If practiced safely, shoulderstand (salamba sarvangasana) offers a plentitude of benefits—including promoting thyroid function, restoring your legs through the inversion, and stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system to calm you.Read more
Feel the burn. Sweat doesn’t get more haute than at the barre. If you’ve never gracefully plié-d at the barre – or quaked your way through a thigh burning sequence – the concept can seem a little intimidating! San Francisco based Nini Gueco, owner of six-month-new Avant Barre, takes a fun, comfortable approach to the barre with a full body workout. She shared with us six approachable barre burning moves you can try at home (but trust us, they’re even more fun in the studio!).
Just replace the barre with the back of your couch or a sturdy chair and you’ve got your very own studio! The secret to the burn is the repetition, small movements may not seem hard at first, but your muscles should start to quiver after a few minutes of reps. The last secret? Some good beats of course! Nini recommends anything by Beyonce, don’t be afraid to bust a few moves of your own in between reps.
Pssst….San Francisco lucy ladies listen up! Through February 28, lucy clients who are new to Avant-Barre can try their first class FREE! Just choose Avant-Barre + Lucy First Class and use promo code “ABLUCYFEB2015” at check-out. Plus, join us at Avant-Barre on Saturday Feb. 7th for a special trunk show!
modified push up on releve — Great to tone and strengthen the biceps and chest. It’s like a regular push up but with the option to increase or lessen the intensity based on your angle. Keep elbows close to your ribcage to activate the rear deltoid and triceps. Tuck your hips and lift one leg into a low arabesque for a little glute zinger. Repeat 15-20 pushups.
leg lift in first position — Channel your inner badass ballerina with this move that challenges your quads, especially your inner thigh. Start with your heels together and toes apart in a first position. Lift one leg in front of you, point your knee outward so your inner thigh shines up toward the ceiling. Keep your hips level so your quads do all of the work. pulse your leg up 10 times, then reset. Repeat 4-5 times, on both legs. Don’t be surprised if your standing leg feels the burn too!
standing arabesque — Great move to isolate the glutes and test for endurance. Stand at an angle to a stable surface and bring your legs parallel and hip width apart. Soften both knees. extend outer leg behind you and see-saw forward until your body forms a capital “T”. Keep your abs pulled in for control and strength. carefully squeeze your lifted side booty to guide your leg one inch higher than where you started, being sure to keep the exercise in your glutes and out of your low back. Pulse 10 times at varying speeds, then reset. Repeat 4-5 times.
diamond thigh — Challenging exercise to tone and shape your thighs. Start in a first position. rise up onto releve and walk your feet closer together so your heels touch. Bend your knees so they track the same direction as your toes and your legs form a wide diamond shape. Squeeze your glutes tight to get a bonus booty workout. bend your knees more and less to drop your hips an inch towards the floor and then rise an inch up. Repeat this move for 1-2 minutes without resetting to feel a deep burn in your quads.
bow and arrow abs (aka “katniss abs”) — Great for transversus abdominis muscles and obliques. Sit on the floor with your feet hip width apart. sit up tall and extend both arms in front of your shoulders with your palms facing inward. lean back keeping your posture straight. Pull one elbow back behind your waist and twist slightly toward your bent elbow looking back behind your shoulder. Feel your abs catch you as you recline. Return to your starting position and repeat on the other side. Do 20-30 reps at varying speeds.
tricep dips — Targets the triceps and posture muscles. Sit on the floor with your feet hip width apart. Place your hands under your shoulders with your fingertips pointing forward. straighten your arms and lift your booty off the floor, keeping your shoulders over your wrists and squeezing your shoulder blades together. Bend your elbows to activate your triceps, then straighten slightly to recover. Do 3 sets of 10 reps. Option to lift one bent leg into your chest to increase the intensity.
Who’s ready for a little barre hopping?