GIF Fit: My At-Home Barre Workout, by Lindsay Ellingson
Hey, Byrdie beauties! Ready for another total-body workout? Last week I showed you my five-minute yoga routine. This week I give you what I call the three B's: balance, biceps and barre! I’ve been dancing since the age of three; I started with the hokey pokey and worked my way up to national competitions on my college dance team. It was a blast! Now I rely on the barstool in my kitchen to act as my ballet barre plus yoga and toning exercises to keep me in that dancer-body shape. With modelling around the world and my role as co-founder of Wander Beauty, I, like so many women, am busier than ever! So, I've found creative ways to fit fitness into my day, wherever I may be. These are the three exercises that keep me toned on the go. Just grab a chair and a couple of weights, and get ready to fire up your core!
This balancing pose is a total-body toner, and it serves as a great warm-up for what’s coming next. I love to do this in the morning—it’s a great way to start the day. The focus it takes to balance helps you to clear your mind, so it’s a nice way to meditate and work out at the same time.
1. Start standing up tall, legs hip distance apart and knees soft.
2. Fire up your core as you lift up one knee level with your hip to create a 90-degree angle.
3. Grab your ankle, and place your foot flat against your inner thigh.
4. Bring your hands into prayer position and slowly reach up toward the sky.
5. Test your balance by leaning to each side. Hold each side for a few breaths.
6. To take this pose to the next level, using two fingers, grab your big toe and extend your leg out to the side. Hold here for a few breaths.
7. Repeat on the opposite side.
1. Use the back of a chair or barstool as a makeshift ballet barre. Stand a few inches behind it with just your fingertips touching the top.
2. Keep your shoulders down, chest lifted, core engaged, and hips square as you extend one leg back straight behind you into tendu (which means “stretched” in French).
3. From there, use your glutes to raise and lower your leg in a controlled manner. Only go as high as you can before your form starts shifting.
4. Point your toes and squeeze your glutes for 20 reps on each side. Try not to rest your foot at the bottom of the movement.
5. Next, lower down onto your elbows so your back is flat in a tabletop position (not arched or rounded).
6. Keep the rest of your form the same, and start in that same tendu position.
7. Raise your leg as high as you can while keeping your hips square, and slowly lower it down—again, not resting at the bottom. (This variation gets even deeper into your glutes.)
8. Stay engaged for 10 reps on each side.
9. Repeat the whole sequence three times.
1. Using one to two-and-a-half kilogram weights—I use my ankle weights, which I travel with for workouts on the go—stand tall with your core engaged, spine in alignment, and knees soft. (Need a pair of weights? Try York's Ankle/Wrist Weights, $39.)
2. Start with your arms reaching straight up toward the sky, shoulders down and relaxed.
3. Lower your weights as far behind your head as you can while keeping your elbows in near your ears and your shoulders in place. Then lift back up to the starting position.
4. Do 10 reps.
5. Next, transition into chair position, keeping your spine and neck in alignment. Try to get your body into a right angle while shifting your weight back into your heels. Keep your knees above your ankles (not your toes) and squat as deep as you can for an extra quad, hamstring, and glute workout!
6. Bend your arms into a 90-degree angle against your sides.
7. From your elbows, extend your arms behind you. Try to get them parallel with the ground.
8. Keep your elbows squeezing together as you bring your arms back to the starting position. Do 10 reps.
9. Repeat the whole sequence three times to tone and elongate your arms.
Can you guess what my last set of fitness GIFs will be next week? Cast your guesses below, and check back to find out!
Fashion credits: Beyond Yoga Cut-Out Cami in Tropical Berry, Beyond Yoga Classic Capri Legging in Sunglow.