Ballet Barre Workout: Achieve a long and lean dancer’s body with postures inspired by ballet, yoga, and Pilates

Ballet Barre Workout

Achieve a long and lean dancer’s body with postures inspired by ballet, yoga, and Pilates.

By Kim Miller and Shannon Dougherty



If you’ve never tried a ballet barre workout, now is the time. People are often intimidated by ballet barre, especially if they don’t have a background in dance. However, barre workouts are really designed for anyone interested in trying and they can always be adjusted according to skill level.

According to Kelly Snailum, owner of Remedy Pilates in Scottsdale and a master Pilates and Burn at the Barre instructor, “Barre is not a dancer’s workout. It is a workout to give you a dancer’s body. The benefits of taking on a barre class make any willing participant eager for more. This highly efficient workout typically combines postures inspired by ballet, yoga, and Pilates. All of these components offer the promise to strengthen, lengthen, and tone.”

Inner Thigh Attitude with Second Squat | side facing (Shannon)

Set Up: Start in a wide second position, left hand on chair/barre with toes turned out, knees bent tracking with your second toe for alignment. Your left hand remains on the chair for support.

Action: Straighten your inside leg as you lift your outside leg to the front from your inner thigh across your midline (attitude). Your outside hand can stay on your hip or transition it to overhead to elevate your heart rate. Perform 10 to 25 sets depending on your fitness level. Feel free to hold the attitude and pulse at the inner thigh for a deeper burn.


Booty Burn | side facing (Kelly)

Set up: Reach your right hand forward on your chair for support. Your left hand can “seatbelt” under your right arm for additional support. Align your right ankle under your knee and hip with a slight bend. Track your knee with your second toe for proper placement and evenly distribute weight through your foot. Fold from the hips and send your left leg back into extension with your tail tucked to protect your back. Your hips remain square.

Action: Perform straight leg pulses up using your glute and keeping your hips square for 20 to 50 pulses. Next, hold your leg straight and lifted and then micro bend and press to straight 20 to 50 times. Finally, make small circles from the hip socket while maintaining stability in your pelvis for 10 to 25 circles each way.


Standing Arabesque Hamstring | rear facing (Kim)

Set Up: Bend forward to place your hands on the floor. Right foot on the ground (high heel optional for tight hamstrings), left ankle crossed behind the right ankle with bent knees.

Action: Extend your left leg to a high arabesque, turned out, while simultaneously extending your right leg to straight (or as straight as you can get it) and pressing through your hamstring. Return your left foot behind your right ankle and bend both knees back to start. Perform 10 to 25 sets depending on your fitness level and balance.


Proposal Lunge Pulse | forward facing (everyone)

Set Up: Start a forearm distance from your chair. Your right foot steps back a few feet. High heel both feet and bend until your left hamstring is parallel to the floor, right knee and hip are in one line. Stay stacked––shoulders, ribs and hips on top of each other.

Action: Hold the bend, hover your right knee over the floor and pulse to create heat in your thigh. Perform 20 to 50 pulses depending on your fitness level.


Shot on location at Remedy Pilates:

Photos by Stephanie Heymann:

Models: Kim Miller, Shannon Dougherty, and Kelly Snailum

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