively working out your core can improve stability, reduce injury, and maintain mobility. Planks don’t just work your core: They work your entire body. Planks require your arms, your legs, and all of your abs, making them an all-encompassing workout and a more efficient way to exercise. It's really important to get the technique right so you can build strength in a safe way.


Side-lying Hip Abductor & Glute Activation

A sequence that we use regularly in our floor-barre section (a glutes focused sequence that comes at the end of the class) is this side lying glute and hip abductor activation. Propping yourself up on your forearm, there is a bend through the knees and your hips are stacked on top of each other. Your back should be in your neutral spine position and your core should be braced. Try and avoid sinking into the supporting shoulder by lifting up and out of your forearm and reaching through the crown of the head to the ceiling.


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