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Get a Booming Body with Barre

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Suzanne Bowen

Barre workouts have become a bit of a craze. They are pretty intense because they encompass some of the move used by ballerinas. Who could blame those who participate because the legs of a dancer are something to be desired.
Here celeb trainer Suzanne Bowen, creator of Suzanne Bowen Fitness has designed a program that you can challenge yourself with in the privacy of your own living room. This lower body focused workout incorporates interval cardio and strength moves while working more than just the legs.

Side Lunge Knee Up
Step legs out wide with feet facing forward. Bend right knee and sit back in the hips while keeping your chest up. Reach arms toward right toes. Swiftly stand toward left leg as you bring right knee up and arms out to the side. Return and repeat for one minute then switch sides.
Beginner: To maintain balance step or tap toward the standing leg without the knee lift.
Advanced: Add a hop at the top!

One Leg Squat Jump
Hinge body forward as you sit back in hips. Left back heel up and bring back arm forward. Swiftly and lightly jump up as you switch arms for momentum and balance. Repeat for one minute and then switch sides.
Beginner: Use a chair for balance and slow the move down. Also make the jump smaller.
Advanced: Slow the move down, jump higher, and land more deeply.

Warrior Leg Lift
With left leg soft or slightly bent, hinge body over left leg with right leg going back as if you were flying. With right leg going back and arms reaching ahead. Inhale. On exhale, pull back leg through bringing it out ahead of hips with arms reaching out to side for balance. Repeat for one minute and change sides.
Beginner: Use a chair for balance.
Advanced: At the end of the minute, pulse standing leg in the hinged (warrior) position 10 times then hold for an additional 10 seconds. Repeat on other side.

Wide Second Knee Bend
Turn legs out and step out widely making sure knees and feet are in the same line. Keeping spine neutral, bring hands to prayer position. Inhale and lower upper body over to the left; exhale as you come to center. Move to the right on inhale and exhale back to the center. Repeat for one minute.
Beginner: Work up a bit higher and straighten arms out to sides in line with shoulders for balance. Yes your legs will be burning here.
Advanced: Pulse microscopically up in the center but make sure the move is barely visible to fire up the legs more.

Extended Leg Down Dog Up Dog
Create a V shape with your hands a little wider than shoulders and sit hips back. Take front leg up. Inhale and shift whole body forward slowly into a lifted thigh Up Dog with back extended, lift pelvic floor and abs and press strongly back to Down Dog with leg up. Repeat this for one minute, rest, and change sides.
Beginner: Keep both legs down during the entire exercise for support.
Advanced: Alternate legs between sets and move more powerfully and swiftly.

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