Allow yourself to indulge a little this Easter and enjoy your break with this at-home Xtend Barre workout. These moves, put together by Jacquie Larkins, Xtend Barre Hawthorn Owner/Director, will tone, strengthen and lengthen your muscles by using your own body weight. You only need a chair or bench and yoga mat for this workout – so you can do it anywhere, anytime!

First-position jumps

Plié

Relevé

  1. From natural first position, plié (ensure your knees track over your 2nd and 3rd toes) then relevé for 8-16 repetitions. (See above pics)
  2. Advance to jumping the feet off floor and return to plié. The jumps in this exercise is great for cardio and sculpting your bod.
  3. Keep repeating the above with strength and control for 8 – 16 repetitions. Always land through the toe, ball then heel of the foot.

Plié tendu with side reach

You’ll feel the burn in your obliques with this exercise!

  1. Take a wide 2nd position plié stance. Remember to always rock back on your heels and open your toes. Reach one arm over head and the other arm in low 5th position flexing at your waist while keeping hips centred (image 1).
  2. Transfer weight to standing with other leg pointing to the side and arms reaching out in 2nd position. Keep the abdominals engaged and knees reaching over the 2nd and 3rd toes when in plié (image 2).
  3. Repeat 8 – 16 reps one side and then the other side.
  4. Advance by lifting the leg to balance for a second (image 3).

Curtsey tendu

This move will strengthen the legs, especially your hamstrings and quads.

  1. Standing on one leg, tendu foot to the side.
  2. Step the pointed toe behind you in a low and deep curtsey (image 1).
  3. Use your your glutes, thighs and abdominals to lift you out of the curtsey. Return to standing with tendu to side (image 2).
  4. Repeat 8 – 16 repetitions each side.
  5. To advance this exercise take the tendon the floor to a battement (image 3).

Lunge battement kicks

  1. Plié (bend) one leg as you extend the other arm and leg in opposition (lunge) (image 1).
    2. Straighten the supporting leg as you kick the leg up to a forward battement (big kick) (image 2).
    3. Repeat 8 slow reps, 8 fast reps at tempo and repeat on other leg.
    4. To advance, add a relevè on supporting leg as you kick your other leg forward.

This exercise improves both strength and flexibility of your spine when done correctly.

Tip: Keep your chest lifted, especially as you lower into your lunges, to ensure proper alignment of your spine.

Knee-to-elbow cardio

Focusing on your quadriceps and core, this combo will work your coordination and cardio.

  1. With your feet parallel, lunge one leg back and extend the same arm in opposition to create a diagonal line. Bottom leg is bent in a deep plié (image 1).
  2. Draw the knee and elbow together by scooping the abs in (image 2), then reach both back to where they started.
  3. Repeat 8 reps slow and 16 reps to fast.
  4. Advance by lifting the supporting heel (relevé).

TIP: Make sure to keep your knee over the ankle and not toes, and hold onto a chair or kitchen bettor for support.

Plank side tap variation

This exercise will help to strengthen your or core, whilst also strengthening and stabilising your hip extensors and shoulder girdle.

  1. Legs together in a plank stance with arms extended and hands directly under your shoulders (image 1).
  2. Side tap the right leg out and back in 8 times, then repeat with the left leg 8 times (image 2).
  3. Alternate tapping right and left leg, 8 on each side.
  4. To advance jump both legs out and in together, 16 reps (image 3).

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