We often hear about the importance of “self-care” lately. That means different things to different people, but being in the barre fitness industry, I feel that exercise is a key component of self-care! As moms, it truly is important for us to stay healthy, which will help us maintain the physical and mental health we need to take care of our loved ones. I realize, however, it can be challenging to make time for exercise amidst the activity shuffling, sports spectating, and vacationing that so many of us find ourselves doing over the summer (hence the reason my studio offers childcare!). Even if you can’t make it to a gym, just squeezing in 15 minutes of resistance daily can be so valuable. Here are four simple (but effective!) barre exercises you can do at home–or by the pool–and then get right back to your summer fun:
Plank (Core/Whole Body)
Oh, the plank. How we all love/hate thee. There are a million ways to vary your plank to make it more challenging (Pinterest has great ideas!). A few tips, however: your hands or forearms should be directly beneath your shoulders, keep your head in line with your spine by bringing your gaze 6-12 inches in front of you, and keep your booty down and in line (this isn’t a downward dog!). Keep your core engaged for a full-body shake!
Relevés are a great way to strengthen your calves on the fly–you can do them anywhere, even while brushing your teeth or holding a toddler! Lift your heels completely off the ground, keeping your weight on the toe mounds of your feet and making sure your ankles do not turn out. Lift and lower those heels at different speeds to increase intensity, maybe even holding the heels high and pulsing. Make sure you stretch after!
This is a great exercise to target the inner thighs. Lay on one side of your body, keeping your top hip stacked on top of your bottom hip. Then, lift the top leg either to a hover or cross it in front of your bottom leg. Next, contract the inner thigh of your lower leg. Use your mind-body connection to really isolate and engage that inner thigh, then use it to lift and lower that bottom leg. Play with tempo and range of motion to make it more challenging!
Like a plank, your form in this move is key. Come to your hands and knees, keeping your hands below your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips. Keep your hips square (one shouldn’t be higher than the other) and your head in line with your spine, then bring one leg up to hip-height (straight out, bent, or to the side will all work your booty a little differently!). Contract your booty and hamstring to lower and lift the leg.
How do you stay fit over the summer?
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