The Barre Workout That Fine Tunes Every Muscle In Just 20 Minutes

Using only a chair and a pair of hand weights, this ballet-inspired barre workout will sculpt your lower body, abs, and arms, while boosting your flexibility and staying relatively low-impact. We know what you’re thinking: if it’s low-impact, how can it burn so badly? Blame it on isometric (static) training, where you hold your body in one position and contract a specific set of muscles to the point of fatigue. (Think: wall sits, planks, plié holds.) Not only do isometric moves put your muscles to the test, but they strengthen your tendons and ligaments and help with mobility too. The workout uses these isometric exercises and slow, controlled repetitions to torch your whole body without needing heavy weights or tons of equipment-so you can do it anywhere you want.

How it works: Follow the video to move through the two-minute minute warm-up. Complete the 20-minute workout, then two-minute cooldown.

You’ll need: A chair. Light hand weights and an exercise mat are optional.

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20 Minute Home Cardio Barre Workout

A calorie-blasting barre workout that targets your lower body and keeps your heart rate high! This 20 minute home cardio barre workout is the perfect way to tone and sculpt in the privacy of your own home.

Ok, if you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a barre junky. I’m totally biased (since I’m a barre instructor), but I admit, I’m full-fledged obsessed. I feel totally lost if I don’t get a few barre workouts in every single week. It’s gotten to the point that every time I do dishes, I want to stand in relevé. Every time I hear a song with the perfect beats per minute, I want to sink down into a wide second position and start pulsing. Every time I do any booty work, all I can think about is tucking.

If you’ve never been to a barre class, you’re probably wondering what the h*ll I’m talking about. Luckily, you don’t have to go to a class to bust out this 20 minute home cardio barre workout. Barre is traditionally known for strengthening and toning, not cardio. But classic barre movements combined with quick execution, and a little plyo action, you’re guaranteed to get a muscle sculpting, heart blasting workout, in your living room! Doesn’t get much better than that. Unless you have an awesome gym like me, at Fortis & YOGALUX in Southern California! Photos taken in the studio I teach 🙂

Complete each of these six exercises four times through, as fast as you can, with no break in between! You got this.

And if you’re loving the leggings, be sure to check them out here, and use the coupon code physicalkitchness for 20% off your entire order!

Alternating Knee Twists

Start with your feet hip distance apart and lift your arms overhead. Next, lift your left knee to your chest as you bend your arms into 90 degree angles, then twist your upper body slightly, bringing your right elbow in towards your left knee. As you lower your foot back to the ground, extend both your arms overhead. Then switch sides. Do 12 repetitions as fast as you can (counting each knee lift as one).

Cardio Lunges

Start with your left foot planted in front, right foot behind your body as you lean forward slightly, ensuring all your weight is distributed on your left leg. Raise your arms overhead, then quickly bring your right knee in towards your chest as you bend your arms inward (elbows in towards your knee). Extend back out and repeat 12 times, then switch sides and do an additional 12 repetitions as quickly as you can.

Squat Side Tap Hops

Start with your hands in prayer, directly in front of your chest, toes forward. Step your feet out wider than shoulder width apart, right heel off the ground, left foot planted flat. Think of tapping your right foot three times, once out wide, the second ‘tap’ in towards the midline of your body, the third ‘tap’ closer inwards. After that third cap, jump up as high a possible, using power from your left leg to lift your body as you extend your arms overhead. Then land back into the wide squat, staying on the ball of your right foot (never letting your right heel touch the ground, even as you land). Do the ‘3 taps/jump’ for 12 repetitions, then switch sides for 12 more. Do this as fast as possible.

Curtsy Lunge Lifts

Using the back of a sturdy, high char or countertop, place your palms on the back of the chair or edge of the counter. Step your right foot back and across your body (executing a curtsy lunge) with your left leg in front, both knees bent in 90 degree angles and heels lifted. Next, extend your left knee and lift your right leg out to your right side, knee up near your right shoulder, hips open. Place your right leg back down and across your body. Repeat 12 times as quickly as you can, all while keeping your heels off the ground (feet always in relevé). After 12 repetitions, repeat the same sequence on the other side (left leg lifts).

Arabesque Foldovers

Start with your feet hip distance apart, full arms distance away from the barre (or counter, or chair). Lean your upper body forward towards the barre as you swing your right leg back behind your body, making sure your leg is straight and extended. Swing your leg back down to meet your left ankle (but not dropping the right foot to the ground), as your upper body lifts back to vertical. Next, press your right toe to the back of the room, keeping a 90 degree bend in your knee and hips tucked (rolled forward slightly) to eliminate any over exaggerated sway in your lower back, targeting your booty. Bring your right foot in to meet you left ankle like the second photo, then repeat the entire sequence 12 times. Switch legs for an additional 12 repetitions, doing this as quickly as possible.

First Position Extensions

Start facing the side of the room, left hand lightly gripping the chair or countertop. Step your heels together and high off the ground, toes apart, then bend your knees to bring your body as low as possible. Sweep your right arm across your body, directly in front of your chest. Next, start to extend your legs and you sweep your around and out to your right. Continue extending your legs (squeezing your booty at the top of the extension), and lift your right arm overhead. Bend your knees deeply and bring your right arm across your body like the first photo and repeat this entire exercise for 12 repetitions, executing it quickly and bending into your lowest challenge position at the start of each rep. Switch sides to work the opposite arm the next round, alternating sides each round.

After you’ve completed all the exercises, start over and do the entire circuit four times through for the best 20 minute home cardio barre workout ever! This may take you more than 20 minutes, depending on the speed at which you execute, but it’s a workout you certainly won’t regret!

Love barre? Try these workouts posted on Physical Kitchness – Sculpted Barre Arms Workout, 10 Minute Express Barre Workout, Moving Barre Stroller Workout, Kettlebell Barre Combo Workout, Barre Booty Home Workout, and this One Move for Insanely Toned Legs killer!

Looking for more cardio workouts you can do at home? I have those too! Check out this Insanity Inspired Workout, Cardio Blast Summer Workout, No Equipment Home Cardio Workout, Lower Body Cardio Tabata, and this 30 Minute Home HIIT Workout!

Disclaimer: Please note that there are affiliate links on this page and I will earn a small commission if you purchase through those links. However, all opinions are my own. Thank you for your support.









The 20-minute home barre workout

By Hannah Ebelthite

Hannah Ebelthite is a freelance health, fitness and wellbeing writer. With nearly two decades experience in journalism, she has held staff posts on Cosmopolitan, Zest and Healthy magazines, and writes for a wide range of…

Instructor Harriet has devised the following workout for you to do at home, but you don’t need a barre to do it (just a chair for the warm-up). It works as an all-over toning, 20-minute core routine to complete in full, two or three times a week. Grab a chair and get started with our warm-up.


1 Stand tall facing the barre with your heels together and your toes approximately 3in apart. Rest your fingertips lightly on the barre but don’t cling on.

2 Rise up on to the balls of your feet, keeping your legs straight, then slowly lower your heels back to the floor. Repeat 10 times.

3 Rise up once more and draw your heels together, then bend your knees.

4 Keeping your legs bent and your torso upright, lower your body halfway to the floor and then halfway up again (without straightening your legs). Repeat 15 times.

5 On the 15th rep, stay halfway down and take 30 tiny pulses down.

6 To finish, hold halfway down for 20 sec. If you like, you can challenge your balance here by raising your arms above your head (round your arms with your elbows slightly bent – picture a ballet dancer).

ARMS – tricep push-ups into plank

1 Starting in a raised plank position, place your hands on the floor under your chest, with thumbs and index fingers together, to form a diamond shape, and knees off the floor.

2 Lower knees to the floor and tilt the pelvis forward, engaging the lower abs, and raise feet.

3 Bend into the arms drawing your elbows towards your hips, lowering your chest towards the floor. Then push back up to straight arms. Repeat 10 times.

4 On the 10th rep, hold halfway down, then, with your elbows bent, pulse your elbows in towards your hips 10 times.

5 With both knees on the floor (or both feet if you’re in the advanced position), hold a soft bend in your arms and hold still for 15 sec.

6 Finally, come down on to your forearms and hold a plank for 30 sec to 1 min.

Advanced options

Miss out no 2 and stay in the raised plank position for the whole sequence.

Float your right leg up for five reps, then the left for five, in no 4.

ABS – high curl with twist plank

1 Sitting upright on the floor, bring your ankles together and point your toes, then open the knees to a diamond shape.

2 Tuck your tailbone under, drawing the pubic bone towards the navel.

3 Slowly lean back from the hips until you feel you’re engaging your abdominal muscles (you feel them ‘switch on’ or they start to quiver).

4 Raise and open your arms into a V shape with your palms up.

5 Lean back 2in as you exhale, then inhale and come back up 2in. Repeat 10 times.

6 Bring your right hand to tap your left hand, twisting through the spine, then open back up to your original position. Repeat with the left hand. Repeat 10 times to each side.

7 Return to centre and take 20 tiny lifts up, keeping the tuck of the tailbone.

Advanced options

Hold your feet off the floor as you lift in no 7.

At the end, come into stillness and hold for 20 sec, taking the arms higher and wider to increase the intensity.

GLUTES – back dancing

1 Lie on your back, knees raised, feet flat on the floor under your knees, about a hand’s distance apart.

2 Tuck your pelvis under until your lower spine connects to the floor.

3 Drive your feet into the floor and tuck the pelvis under until your hips lift approximately a fist’s distance off the floor (the back of your rib cage should stay connected to the floor).

4 In this position, perform 20 tiny hip lifts, pushing your feet into the floor.

5 Keeping your hips level, extend your left leg up to the ceiling, pointing the toes.

6 Lower the left leg until it’s in line with your right thigh, then draw it back up to 90 degrees. Repeat 10 times without lowering hips.

7 On the 10th rep, hold the left leg in line with the right thigh, then pulse your hips up and down again 15 times.

8 Repeat everything on the left side (lifting the right leg).

THIGHS – Lunge with forward tilt

1 Start with heels together and toes a hand’s distance apart (like first position in ballet), with your arms by your sides.

2 Bend your knees and slide your right leg back about 1 metre, back heel raised and weight equally shared across both feet.

3 Keep both legs bent for the exercise.

4 Send your hands to the ceiling, palms facing forward.

5 Push your hands forward and down as you tilt forwards at the hips.

6 Your palms should arrive facing up behind your back, your torso forwards on the diagonal.

7 Engage your triceps (the muscles on the back of your arms).

8 Reverse the movement, bringing your hands back to the ceiling and torso vertical. Repeat 10 times.

9 On the 10th rep, hold the torso forwards position and pulse your legs up and down in the lunge position 25 times – just moving up and down a couple of inches. You should really feel the burn!

10 Bend deeper into the lunge and lift up halfway, then lower again. Repeat 10 times.

11 Repeat the whole sequence, this time with the left leg back.

Advanced options

Lift the front heel as you hold, in nos 9 and 10.

Hold the position in no 10 as deeply as you can for 15 sec.

7 YouTube Barre Workouts You Can Totally Do from Home

Finding the time and motivation to get our butts to the gym is a chore, let alone the workout itself. Luckily 2016 is the year of working out at home, with everything from quick core exercises to workouts that you can totally do with your kids all available on our trusty smartphones. But what about those trendy classes we’ve always wanted to try? Well, thanks to the magic of the Internet, we can now practice an entire week of barre workouts right from the comfort and convenience of our own home. All we need is a sturdy chair and some light weights.


1. The Look Good Naked Booty Barre: The key to a good barre workout is isometric strength training (AKA holding your body still while you contract a specific set of muscles). This booty bar home workout is a great intro class to the week — it’s only 11 minutes long — because it pairs common exercises we all know with some key barre moves. Just be prepared for a sore rear tomorrow. (via Pop Sugar Fitness)


2. Barre and Pilates Ten-Minute Fusion: Working out on a Monday can be a pain, but this 10-minute workout is just the right length to convince us to get moving. Grab a chair, turn up your headphones and roll out your yoga mat — this short barre workout will get your heart elevated pronto. (via Pilates Happy Hour)


3. Booty, Abs and Arms Barre: In this 40-minute workout, you’ll dive head first into the world of barre with designated glutes, abs and arms exercises. Although the routine is quite long, you’ll be working one specific body part at a time, so it doesn’t feel as draining as a typical cardio-packed session. (via Summer Girl Fitness)


4. Total Body Barre Workout: After a short stretch or warmup, check out this 10-minute barre workout. With easy to follow instructions and a handy calorie counter, it’s an awesome way to get in your workout without having to gear up and leave the house. (via Fitness Blender)


5. Barre Home Arm Workout: A lot of barre workouts are focused on the legs, core and booty, but not this one. Taking a break from our lower halves, this cheeky bachelorette arm workout is a fun and intense way to strengthen up those arms. (via Sarah Fit)


6. Complete Glute Barre Class: It’s fri-yay! Nothing says the start of a weekend like a good glute workout. Following Action Jacquelyn’s awesome instructions and demonstrations, this short after-work routine is the perfect speedy session for a busy Friday night. (via Action Jacquelyn)


7. Barre Body Burner: With a little extra time to spare on Saturday, it’s time for our final full-body barre workout of the week. This 40-minute workout tackles almost every basic and moderate barre movement, so be prepared to sweat, burn and learn a heck of a lot. (via Barre3)

What’s your favorite barre workout to do at home? Let us know on Twitter by mentioning @BritandCo.

(Featured image via Getty)

Free Barre Workouts

#ThrowbackThursdays never looked better. Because today, we’re rounding up over 15 of our best-loved mini barre workouts, ever. From body-sculpting, one-move wonders, to Rockette-worthy ab work we lifted straight from the stage, each barre workout video zeroes in on a single, simple set of moves that will sculpt and redefine your body in no time (well, almost no time)! Get started with your free barre workouts below:

Best Barre Workouts


How to: Get strong, toned arms:

Arm sculpting exercises with Fab Fit Fun:

Get strong biceps and a beautiful back:

Get toned triceps:


Torch your thighs:

Work your inner thighs:

Slim your legs and waist:

Slim and tone your legs:

Get gorgeous thighs and legs:


Target your butt:

Get a better butt:

Butt-enhancing exercises with Fab Fit Fun:


Get rock hard abs:

Plank and ab exercises with Fab Fit Fun:

Full Body & General Fitness Workouts

5 barre moves you can do at home with Physique 57:

A full body workout in 1 move:

Increase your metabolism & bone density:


Tone your arms with triceps side press:

Master the Pretzel:

Abs and oblique work – The Rockette Exercise:

There’s more where these came from! Stream and subscribe to our latest online barre workout videos at

Live near one of our studios? There’s nothing like a real, live class to kick start incredible results. Find a studio and get started!

The Barre Workouts You Can Easily Do At Home, According To An Instructor

The few times I’ve attended barre class, I’ve burnt a hole in my wallet so large that I had to start keeping my debit card in my pocket. OK, maybe I’m being a tad dramatic here, but there’s no denying that barre classes can be very expensive, which kind of sucks for people who are really into the graceful micro-movements of this challenging workout. Luckily, there are barre workouts you can do at home so that you can shed a tear in the comfort of your room solely due to the difficulty of your sweat sesh, and not because you’ve come to realize that you have three dollars to your name.

Barre is a fitness trend that’s increasingly growing in popularity, that has nothing to do with opening a tab while you’re out with your friends, and everything to do with a “less is more” mentality when it comes to exercise — an idea we can probably all get behind, right?

The teeny-tiny movements that barre sequences demand may look like a minuscule amount of work from afar, but in reality, these exercises are far from easy, and they’ll have you working muscle groups you didn’t even know existed (is that you, obliques?).


Usually, when you hit up an in-studio barre class, there’s a literal ballet bar for students to work with as the instructor cues a bunch of different core-centric moves. However, Xtend Barre founder Andrea Rogers tells Elite Daily that if you don’t have access to a ballet bar, it’s not a problem at all. There are a few go-to barre moves that can be taken from the studio to your home in an instant — almost too good to be true, no?

Rogers recommends starting by finding a chair or a kitchen bench. “Creativity is key: Ballet barres are everywhere if you are look for them,” she tells Elite Daily over email. “You can do a plié series and/or fold-over series to work the legs and butt.”

Mer Bennie on YouTube

The plié series is relatively simple to get the hang of, though there’s nothing simple about how much your lower body will be burning after just a few seconds of busting out these moves. Hang on to your chair for dear life, girl — and don’t be surprised if you’re sore as heck come morning.

Once you’ve had enough of your chair charades, Rogers says you can take things down a notch — all the way down to the floor. Oh, and don’t be afraid to turn on Netflix in the background, the barre expert suggests. ” easy to pop down on the floor and make an abs series,” she explains. “A few moves you can replicate easily from our Xtend studios are a ‘passé plank’ and ‘scissor abs series.'”

Here’s a quick breakdown from Shape on how to do these moves: For a passé plank, get into a high plank position, leaning on your forearms with your fingers interlaced and your feet together. Bring your right knee up to your hip, keeping it pointed toward the right as your toes tap your left knee. Hold yourself there for eight counts (I know, it’s going to burn), then extend your right leg out to the side with your toes pointed and your hips and shoulders square. Hold for another eight seconds, then return to the starting plank position. That’s one rep, BTW — and if you think that’s a lot, wait ’til you hear how to do the scissor abs series.

For that one, lie on your back with both of your legs pointed toward the ceiling and your head, neck, and shoulders hovering above the mat, says Shape. Bring your left leg toward your chest (it should still be extended — imagine your legs are literally scissors), and grab hold of your calf or ankle as your right leg lowers as close as possible to the mat without actually touching it, and without lifting your lower back from the mat. Pulse your left leg twice, then switch legs and repeat on the right side. Shape recommends doing one to two sets of about eight to 16 reps on each side, but TBH, I’m sweating just thinking about doing even one of these bad boys.

Tamsey Smith Fitness on YouTube

See, barre is pretty easy to do at home, as long as you’re willing to get a little creative with your space and your movements. Plus, who doesn’t want to feel like a graceful, strong ballerina while they watch hours of The Office at the same freaking time? Sounds like a total win-win to me.

Barre workout online free

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