Classic Barre Thigh Work

Classic Barre Thigh Work

This classic barre thigh routine targets mainly the quads, the major muscle group of the legs. Warm up for five minutes before starting this workout by walking, jogging, or adding this on to another workout. I suggest combining this with the recently posted seat work routine or you can add it to your more traditional leg day at the gym. Form is key so make sure you use a mirror as being just a half an inch off is going to make you think this workout is easy. It’s NOT! :) All you need is something stable to hold onto and a stopwatch. Choose your level and as you get stronger, you can “Make it Fire” which are variations inspired by BarreAmped Fire class. #shaketochange

V Position

Holding onto your support either profile to the sofa or facing in, bring legs into a parallel, hips distance stance. Draw heels together and don’t let them come apart. Lift them up about two to three inches and slightly walk balls of the feet in. Bend knees and lower your body down, keeping ears over shoulders over hips over heels as if your back and back of head are stuck on an imaginary wall behind you. You will mainly feel your quads. If you don’t, lower down more. Move down and up about an inch for one minute. Come up and shake it out.

Make it Easier: Work higher but don’t bounce.

Make it Harder: Work lower toward your heels.

Make it Fire: Work in a full range of motion moving all the way down to the heels and all the way back up for one minute keeping your alignment. At the end of the minute, hold at your lowest point for 10 seconds.

Troubleshoot: This classic barre exercise is tough if you do it correctly which is why it only takes a minute to complete. Make sure you keep your shoulders back, hips forward but not “tucked”, and heels together. A mirror comes in handy here if you don’t feel it. 

For a video and breakdown of this exercise CLICK HERE.

V Position Hip to Hip copy

Set up V Position again as above. Slide body down to your lowest point where you can hold the position in good form. Bring left hip up to left side of rib cage then move to the right. Move hips side to side for one minute.

Make it Easier: Work higher.

Make it Harder: Work lower.

Make it Fire: Move vertically in a full range of motion toward your heels with the hips shifting side to side.

Troubleshoot: Just move hips; don’t move shoulders around or let heels come apart. Leg Lifts

Holding support with right hand, bring legs into parallel, hips distance position. Bring right leg out and in front of you keeping spine neutral, hips level, and standing leg soft. Extend and straighten right leg and foot and turn leg out from the hip. Raise leg up so that it remains straight but you feel the right thigh (quad/inner). Pulse leg up for 45 seconds. Change sides.

Make it Easier: Lower the working leg.

Make it Harder: Raise leg up higher because you have flexibility and strength combined. Also make sure not to let the right leg drop down. Just think “UP!”

Make it Fire: Move in a full range of motion once, then pulse right leg up two times for one minute. At the end of the minute, hold leg up without moving for ten seconds. Repeat.

Troubleshoot: Don’t lock out standing (left) leg. Don’t tuck hips under or lift a bent leg up (make sure the leg stays straight and sometimes you need to lower it down a bit). Keep spine long. 

For a video and breakdown of this exercise CLICK HERE.

Parallel copy

Holding onto support either on profile or facing in (as pictured), bring legs into a parallel and hips distance position. Raise heels up and bend knees while keeping shoulders over hips, hips over heels, and spine neutral. Bend knees, lower down about five to ten inches or until you feel your quads really engage. Pulse down and up about an inch for one minute.

Make it Easier: Work higher.

Make it Harder: Work lower.

Make it Fire: Work in a more full range of motion bending knees more deeply and coming up almost to the top of the position. At the end of the minute, hold at the lowest point for ten seconds.

Troubleshoot: Keep alignment and don’t let shoulders shift over and in front of thighs. Keep heels lifted and if your feet aren’t flexible enough to lift all the way up, be sure not to bend your knees as much and work higher. 

For a video and breakdown of this exercise CLICK HERE.

Parallel Waterski

From Parallel position above, hold support. Shift hips forward and shoulders back. You can be on profile but facing in might be easier though you don’t want to pull on your support. Only use your hands for balance. Bend knees and pulse down and up about an inch for one minute. Works quads and calves.

Make it Easier: Work higher.

Make it Harder: Work lower.

Make it Fire: Add a ball or rolled up towel between the legs. On each down and up, stop and squeeze the ball. At the end of the minute, hold for 10 seconds and squeeze. (Adds major inner thigh to this exercise).

Troubleshoot: Keep chest over abs and don’t let the back arch as that is a huge mistake made in this exercise. 

Releve Lunge

Holding support either facing in or on profile, bring back leg forward and front leg back. Raise front heel so that front knee is over ball of the foot. Bend both knees down, keeping shoulders over the hips and back neutral. Pulse down and up about an inch for one minute and change sides. You will immediately feel both quads working, especially with the front heel lifted.

Make it Easier: Drop front heel down. Reduce duration if need be but make sure you’re even on both sides.

Make it Harder: Hold for the last ten counts letting go of your support.

Make it Fire: Work in a full range of motion lifting all the way up and down for one minute. Then pulse for 10 counts and hold for 10 counts.

Troubleshoot: You must watch form in any lunges. If your shoulders jut forward, step your back leg in a bit so it’s not so much of a stretch. 

Standing Quad Stretch

Holding support, take front foot into hand and keep knee pointing straight down. Draw your hips underneath you as you gently pull your knee underneath you. Hold this stretch and breathe for 30-60 seconds on each side.

Make it Easier: If you have trouble reaching your foot, you can rest your foot and ankle in a towel or belt and lower the leg down a bit.

Make it Harder: Strongly tuck your hips underneath you as you draw your knee down.

Make it Fire: Holding front foot in the front hand, keep standing leg slightly soft and hinge body forward at the hips. Pull your front foot into your hand and your hand into your foot and lift the shape of the front leg up. This will open your quads and hip flexors.

TOTAL WORKOUT TIME: Approximately 10 minutes with stretch

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE PRINTABLE PDF –> Classic Barre Thigh Workout Classic Barre Thigh Work 2

Classic Barre Thigh Workout

Classic Barre Thigh Workout 2


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