“Summer bodies are made in winter”, harks every personal trainer you’ll meet. But the truth is that they’re right.
If you put the hard work in now, you’ll be much more prepared to show some skin during the summer months, rather than hiding away in a gym or spending the warmer evenings running around the park, trying your hardest to tone up before your summer holiday hits.
So to help you kick-start your body confidence mission, we’ve asked Barreworks founder Vicki Anstey for five ballet-inspired exercises designed to target specific areas of your body with a range of low-impact, high-intensity movements.
Try and do these quick and simple moves every day to tone up every part of your body:
The aim: A brilliant bottom
This workout will have your glutes looking gorgeous and your confidence soaring:
• Assume a kneeling position on your hands and knees.
• With power, but control, sweep each leg back until you feel your gluteals contract.
• Hold briefly before lowering your knee back down and repeating.
• Start by doing four sets of 30 repetitions.
• If you need more of a challenge, alternate between pointed toes and flexed feet for a deeper gluteal contraction.
The aim: A boosted bust
This simple series of movements will tone and tighten your pectoral muscles for a firmer finish:
• Begin on your hands and knees, walking your hands forward and dropping your hips until your back is flat and straight and your shoulders, hips and knees are in a straight line. Make sure that your hands line up to your bust rather than your shoulders to pinpoint your pectorals.
• Hold your tummy muscles tight and keep your back straight and hips down while you lower yourself until your chest nearly touches the floor, then return to your starting position by pushing up.
• Aim for four sets of 10 repetitions.
The aim: Awesome arms
Tackling one of the most common worries, this workout will give you upper arms to envy:
• Set your feet a few inches apart, one in front of the other.
• Step the ball of the rear foot onto a resistance theraband to hold it firmly to the floor.
• Use your arms to hold the other end of the theraband above your head.
• Perform a deep plié by bending your legs but keeping your back upright and straight, while extending your arms upwards above your head.
• Aim to complete three sets of 15 repetitions each time you workout.
The aim: A toned tummy
If you opt for a two piece or cut-out when it comes to swimwear, this workout is your new BFF:
• Sit on your bottom with your feet on the floor.
• Lower your back from upright to 45 degrees from the floor.
• Bring your arms into ballet first position.
• Holding your arms in this position, twist side to side from the waist.
• Repeat three times in repetitions of 20, returning to upright back between each set of repetitions.
• When you feel more confident, try lifting your feet off the floor during this workout, squeezing your inner thighs together to enhance the workout for your oblique stomach muscles.
The aim: Perfect pins
Work your inner thighs and quads with this workout and your legs will wow just as much in flats as in heels:
• Lean against a wall and press your back firmly against it, engaging your abdominals.
• Lower yourself so that your thighs are at a right angle to the wall, keeping your back in full contact with it.
• Squeeze your knees together and hold for one minute.
• Repeat this three times, coming up to standing position between sets.
Barreworks is a studio dedicated to ballet and barre workouts, designed to benefit your whole body with low impact, high intensity movements that help to lift bottoms, trim thighs and define arms. If you can’t make it to the studio in Richmond, you can enjoy online classes at www.barreworks.co.uk.