So you’ve decided at-home workouts are for you and now you want to know where to get started! For me, creating an effective at-home workout is all about having the right equipment. While you can definitely get an amazing workout at home with no equipment, I love adding a little extra resistance, support and interest by adding in some fun equipment. Today I have my favorite equipment for at-home barre workouts.
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One of my favorite parts about barre class is the use of light hand weights to tone and sculpt your upper body muscles. Personally I like to have a variety of weights on hand but I think the most commonly used weight in barre class is 2-3lbs. However, sometimes a heavier weight works really well for some classes and for those I like to have a 5lb and an 8lb on hand. Sometimes the most economical solution is to get a weight set that comes with a 3lb, 5lb an 8lb option!
Portable or Wall Barre
Now you can definitely use a sturdy piece of furniture such as a kitchen chair or a countertop for your barre workouts, but if you have the space, having your own barre amps up your home routine. A portable barre is fantastic because it is light weight, easy to move around and can be assembled and disassembled really easily. This is perfect if you want to move your barre around or put it away in between workouts. The advantage to having a permanent wall-mounted barre is that it provides more support for moves like waterski, round back chair or underhand grip moves. Being able to pull on the barre and have it resist back is amazing for creating more options for your at-home barre workout.
A playground or barre ball is by far my favorite tool for barre classes! These tiny things are so versatile and so effective. I use them for everything from warm-up/cardio to upper body to thighs and seat to abs. These babies are so great at toning your chest muscles, inner thighs and lower abs. Plus they offer amazing support for the body and help you go deeper into the exercises. If you buy only one piece of barre equipment, you should buy this!
Thick Pilates Mat
A thick pilates mat is key for barre workouts. Unlike yoga, where you can use a light-weight sticky mat, barre requires a thicker mat to offer the right about of cushion for your spine and hips. You won’t be standing on the mat so you don’t need to worry about it in terms of balance. You will, however, be lying on it (usually) and you want to make sure you are comfortable!
You may or may not use a theraband in your barre class but I recommend having them on hand. They are fantastic tools for assisting with stretching and aiding you in abdominal exercises. They can also be a great alternative to light weights. The loop bands are also fantastic for adding extra resistance to your thigh and seat moves. You can also tie your theraband in a knot but I prefer the loop ones because they don’t get tangled. Placing the loops around your thighs and pressing out will target outer thighs. You can also place the bands around your wrists to add resistance to your upper body workout.
You can definitely do an at-home barre class barefoot but I love wearing my grip socks. They help me stay grounded and balanced without slipping. Plus, no cold toes! My favorite are Sticky Be Socks which have the best sayings on them like “Be Kind”, “Be Great”, “Be Fearless”, “Be Patient” and more!
I need to have a waterbottle with me at all times, especially during my barre workouts! I guzzle water and need to constantly refill so I am not wasting money and the environment with bottled water. My favorite are S’well waterbottles, which keep your water cool and are non-toxic and BPA-free!
And of course you will need a great barre workout to do at home! Check out my barre workouts at brittanybendallfitness.vhx.tv and sign up for your free 7 day trial!