Burn at the Barre

burn@barreBurn at the Barre is the final workout I scheduled for my barre week. However, it is not the last! I enjoyed these workouts so much that I checked out two more from the library today but I am not sure when I will get to those. Burn at the Barre is a total body workout with a bit of a cardio component like Xtend Barre. But I do not like this workout nearly as much as Xtend Barre. Also, tho it did attempt to get that low impact cardio going, it did not do it nearly as successfully as Xtend Barre. So it was a very good workout, but I have a lot to compare it to this week so it is not at the top of my list. Still, I haven’t decided if it will be transferred to my wishlist or not. It does cover the lower body very, very well so that is why I am still considering it. I didn’t love it tho.

Burn at the Barre is led by two different instructors: Andromeda, who has a chiropractic background, and Helena, who has a professional dance and pilates background. There are two other exercisers in the workout; one who does beginner versions of the exercises and one doing advanced versions of the exercises. Andromeda and Helena do the intermediate version. Equipment needed for this workout is a barre or chair, a mat, 2-8 pound dumbbells and a pilates ball (they call it a “playground ball”; it’s like a small beach ball–oddly I already own a pilates ball tho I rarely use it). You can chose to “play all” and do the 62 minute workout from beginning to end, or go to chapters where it is broken down into blocks. I will review it by blocks.

I had an issue with this workout but I’m not sure if I can attribute it to the actual exercises causing the issue or the fact I have been doing barre workouts all week, so my legs are sore and burned out. During some of the exercises in this workout my standing leg burned out long before my working leg burned out. That has not happened in any of the other barre workouts I’ve done this week, so again, I don’t know exactly what to attribute it to but I didn’t like it. What I did like is there is a lot of lower body work in this workout. Most of it is at the barre, but it also has some mat work, and they do that incredibly effective pretzel move that I was first introduced to in Pure Barre: 16th Street 2. In fact, if you do only the warm up, lower body work and stretch you would have a 43 minute workout that hits the lower body pretty hard. Also, at the end of each block/chapter they stretch the muscle group worked out nicely. The upper body work is decent. Light weights, but heavier than the other barre upper body segments I’ve done so far. They recommend using 2-8 pound dumbbells, so I used 5 and 8 pound dumbbells for it, but I think on one or two  exercises I could probably easily use 10 pounds.

Burn at the Barre is 62 minutes long; 5 minute warm up and 5 stretch. Just like all barre workouts this is based on small isometric movements, so I am not going to go into excruciating detail about each move. Just know that you are in a position for a while. Also, I will be describing the intermediate version of each exercise but know that there is a beginner modification as well as an advanced version shown.

Block 1 is the 5 minute warm up. No equipment is needed. It’s a pretty simple warm up, stepping side to side, shoulder rolls, lots of hip work (thrusts, side to side, etc.), some squats, lots of arm movements with all of the lower body and hips warm up moves.

Block 2 is 6:30 minutes and it is thigh work at the barre. You need a barre/chair for this block. Feet/legs together, squat, raise heels (releve) and pulse. Remain in squat with heels raised and open and close knees. Remain in releve squat and tilt hips forward and back. Tilt hips side to side. Full squats in releve. Wide plie with pulses. Hip tilts forward and back then side to side whole still in wide plie. Pulse in plie with one heel raised, switch to other heel raised then alternate raised heels with each pulse down. Stretch.

Block 3 is 10 minutes and works the glutes and hamstrings at the barre. You need a barre/chair and the pilates ball for this block. Place ball behind one knee, raising the bent leg behind you and leaning over the back of your chair. Bring foot up, contracting and squeezing the ball. Raise leg so you are pulsing leg up. Bring knee in to chest the press up behind you. Fire hydrant raises to side. Pulse at top of hydrant move. Circle leg in “figure 8” while at top of hydrant. Repeat all moves on other leg. Set the ball aside and stretch. Lean over back of chair and raise one leg straight behind you. Pulse in this position. Lower to the ground and raise. Hold at top of move and circle leg (small circles). Flex foot and bend leg, bringing leg in towards opposite ankle then pushing back out. Bring straight leg out to the side on a diagonal and pulse. Lower to ground and raise. Hold leg at top and circle leg (small circles). Flex foot and bend knee, bringing foot to ankle and pressing back out, but this time on a diagonal. Repeat on other leg. Stretch.

Block 4 is 8:30 minutes and it is more leg work at the barre. You need a barre/chair for this block. Start standing sideways in first position. Step out into wide plie squat, then come back to standing in releve with outside leg (the one not near the barre/chair) bent and raised, with toe touching inside of opposite leg. You will be doing this sequence many times and at a very brisk pace. Raise outside leg behind you and pulse up. Kick leg forward and high, then swing it back behind you as high as you can go. Kick forward and back at a brisk pace. Place feet in curtsy position with heels raised and pulse. Kick high on a diagonal and return to low curtsy; you will continue this series at a brisk pace. Repeat everything on other side of body. Pedal the heels briskly (“prancing”). Next is calf work. Stand with legs and feet together; raise and lower heels. Move feet to first position; raise and lower heels. Raise leg behind you and raise the same arm overhead, leaning torso forward slightly; bring knee to elbow (at a brisk pace). Stretch.

Block 5 & 6 is 10 minutes and is upper body, plank work and stretches. The upper body portion is 5:30 minutes, the plank portion is 2 minutes and the stretch is 2:30 minutes. For this block you need your dumbbells. She recommends 2-8 pound dumbbells. Start holding your dumbbells with arms in goal post; pulse arms in then out. Arms are still in goal post but bring arms/elbows in so palms are facing each other and pulse dumbbells up. While still pulsing, slowly bring your arms back out to goal post, then back in with the palms facing. With arms still in same position (palms/dumbbells facing each other) alternate pushing arms up a little higher–you’re not going high enough to be an actual overhead press, but higher then when just pulsing. Add hips (side-to-side) while jogging arms. Bend over for reverse flies. Bring arms back to goal post and do one arm overhead press. Bring elbows to waist, arms straight out to side, palms facing forward and press dumbbells out to sides. Hinge at the waist and do tricep kickbacks–but they will be smaller movements than normal and you will remain primarily at the high end of the move, so constant tension. Keep arms straight (still hinged at waist) and pulse straight arms up behind you. Turn hands so palms are facing back of room and pulse dumbbells behind back toward each other. Combine the last two moves, raising dumbbells up then in toward each other. Still holding arms straight behind you, circle the dumbbells. Set dumbbells aside for plank work. Get into plank position. Raise one leg and pulse toward the other leg. Bend knees, pushing bottom back toward heels (knees do not touch the ground) then return to plank (you will do this move quickly–forward and back). While in plank, jog knees. You will end with wrist, shoulder, tricep, side and chest stretches.

Block 7 is 7:30 minutes long and is core work. For this block you need the pilates ball and a mat. Lay flat on back with legs straight and the ball between your ankles with feet flexed, hands behind head; raise and lower one leg up (it won’t go far because you are holding the ball between your ankles). Add twisting elbow while raising and lowering the leg. Put ball between knees with knees bent; reverse ab curls. Remove ball and place it behind knees (so legs are together, holding ball against hamstrings with your calves); reverse ab curls. Sit up and place ball behind you in small of back; pulse/crunch up. Rotate side to side (oblique work). Pulse/crunch forward while raising one leg. Climb the rope climb arms while slightly raising and lowering torso. Set ball aside and lay on stomach. Cobra stretch. Raise arms and legs off the ground and do swimmers arms and legs. Continue doing swimmer legs with back-stroke arms.

Block 8 & 9 is 8 minutes long and is glute mat work. You will need the mat and the pilates ball for this section. Sit in pretzel: one leg bent in front of you and the other bent behind you, knee to the side. Raise back leg, keeping knee and ankle level, and pulse up. Next pulse it back. Pulse up then back. Next you will “wobble” that back leg: tap knee to floor then toe to floor. Keeping front leg, bottom and hips in same position, straighten back leg to side of body; pulse leg up. Stretch. Repeat on other leg. Grab the pilates ball; sit on bottom with knees bent in front of you and place the ball between your ankles; lay back onto elbows and raise legs w/ knees bent. You will raise and lower legs in this position; as you are lowering you will open the knees in a butterfly and close the knees when raising. Lay on back, feet on floor, ball between knees now. Raise hips/pelvis (bridge).  Raise and lower hips. While holding hips up, shift hips side to side. Circle hips.

Block 10 is the 5 minute stretch. This consists primarily of spine and lower body stretches.



6 thoughts on “Burn at the Barre

  1. I haven’t done many, but yeah I have found the exact same thing you are saying when it comes to upper body barre workouts. What I like about them is the way in which they work out the shoulders, though. Without stress and multilaterally. Is that a word? lol. Barre3 is nice for my shoulders. Definitely needs more chest and back work however if it is to be used for upper body work on it’s own.
    Really looking forward to reading more of your library find reviews after STS. Thanks.


  2. Been looking at this one for some time. Thanks for the excellent review and descriptions. : ) The upper body work seems a bit brief, but overall I think I’m going to try it. I just LOVE using the library as well to preview workouts. I am currently on a waiting list for Art of Strength-Firepower.
    : )


    1. You’re welcome! And that is something I noticed in all of the barre workouts I’ve done–the brevity of the upper body, plus the chest and back are barely hit or completely neglected. When they do work the upper body it tends to focus on shoulders and triceps. I did love my barre week for all of the excellent lower body work I got, but I am glad to be back at STS this week. This morning I did Chest & Back and it felt good to be hitting those muscle groups with heavy weight again!


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