As a former dancer myself, I know well the power of regular ballet classes to transform muscles and create an amazing overall feeling of strength and poise. That’s why I love the approach of Pure Barre – for myself, and for anyone looking to feel better in their body. Pure Barre is an exercise system created by a dancer and choreographer that uses small isometric movements at the ballet barre to lift your seat, tone your thighs, abs and arms, and burn fat in a way that’s fun and centering at the same time. What could be better for a bride-to-be?
The Junebug team recently made a little visit to the Pure Barre studio in Queen Anne, Seattle to have owner Sami Dinsmore Sweeney (the stunning fitness guru seen below) give us a lesson for a wedding workout to share with you. Our models for the day were the lovely Amy and Emily – our very own Junebug team members – who bravely tried out these new movements, on camera, in leggings and tank tops, and looked gorgeous doing it. (Bravo and thank you girls!) If you’re looking for some new moves to feel more toned, connected and confident, try these out! And check out PureBarre.com to see if there’s a studio in your area. Group classes are a fantastic way to feel motivated and supported while you’re reaching your health and fitness goals.
Push Up Variations – Targets chest, arms and shoulders
Variation 1: Starting in a straight arm plank, rotate fingers in towards each other. Lower down 2 counts, extend arms 2 counts. Repeat 10x.
Variation 2: Bring knees to the ground, heels in toward the seat. Place hands directly beneath the shoulders. As arms bend down, keep elbows close to the sides to target the backs of the arms. Extend to straight arms, then repeat 10x to targets triceps.
Straight Arm Plank – Targets abs and arms
Place hands below shoulders, arms straight. Pull right leg into chest and create little pulsing movements as you repeatedly pull the knee into the chest, firing from the abs. Continue to pulse knee in for 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat with left leg.
Knee Dancing – Targets thighs
Sit on your heels, bringing knees a hip distance apart. Lift your seat off your heels a couple inches, then lower and tap seat lightly to the heels. As hips lift, tuck the hips under. Lower and lift seat repeatedly for 2 minutes.
Wide Second – Targets inner and outer thighs
Hold onto a chair for support, bring legs wider than shoulder distance. Rise to your tippy toes, then bend your knees and bring your hips down towards knee level. Lower hips down 2 inches, then lift 2 inches for 60 seconds. Then reduce the movement to down 1 inch, up 1 inch 60 seconds. Repeat for 3 minutes.
Pretzel – Targets outer seat and lower back
Sit with knees bent, right leg in front and left leg behind you. Place hands either on the ground in front of you, or lift in the air for more of a challenge. Rotate left hip forward, attempting to lift ankle higher than the knee. Lift left leg up an inch then down an inch for 30 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds, then repeat 4x. Switch sides to complete series.
Standing with Straight Leg in Turnout, and with Bent Leg – Targets outer seat and thigh
Bring right hand to a chair for support. Bend right knee and bring left leg straight behind you on a diagonal. Point toes and pulse the leg up for 30 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds, then repeat with left leg bent. Switch sides to complete series.
Table top – Targets seat
Come to hands and knees. Bend left knee, bringing your heel in towards your seat. Flex foot and press up, pressing with the glutes and not the leg. Press up for 30 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds and then repeat 4x. Switch sides to complete series.
Back Extension – Targets lower back
Lie face down, squeeze seat as you extend arms and legs long, lifting off floor. Hold still for 60 seconds.
Back Dancing – Targets seat and thighs
Lie on back, bend knees and lift hips into a bridge. Lower and lift hips, squeezing glutes on the lift for 60 seconds. Rise to your tippy toes and repeat for 60 seconds.
Now if that doesn’t get your muscles burning, I don’t know what will! Incorporate these exercises into your own fitness routine and let us know what you think.
Seattle residents, we love the Pure Barre studio in Queen Anne where we shot this session (we’re proud to count them as members of Junebug), and it’s also a fantastic little spot to pick up cute workout gear. They sell pieces from Pure Barre, Splits 59 and Mondetta Performance Gear that we couldn’t get enough of (Amy and Emily just had to try some on as you can see here, and getting them out of those super-soft sweatshirts after the shoot was no easy task!) Pure Barre has a University Village and Bellevue location as well, and many others all around the country.