5 Barre Workout Moves Using a Chair

5 Barre Workout Moves Using a Chair

These 5 Barre workout moves will have your muscles shaking and leave you feeling refreshed and energized. Make sure to listen to your body and take breaks as needed! Let’s get started.

1. Wide Second

Wide Second Position Barre


All you need for this workout is a chair. Optionally, you can use a mat under your feet.

Target Areas

Mainly works quads and inner thigh muscles

How To

  1. Warmup for 3-5 minutes or do these simple barre moves after a brisk, energizing walk.
  2. Hold chair for balance.
  3. Be sure not to push or pull on the chair.
  4. Step legs out wide and turn them out in the same direction as your feet are turned out.
  5. Bend knees and keep spine neutral (ie, natural, not arched or tucked in the lower back).
  6. Raise heels up so that the balls of the feet are just roughly under the knees for a solid foundation with more weight on the big and second toes, less on the outside edge of the feet to keep ankles aligned.
  7. Lower down and up just a tiny inch through the legs 30 times slowly.

Modify Easier

  • Work higher.
  • Lower heels but make sure knees down pass the toes.
  • Hinge the torso forward at the hips so there is less flexibility required of the inner and back of thighs.

Modify Harder

  • Move more quickly while straightening the legs up and down for 60 reps.

2. Parallel Hinge

barre move parallel hinge

Face Chair and rest hands lightly on top.

Step back about 2-3 feet.

Take front leg behind hip and straighten it while pointing the foot.

Soften the back knee slightly and keep weight over the back heel.

Hinge the body over at the hips keeping the hips parallel.

Keep spine neutral.

Lift front leg up and down just an inch for 30 reps without letting the back move.

Change sides and repeat.


Don’t hinge down quite so far.

Make it harder:

Raise standing heel.

Lower leg all the way down to the floor and then right back up 60 reps on each side. (See advanced below).

Works glutes and hamstrings just at that area of the top back thigh we want to work! Also works the lower back. Abs stabilize. Don’t forget to breathe.

Holding onto the chair, bring legs hip distance and parallel.

Raise heels up keeping knees pointing straight head.

Bend knees and lower the body down keeping ears over shoulders, shoulder over hips, and hips over heels.

Keep the spine neutral.

Move down and up an inch for 30 times. Make sure you are lower enough to feel the quads.


If this move is hard on your feet due to the heel lift, you can lift the heels as much as your strength and flexibility will allow but make sure not to move down as low. If this one still is too much for your feet, you can modify with Wide Second Position with heels down.

Make it harder:

Simply work lower and for longer! Try 60-90 pulses.

Parallel mainly works quads but also some calf muscles.

Holding your chair lightly with left hand, turn toes out slightly.

Stand tall through the crown of your head.

Turn right leg out slightly and straighten the leg strongly.

Raise left heel up.

Lift right leg up about 45 degrees from your pelvis.

Squeeze the glutes.

Lift and lower the leg just an inch 30 times.

Change sides and repeat.


Face your chair and use both hands for balance.

Lower standing (left) heel.

Take toes back to the floor and bend and press through your knee to feel the action in the right hip.

Works: Glutes and lower back muscles mainly with abdominal muscles stabilizing.

Facing chair, step back leg forward and front leg back so that you lunge down and up vertically.

Raise back heel up.

Keep spine neutral.

Bend both knees down to your low point. (You will know this if you feel a stretch in the back of the back leg or the front of the front thigh).

Make sure not to move forward and back through the back knee. Think of this as a vertical move.

Also, make sure at your lower point, your knee is over the ball of your back foot for a perpendicular to floor alignment.

Lift up and down an inch 30 times. Repeat other side.


Lower back heel. Work higher. Hinge torso slightly forward and see if that helps.

Make it harder: 

From low point, raise the legs all the way up and down 60 times.

Works: Quads and inner thighs mainly. If you lower the heel to modify, you’ll activate the glutes if you press through the heel.


Challenge yourself but listen to your body.

Use a mirror to check alignment.

How do these moves contribute to a flat belly? Three main reasons.

  1. You are building lean muscle in the biggest muscle groups of the body. Lean muscle building will contribute to fat loss all over the body. (Just remember to combine this with a great diet!).
  2. In my method, BarreAmped, and what I have created for Prevention’s Flat Belly Barre, we work in a neutral spine. We also breathe rather than holding our breath. When we breathe rather than grip the abs, they actually get to work with the diaphragm, pelvic floor, and spinal muscles which is not only great for having flatter abs but also great for having a functional and strong core.
  3. Thinking about all the little form tips and tiny moves of this barre workout will help you connect your mind to your body. This helps de-stress the mind which can contribute to reduced cortisol levels. (Cortisol is produced excessively when there is too much stress). The more relaxed mind could also help you make better choices, like what to eat or drink. You just feel better.

Remember, there is no such thing as perfection. Stop believing those lies and start working out to be a better, happier, and stronger you. You deserve a great workout!

xoxo Suzanne


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