Barlates: Yoga Barre Fusion

Yoga Barre Fusion is a collection of 3 workouts from Linda Wooldridge that combine yoga and barre into intense body weight strength workouts. Do not let the word yoga in the title make you think you will hold any pose for long–at least not during the majority of any of the workouts. The actual holding of poses/stretches is at the end of the workouts. But the primary focus of the workouts is flowing body weight strength exercises that use light dumbbells to increase intensity. I was working very hard and sweating in every one of these workouts. These workouts are similar to Linda’s Stretch Yoga Fusion workouts except these are longer and use dumbbells. I love these workouts. In fact, after I finally make my way through all of the new-to-me workouts I want to sample, I want to start using these workouts, Linda’s Stretch Yoga Fusion workouts as well as PiYo‘s Drench workout and Michelle Dozois‘s original BodyFit 360 workout for my Sunday workouts. And finish them all off with a slower, more relaxing stretch or yoga session.

These workouts are not available for free on YouTube. You have to purchase the DVD or buy the individual workouts via download (or on DVD) from Linda. Here is a trailer for the entire DVD and below, in each review, I will link to a trailer for each workout. The trailer for the entire DVD is just all 3 trailers–one playing right after the other.

Mat is 52 minutes long. Equipment: light dumbbells (Linda is using 2 pound dumbbells and I used 3 pound dumbbells) and a fitness mat. Here is the video clip. This was a very tough and very intense workout. For having yoga in the title, I sweat a lot! I was dripping sweat all over my mat this morning. Other than lots of down dog variations, you don’t get much yoga until the final stretching sequence at the very end. And I don’t think that technically that is yoga either–just stretching. This is primarily a body weight strength workout that uses light dumbbells to increase the intensity. When you get to that final stretch sequence at the end (#12 & 13), my legs were shaking violently at the beginning when I held the stretches. So Linda worked me very well. Especially my lower body. This was an excellent workout along the lines of PiYo–but different; same concept, different delivery.

  1. Start in straight arm plank, extend leg out straight to side then rotate leg into 3 leg dog then to crescent pose, return to 3 leg dog and back to plank; alternate legs
  2. Kneel and extend one leg out to side, extend arms (holding DBs) out straight to side–lean torso toward extended leg reaching same side arm toward extended foot then lean torso in the opposite direction, extending opposite arm overhead and to side (Linda calls it a windmill action); remain leaning torso toward kneeling leg side and pulse arm overhead and to side; lean torso toward kneeling leg side and, with both arms reached overhead, circle one arm around while lowering bottom to heel and straightening torso when circling arm back overhead
  3. Still kneeling on same knee, place same side hand on ground and lift other leg out straight to side, sweep straight leg to front, return to side and bend knee, rotating so toe taps the ground, straight leg to side again and sweep leg behind you, return to side and bend knee, rotating so toe taps the ground; lower onto side/hip (leaning on elbow) w/ bottom leg bent and top leg straight, sweep straight leg to the front, return to side and raise straight leg, lower leg and sweep behind you (front, center, back, center); raise leg in center and pulse
  4. Return to starting position of #2 (same legs–you haven’t changes sides yet) (kneel and extend one leg out to side) and lower bottom to heel then straighten torso while doing wide bicep curls
  5. Repeat 2-4 on other leg
  6. Tricep push up series: start in plank w/ one elbow and one straight arm, rotate hips to side that is on elbow, return to plank and do a one arm tricep push up (other arm is still on forearm), lower knees to ground and straighten arm that has elbow on ground (so raising elbow off ground) 2x
  7. Modified straight arm side plank (bottom leg is extended straight and top leg is bent w/ foot on floor behind bottom leg), raise bottom straight leg 2x, place top hand on floor and raise back leg and straighten and bend it twice; in modified side elbow plank, raise and lower bottom straight leg w/ hip lifted off ground
  8. In straight arm plank, push hips back to heels, return to plank bringing one knee in to elbow you then extend leg out straight to side while raising one arm overhead (you’re now in a side plank w/ bottom leg extended straight in front of you), lower and raise hip, raise bottom straight leg and tap foot w/ hand, alternate sides
  9. (you need one DB on floor in front of you) Start in down dog, raise and lower one leg 2x, bring that leg through into runners lunge and bring in back foot 4x, tapping foot w/ DB
  10. In 3 leg dog, bend and straighten raised leg 4x then circle straight leg 2x
  11. Repeat 9 & 10 on other leg
  12. Hold runners lunge. Hold half split. Flow between runners lunge and half split. Lean back w/ one leg straight and one leg bent under you and hold. Cross bent leg over straight leg and twist torso toward bent leg (spine stretch). Figure 4 stretch (reclining pigeon). While laying on back extend one leg straight while holding big toe, first across bottom, then open leg to side. Still on back, twist bent leg to side (spine stretch). Repeat all of the stretches in opposite order on other leg.
  13. Thread the needle and hold, then extend arm to same side (torso still forward in child’s pose). Sit cross-leg and do side stretches. Round back forward w/ arms reached forward and hands laced in front of you. Lace hands and do a chest stretch, reaching arms behind you.

Sculpt is 44:30 minutes long w/ and 8 minute stretch. Equipment: light dumbbells (Linda is using 2 pound weights) and a fitness mat. Here is the video clip. During #5 she tells you to “pretend” you’re using heavier weights since the ones she is using are so light. An easy fix for that is to not pretend–just grab a heavier dumbbell. This is a high rep workout so you can’t lift super heavy, but I was able to use heavier weights for that exercise and another one. Since I was using dumbbells primarily to increase intensity, I lifted heavy enough to make that exercise sufficiently intense (rather than too easy). I used 3 pound dumbbells for everything except for #5 and #7 and for those I used one 8 pound dumbbell. This is another primarily body weight strength workout though you do use dumbbells for every move. The dumbbells are primarily to increase intensity but I won’t lie, on some of the exercises they were burning my arms out. But they also definitely increased the intensity of the exercise. Just like in Mat, I was sweating but not necessarily all over my mat since you are standing for the majority of this workout. There are balance challenges in this workout and for that I used a chair. I always had the seat facing me and I placed the palm of my hand on the seat for those exercises. There were only two–and not even the entire sequence just parts of the sequence (#3 and the one arm rows w/ rear leg lift in #5).

  1. Holding DBs, start in warrior 2 then pivot into crescent pose, hinge forward (warrior 3 w/ hands reaching to floor) and lower into runners lunge w/ hands/DBs on floor, step back into plank then bring other leg forward into runners lunge, raise up into crescent pose and pivot back to warrior 2
  2. With legs in a warrior 2 position, front heel raised, arms raised straight out to side–raise and lower into a deeper lunge while bending arms at the elbow and bringing DBs to shoulders (so bicep/tricep remains stationary extended straight out to sides of body) palms facing back of room; changes to doing 2 of the lunge/arm movements then windmilling arms down 2x (right angle w/ heel still raised); changes to pulsing in right angle w/ heel on floor now)
  3. Feet/legs still in warrior 2 position, arms extended straight to side, lean torso/arm over bent leg while raising back leg off ground then return to start position
  4. Repeat #2 & 3 on other side of body
  5. Holding both DBs in one hand (or just hold one heavier weight), lowering into squat w/ arm holding DB on inside of thigh, do bicep curl while standing and bringing feet together and do overhead press, do narrow squat lowering DBs to outside of thigh and do a bicep curl while standing and opening legs shoulder width again and do overhead press; after doing singles of this exercise you do a pyramid the bicep curls only (2 reps then 4 reps then 8 reps then back down to 4 reps then 2 reps); repeat this series on other side of body
  6. Triangle series: Legs in triangle and still holding DBs, flow from triangle to reverse triangle, bend front leg and lower hands/DBs to ground so you are in runners lunge, bring front leg back behind you (so you are in plank but w/ one leg raised) and pulse leg up 4x, lower foot to ground so you are in plank and bring the other leg forward so you are in runners lunge, raise back up to standing w/ legs in triangle position and repeat entire series on other side of body (just keep flowing through the series and you will automatically be alternating sides)
  7. Both DBs are held in one hand again, hinge forward at waist and do one arm rows while also raising and lowering opposite straight leg behind you; changes to standing with arms/DBs overhead and sweep arms down and behind opposite hip (twisting torso) while also raising opposite knee; now you do a pyramid alternating these two moves (2 reps then 4 reps then 8 reps then back down to 4 reps then 2 reps; ends w/ 16 reps in each position); repeat this series on other side of body
  8. Chair pose bringing hands/DBs together in front of you (arms are out/bent like in a fly position as you do this) then stand bringing elbows back behind you close to sides w/ hands/DBs extended out to sides; changes to same move but raise up onto ties while bringing hands/DBs together in chair pose; changes to remaining in chair pose while raised on toes w/ hands/DBs together and pulse; changes to just pulsing your elbows behind you; (she has you repeat the pulses in each position a few more times)

Chisel is 62 minutes long w/ 6 minute stretch. Equipment: light dumbbells (Linda is using 2 pound weights) and a fitness mat. Here is the video clip. Wow, another extremely intense body weight strength workout. And this one was a long one. Just like in the other two, the purpose of the dumbbells is primarily to increase intensity. This workout focuses primarily as a lower body and core workout–and it works both areas hard. On #2, 3 & 4 I used 10 pound dumbbells. I used them to increase the intensity in #2, but in 3 & 4 I used them because the length of a 10 pound dumbbell is about twice as long as a 3 pound dumbbell (which is what I used for all of the other exercises). Since you are placing one end of the dumbbell on the ground and holding the other end of the dumbbell in your hands, the dumbbells are used for balance in those two exercises (#3 & 4), so longer dumbbells are better for my back. If you also have back issues from bending for long periods of time (not stretching–I can do forward folds all day long, but this is bending while working) then using longer dumbbells or a square step at 8 or 10 inches, or yoga blocks, or even a chair seat will help with your back.

  1. Straight arm plank, step one foot in between hands into runners lunge, grab one DB (same hand as front leg) and do 2 DB flys, step back to plank, tap knees to ground, push back into down dog, tap knees to ground, down dog then step other leg forward into runners lunge, keep alternating sides; on first knee tap add a hop after the knee tap
  2. Curtsy lunge so low you tap DBs to ground into a squat so low that elbows tap thighs stand and cross one ankle over opposite thigh and squat (balance move), return to deep squat–alternate sides w/ this series
  3. Start in curtsy lunge w/ DBs on ground and pulse for two, move back leg into lunge (DBs still on the ground) and pulse for 2, tap leg straight out to side, tap back behind you then return to curtsy lunge (DBs are on the ground the entire time); repeat on other leg
  4. Place ankle across opposite knee and squat w/ DBs on floor and pulse (pulse raise/lower hips/bottom); repeat on other leg
  5. Start in deep runners lunge (hands/DBs on floor), lower back knee to ground then shift hips back into half split return to runners lunge and push up onto front leg raising back leg off floor (do a straight arm tricep raise as you lift leg behind you), lower back into lunge; changes to half split to kneeling lunge while doing bicep curls; repeat entire series but this time add 3 half split/kneeling lunge w/ bicep curls to the half split part of the original series; changes to kneeling lunge then push up one one leg and do 4 leg lifts w/ straight arm tricep raises; repeat everything on other side of body
  6. Lie on side, legs straight, leaning on elbow, both legs raised off floor–raise and lower top leg while keeping bottom leg elevated a few inches off floor; changes to raise top leg and hold at top then raise lower leg to meet top leg, lower bottom leg (but keep elevated a few inches off floor) and lower top leg; keep top leg raised and raise and lower bottom leg only; keep lower leg raised a few inches of the ground and top leg is lowered so it is right above bottom leg (but not touching it) and sweep top leg in front of you then behind you; add bottom leg sweeping forward and back so you are scissoring your legs
  7. Still laying on same side, bend knees and bring them in front of you extending the top leg so it is straight, raise and lower top leg w/ heel pointed toward ceiling; flex foot and circle leg forward then backward; bend top leg into chest then push leg out straight; leg is extended straight in front of you again w/ toe pointed and do small circles; extend both legs straight in front of you and raise top leg and grab ankle in hand and hold for a second (keep doing that, raise and lower leg, gripping w/ hand at top and holding for a second); still on side w/ legs extended straight in front of you, raise bottom leg so it is a few inches off the floor and raise top leg to ceiling–open and close straight legs in this position; repeat entire series on other leg
  8. Lay on back, hands by ears and elbows one, legs are bent w/ one leg crossed over the other so thighs are touching and foot wrapped around calf–do a full crunch in this position, bringing knees toward forehead; changes to doing two crunches then straighten bottom leg and do 2 more crunches lowering straight leg to a few inches off the floor each time then straighten both legs and raise to ceiling then bend them so toes touch floor and do two full crunches w/ legs bent then straighten legs to ceiling and cross legs again but this time the opposite leg (continue this and you will automatically be alternating which leg is crossed); go back to the beginning and do the full crunches again but this time w/ the other leg crossed over the other
  9. Legs are in same position as the beginning of #8 but lift head/shoulders off ground and reach hands toward feet, alternate reaching hands to feet; changes to pyramids–tap to same side 2x then 4x then 8x then 4x then 2x; cross legs the other way and repeat pyramid
  10. Come into half boat pose and roll back then roll back to half boat, extend front leg straight (back leg is still bent) and roll back then roll back to half boat w/ one straight leg bend front leg and extend back leg and roll back then roll up into half boat w/ back leg bent, extend both legs straight (full boat), roll back and roll back up into full boat–keep repeating series; series ends by holding in half boat while bending and straightening legs

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2 responses to “Barlates: Yoga Barre Fusion

  1. Hi Again, I love your everyday comments. Seems like you’re enjoying barre workouts. Have you ever tried Suzanne Bowen? She has a streaming site, but also sells DVDs. (also has sales during Chrismas) I think she is an excellent barre instructor. Thanks

    • No, I have not tried her. I did have her BarreAmp Fire Extreme Sculpt on my wishlist for a long time then the reviews started coming in saying it wasn’t very extreme or tough. I haven’t looked any of her other workouts. I did notice she had a box set that I might decide to try one day.

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