Strength Train Like a Dancer—The Barre Circuit Workout

Barre workouts combine classic ballet poses with isometric movements, sculpting and toning muscles that can benefit your running.

At first, you may see few similarities in the skill-sets of a ballerina and a distance runner. One values grace and precision, while the other is all about grit and endurance. It turns out, however, that a ballet-inspired workout can actually improve running performance.

Enter the barre circuit. In sculpting and toning muscles, barre workouts combine classic ballet poses with isometric movements. Isolating and contracting specific muscles while keeping the rest of the body still is barre’s secret to success. What’s more, the low-impact sweat session is a nice break from pounding pavement.

Start with a 10-minute warm-up prior to this workout. While you don’t need an actual ballet barre to complete it, having a chair with a high back nearby will help for balance. Do each move for 30 seconds and then take a 10-second break before doing the next move. At the end of the circuit, take a minute to recover and then repeat the circuit. Complete the sequence 3–4 times through.

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Boat Pose

Sit on the floor with your knees bent. Lean back as you bring your feet off the floor, balancing on your sit bones. Point your toes and straighten your legs in the air to form a “V” with your body. Be sure to keep your back straight as you hold this pose for 30 seconds.

04-Boat Pose

Forearm Plank Knee Taps

Get into plank position on your forearms with your shoulders above your elbows and your feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly alternate between tapping your right knee to the floor and then your left. Repeat for 30 seconds.

05-Forearm Plank Knee Taps

Plié Squat to Heel Raise

Keeping good posture in your back, squat down with your feet in a wide stance and your toes pointing outward. Once you reach a full squat, lift up onto your toes as you slowly raise your arms overhead. Come back down on your heels and repeat.

02-Plie Squat to Heel Raise

Narrow V

Stand next to chair with one hand on it for balance, and bring your heels together with your toes pointing slightly outward. Come up onto your toes and slowly bend your knees as you bring your body town into a plié. Stand back up and repeat.

03-Narrow V

Carousel Horse

Place your hands on the back of the chair standing with your feet hip-width apart. Step your right foot back to lower into lunge position. Carefully and slowly pulse up an inch or two and back down. Repeat for the entire 30 seconds and switch sides.

01-Carousel Horse

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