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December 3, 2011 / ShapedforFitness

Challenging Xtend Barre Exercises

Over the past month, I’ve taken 7 Xtend Barre classes and as I improve on my form and strength, I enjoy the class even more. The first couple classes, you are getting used to the ballet terminology and wobbling through the transitions. But, after a few more classes you learn to slow down and gracefully transition to the next exercise. Xtend Barre exercises are meant to be controlled movements, not wild and powerful movements. When you slow exercises down, you remove momentum and your muscles work even harder and your core steps up to stabilize your body.

If you want to see a sample workout, check out the demo video of Xtend Barre.

On Thursday night, I took Courtney’s class and got the most challenging class yet. And, she gave me this super cute Xtend Barre tank top:

Thanks for the tank top, Courtney!!!

There were only 2 of us in class so Courtney challenged us with new exercises. In the arm section, after the normal set of arm exercises with light dumbbells, we held a low lunge (warrior 2) position with weights to the front and back. We did tiny lifts with our thumbs up, then thumbs down and then tricep extensions keeping the elbows at shoulder height. Then, we did it all over again on the other leg. Burning shoulders!! I could barely hold my arms up on the final set!

Arm raises in low lunge

After the dumbbell work, we did some pushups and tricep dips. I’m so excited I can finally do more than 6 of these dips on each leg!

Tricep dips with extended leg

For the barre section (always my favorite) we did the seat work with the ball between our thighs, combinations of plies, passés, attitudes, and lunges. First set on flat feet and second set on your highest tippie toes. Then came the isolated hip/butt work. Standing on one leg with arms folded on the barre, we did tiny leg lifts to the side, back and ceiling.

Leg lifts on barre

Heel lifts to the ceiling

The leg that’s extended starts to burn, but not nearly as much as the standing leg. By the final set, my hip on the standing leg was on fire.  But we weren’t done yet! Then we had to balance on that same leg (warrior 3 position) and do single leg balance squats! WHOA!!! HARD!!!!

Warrior 3 - One leg balance squats. So hard!!!

I thought my leg was going to collapse it was shaking so violently. The standing leg and hip were completely exhausted, I could barely lift it to stretch it out. And then we did it all over again on the other leg. Awesome balance challenge though.

Of course we weren’t done with the hips after that. We moved to the mats, laid on our side and put the circle stretch band around our legs above the knees.

Xtend Barre circle stretch band - http://www.xtendbarremv.com

Since I don’t have the circle band at home, I’m using a basic elastic stretch band. We did tiny lifts, circles, and hip openers where your knee lifts but your foot stays put. The sets seemed to last forever and by the final set, I could barely lift my knee off the other knee!  Two days after the workout, my hips are still really sore!

Hip raises with elastic band

The final ab section was great as always. We did long leg bicycle abs, side oblique lifts and ab crunches with lifted legs.

Long leg bicycle abs from Xtend Barre video

Ab crunches with lifted legs from Xtend Barre video

As always, I loved the Xtend Barre workout and really enjoyed the new challenging exercises. Next week I’m excited to bring a couple of friends to their first class, I hope they like it too!

Hope you have a great weekend! We’re off to my company Christmas party today after I warm up with a yummy cup (or two) of Starbucks Christmas blend coffee.

Love Starbucks Christmas blend coffee!

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