Welcome to Workout Wednesday: every hump-day, we'll be rounding up some of the city's hottest fitness trends and studios.
Ditching your exercises routine to prepare for winter hibernation isn't really an option these days, with workout video subscription services aplenty and local stores selling everything you need to create a home gym—yes, even in your studio. But sometimes, it's handy to have some exercise moves in your back pocket to bust out while brushing your teeth or waiting for the pasta water to boil (or the Seamless delivery guy to come).
Routines typically found in barre classes lend themselves perfectly to this pursuit, so we asked instructor Susan LoPiccolo of Xtend Barre Brooklyn Heights to demonstrate five moves that require no more than a chair or the back of the couch to perform. Read on to see the exercises—in GIFs, no less—that can be performed in order or singularly during Hulu Plus commercial breaks.
Warm Up: Pliés
To warm up, open your arms and legs to second position, and bend your knees into a plié for 32 reps. Focus on your form here, and keep it going throughout your workout—keep your chest lifted and your abdominals in.
Return your arms and legs to second position, and bend your knees into a plié once again. Transition your weight to the inside foot as you extend the outside leg and point your foot to the floor. Activate the right glute muscles and left quadriceps as you extend the left leg. Perform 32 reps, and then switch legs.
Begin by sitting on your butt, with your feet flat on the floor, hips-width apart in front of body, and your legs slightly bent. Reach your arms behind you and place your hands down on the floor, with fingers facing forward. Extend one leg straight to the ceiling and bend your knee into your chest as you bend your elbows, then extend both the arms and leg together. Continue to dip—16 reps for each leg.
Place your inside hand on the chair slightly in front of your body with your feet in first position, and your outside arm in second position. From here, there's three variations you can do:
· Devant/Front: Brush your outside leg up in front of your body to its fullest potential. After 8-16 reps, hold the leg up for a count of ten, then switch sides.
· A la seconde/Side (shown here): Brush your outside leg sideways to the its highest potential without leaning your body into the chair. Keeping your hips down, repeat 16 times on each side.
· Derrière/Back: Brush the working leg behind your body, without overarching the back. Concentrate on using your glutes to initiate the movement for 16 reps, and then switch sides.
Advanced Curtsy Series
Start with your arms and legs in second position. Step your right leg back into a curtsy lunge as your right arm reaches long towards floor and you left arm extends upward at a high diagonal. Lift up, drawing your right leg to passé and your arms back to second position. For an extra balance challenge, extend your leg from passé to developé. Repeat for 16 reps, then switch sides.