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5 Best Barre Exercises to Tone & Lengthen Thighs

ballerina-826092_640A balanced exercise regime, and a healthy diet, is the key to getting the body you’ve always wanted.

But for us girls, the thighs can be the one area that refuses to budge, even after spending hours on the treadmill and eating nothing but greens!

Well, not anymore.

Introducing Barre exercises.

What are barre exercises exactly?

Think ballet … and those dancers have incredible pins.

Barre – simply because you use the barre (from ballet) to hold on to for balance. But you can easily hold on to a chair when doing it at home.

The exercises themselves – inspired by ballet, yoga and Pilates – are a series of small movements designed on high repetition isometric strength training.

In laymen’s terms – keeping your body still while contracting a targeted muscle-group multiple times.

Sounds easy right?

Wrong!

After a few reps, these tiny movements burn like crazy. But they work – so stick with it.

So without further ado, here are the best barre exercises to tone and lengthen your thighs:

1) Balance Plie

Stand upright, back straight, core tightened.

Place your heels together, toes turned out.

Lift your heels off the floor, balancing on your toes – hold on to a chair to keep your balance initially if needed.

Keeping you back straight, bend your knees and slowly lower your bottom towards the floor – keeping the shoulders over your hips, and your hips over your heels.

Lift back up to standing before repeating 19 more times.

In total, complete 20 reps before moving on to the next exercise.

Targets: Quadriceps, hamstrings and glute muscles.

2) Reverse Leg Lift

Start in a standing up straight position holding on to a barre or chair for balance.

Bend your left knee and slowly bring your right leg out behind, bending forward at the waist to compensate.

Raise your right leg as high as you can, hold for a second before slowly lowering it back to the floor.

Repeat 20 times on each leg.

Targets: Glutes and hamstrings.

3) Lunge Tucks

Lower down into a lunge position with the left leg back at a 90-degree angle and the front knee aligned over the right ankle.

Hold this position.

Now gently tuck the pelvis underneath and hold for 2 seconds before going back to neutral position. You should feel a deep stretch on the back thigh.

Repeat this exercise 20 times, slowly. Then switch legs.

Targets: Glutes & hamstrings.

4) Kneeling Roundhouse

Start by kneeling on all fours with shoulders over wrists, hips over knees.

Core engaged.

Lift your left knee out to the side – while keeping it bent. Bring the foot in close to your bottom.

Next, straight the left leg out to the side, point your toes, hold for 2 seconds before bending back and then returning to the start position – but don’t touch the floor with your knee to keep the muscles working.

Repeat 20 times on each leg.

Targets: Outer hips, quadriceps, hamstrings and glute muscles.

5) Hamstring Curl

Lay on the floor face down, bend your elbows for your head to rest on your hands.

Curl your legs up behind you and squeeze your heels together.

Ensure your thighs are lifted off the floor at all times. Engage your core muscles to help and to avoid lower back ache.

Slowly lower your legs back towards the floor while keeping your heels pressed together, then bend and curl upwards again.

Do not touch the floor with your feet.

Repeat 20 times slowly.

Targets: Hamstrings, Glutes, Lower back.

Because these exercises are non-impact, they can be done 3-4 times per week for tighter, toned thighs.

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