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Total Success: Total Barre® Exercises to Work Into your Next Class

Total Barre Exercises

The exercises central to Total Barre can help fitness enthusiasts of every age and ability build strength and improve mobility.

While each of the exercises listed below zero in on strengthening a specific part of the body, some are especially helpful for specific groups – from athletes to those recovering from an injury to new mothers.

For Everyone

Structural awareness will help you maintain the alignment that’s so essential to safe and effective exercise.

Become better aligned by imagining the head, ribs and pelvis as cylinders stacked on top of one another.

Good foot functionality is also important to alignment. These exercises will release tension and help build strength in the feet and ankles.

With our lifestyles so geared toward forward movements such as sitting at a computer, driving, carrying children or bending over clients, achieving alignment requires that many strengthen the posterior muscles surrounding the scapula and shoulder. These exercises also help prevent neck strain while also toning arms.

For Athletes

Upper body strength

For athletes whose practice has given them strong legs, this repertoire helps strengthen the upper body while also achieving alignment by keeping the rib cage on top of the pelvis.

Another way to strengthen the upper body is with these exercises, which use the Flex-Band and Stability Barre. They’re also good for helping keep the ribcage on top of the pelvis.

This series, also from the Total Barre repertoire, focuses on building the hip abductor muscles, a key muscle group for dancers in particular who have strong legs.

Core and lower body strength

Barre routines provide excellent lower body workouts. This exercise, which can be done with or without resistance, combine squats and heel lifts to target three dimensionally around the thigh and lower leg – also known as the glutes and the hamstrings.

Build abdominal and arm strength while also working on articulating the spine with this exercise, which uses the flex band to create resistance in order to help extend the spine.

Special Populations

Older fitness enthusiasts are often keen to build balance but prefer not to get down on the mat.

With the calf stretch and knee Lift from the Total Barre repertoire, clients work on the lower legs and abdominals to create greater stability.

Pre-natal clients often need to get a little bit of mobility through the lumbar spine and also to open up the chest and the front of the shoulders. This exercise is a favourite and is done in a standing position so avoids having to get on the floor.

New mothers often need to rebuild abdominal strength.

This exercise provides a little bit more torso rotation, mobilizing the spine again and also getting openness across the front of the shoulders.


Help clients rebuild strength and flexibility in the knee, post-rehab, by working the knee extension with ball from the Total Barre repertoire.

Try building shoulder strength and flexibility in post-rehab clients with external rotation and abduction exercises.

Remember that when rehabilitating a shoulder injury, it’s important to make sure the small muscles, the rotator cuff muscles, are doing what they’re supposed to do.

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