Hello all! I hope you enjoyed yesterday’s run-down of the Top Barre Classes in NYC! It was a great way to start off Barre Week! However, I thought it unfair that all my non-NYC readers should be left out of Barre Week, so today I have the Best At-Home Barre Workouts for you! Check out my list of the Barre Workouts that will tone you up and get you ready for bikini season from the comfort of your own home!
Best At-Home Barre Workouts
Pure Barre ranked on my list of the Top Barre Classes in NYC and their DVDs are no different! Pure Barre offers a bunch of different DVD options but I chose the Flatirons series. Here’s what I thought!
Quality of DVD: The DVD quality is good but not great. The DVD can be broken up into segments if you so desire. I think the main issue is the lighting. The natural light from the windows in this DVD throw a glare on the instructor. Also, there are some strange camera moments where there seems to be a bit of shaking or something.
Teacher: Carrie Rezabek Dorr, creator of Pure Barre, is motivational without encroaching on annoying. She keeps you moving.
Choreography- The choreography here is very similar to Physique 57 and Exhale’s Core Fusion. It appears to be based on the Lotte Berk Method of training, focusing on high reps and working muscles until the point of fatigue. The choreography had some fun variations that I have not tried before although there were some points where I wished we could do some more reps to really fatigue the muscles and feel the burn.
Music- The music for this DVD wasn’t great but I think you could put your own background music on once you get the hang of the DVD.
Burn Factor- I burned 215 calories in the 37 minute DVD. My heart rate was up in the cardio zone (ranging from 120-150) during standing sections. I felt that this DVD was really more focused on toning than on the cardio benefits. I really felt the burn in my abs and in my legs.
Likely to Repeat- This DVD is great if you are a bit short on time (its only 37 minutes) and you want to fit in some toning.
Comments: I liked this DVD but I would have loved it to be a little bit longer (maybe 45 minutes to an hour) or shorter (only 30 minutes) since I generally split my workouts into long and short and this DVD fell somewhere in between. I liked the moves and although I didn’t have a 3lb weighted ball, I made do with my playground ball I regularly use for Physique, some 3lb weights and a 6lb medicine ball for arms. I felt like I was working but I wasn’t dying. It would be great to incorporate into my routine for a slightly less intense day. Also, there are two ab sections so I really felt that my core was getting an awesome workout. The thigh section was good too. The arm section was a little short and the seat section really worked more in the thighs than the seat. Carrie does a good job interspersing stretches throughout the routine. I would do this again!
Length of Class: 37 minutes
Calories Burned: 215
Andrea Rogers leads Xtend Lean & Chiseled. A great workout! Here’s what I thought!:
Quality of DVD: Very good, high quality DVD
Teachers: Teachers (check who) are good. Sometimes a little bit repetitive in her cues which can become annoying but not so much that I really noticed. Overall she comes across as friendly and motivating.
Choreography: Choreography was excellent. The class was fast paced and kept moving. The choreo was very much influenced by traditional ballet exercises and there is actually an introductory portion to the DVD which goes over the various ballet positions used in this DVD (i.e. First position, Second position, Plie, etc). I really enjoyed the influence from ballet as a dancer myself. Sometimes I think the term “barre class” is a bit of a misnomer because most barre classes do not have a very strong ballet or dance influence, rather they are based on the Lotte Berk method and some of the positions required in those classes are actually counterintuitive for a ballet dancer (like not arching your back or not turning out your first position as much as possible). I enjoyed getting back to my roots in this DVD.
Music: The music was o.k. At the beginning I thought it was going to be really awful fitness DVD music. It got better but I didn’t really notice it that much. Music is not the overall motivating factor in this DVD, the choreo is and luckily it delivers.
Burn Factor: Extreme burn! This was C-A-R-D-I-O! While I am used to barre classes providing a cardio benefit, I usually find that my heart rate stays below 150 bpm and the cardio factor is for only a portion of the class (usually the beginning). This class offered cardio benefits throughout. My heart rate was regularly in the 160s and got up to high 170s. The reason this DVD provides such awesome cardio benefits is because it starts with a great five minute warm up that immediately gets your heart pumping. It then moves on to a non-stop arm section, which when combined with weights never lets your heart rate drop. The legs and bottom section are constantly moving and there is an advanced option to add jumps to this section (for you ballet dancers it was a basic echappe saute, a jump from first position to second position). The arms section was tough! There is no way I would have lasted with anything more than 3 lbs! Because of the influence from ballet, there were definitely sections that worked muscles I have not worked in awhile.
Likely to Repeat: Highly likely! I was sore almost immediately and the hour went by very quickly. Will likely include it in my routines going forward.
Comments: I loved the warm-up, arm and legs section. The bottom section was pretty good and the ab section was excellent but a little short. I also would have enjoyed a longer stretch. Overall this is a great workout and truly a dancer’s workout!
Length of Class: 58 minutes
Calories Burned: 506
Tracey Mallet’s Booty Barre is a no joke barre workout! I love her style and her motivation. Here’s why I ranked her number 3!
Quality of DVD- Very good. Well lit and clean space. The DVD can be broken up into segments. High quality.
Teacher-Very motivating. I liked her and was encouraged by her.
Choreography- Choreography was very balletic. Much more of a focus on ballet than on the Lotte Berk method, which a lot of barre classes are based upon. It kept moving. The warmup was kind of funky and made me laugh a little (there was a lot of booty shaking) but it reminded me of a warm up in traditional jazz dance classes. Arms were tough with 5 lbs because she kept it moving but she didn’t combine a lot of upper and lower body in the arm section so heart rate didn’t get too high. But heart rate was through the roof in the main section (legs and bottom). This was tough and I was huffing and puffing. Abs were kind of short in comparison and not as tough as some other programs. Stretch was great. Long and really worked the areas we had focused on.
Music- I liked the music. It was kind of clubby but not at all hokey like some DVDs. Not recognizable songs and not necessarily hugely motivating but not annoying. Good background music.
Burn Factor- Very high! 486 calories in 1 hour and 4 minutes. Heart rate made it up to 170 bpm.
Likely to Repeat- Definitely.
Comments: I liked this DVD a lot. The focus was a little different than other barre DVDs I have done. I felt sore almost immediately after it was over because you really work muscle groups that have been dormant unless you are doing this everyday. It inspired me to go back to ballet classes because I remembered how hard they are! Lots of plies and battements. Its really great it you have any dance background. If you don’t , you’ll still be able to follow so don’t worry. It is a tough tough workout.
Length of Class: 1h 4 minutes- a longer class
Calories Burned: 486