Doing a new type of workout for the first time can be intimidating — you’re in a room full of strangers, the teacher is calling out terms everyone else understands, so you resort to side-eyeing your neighbor to see what you’re supposed to be doing.
Super Trainer Elise Joan’s program, Barre Blend, is a fusion of ballet barre, Pilates, and cardio interval training, but there’s no reason to be intimidated.
Elise designed the program for everyone, of all ages and fitness levels, so if you’ve never done a barre workout or Pilates before, or if you’re just starting out, you can follow the modifier who does a slightly easier version of each move.
To help you get up to speed on the foundational concepts and positions you’ll be using throughout Barre Blend, we created this quick cheat sheet.
But don’t worry if you don’t remember everything: Elise has your back — she’ll guide you through all the moves so you’ll never feel lost!
1. Proper Form
If you’re new to ballet barre or Pilates (and even if you’re a regular!), you may find yourself unconsciously sticking your chest forward and tailbone out when assuming a position.
For proper form no matter what position you’re in, check in with your body from your shoulders to your tailbone:
- Shoulders should be down and back.
- Zip in/pull in your chest and abs.
- Tuck your tailbone in under your hips.
Your entire upper body, from shoulders down to your bottom, should form a straight line.
2. First Position
There are five basic positions for your feet that form the foundation of almost every move in classical barre ballet.
To get into first position, stand tall with your shoulders back and down and your legs and feet together, toes pointing forward.
From there, turn your legs and feet out so that they form a “V” shape, with your heels touching.
Make sure everything is zipped and tucked in so that your upper body is in alignment.
3. Second Position
The easiest way to get into proper second position is to start in first position. From there, slide one leg out to the side so your feet are hip-width apart.
Your legs are straight, not bent, and your feet are flat on the ground, still pointing outward in a “V” shape.
4. Plié (plee-ay)
When Elise cues you to plié, that simply means to bend your knees.
You would typically do a plié while in first or second position: Keeping your feet planted, bend your knees and lower your body down as far as you’re comfortable doing so.
In the photo above, Elise is demonstrating a plié in second position.
You can do a relevé (“raise”) from various starting positions — raise your heels up until you’re balancing on the balls of your feet.
Elise is demonstrating these moves without a barre, but feel free to hold on to a secure chair or other sturdy household object to help you balance.
If you can’t do all the moves at first, follow the modifier. As you progress, you can up your game by following the intensifier.
The only thing you really need to remember is that Barre Blend is for everyone, no matter your experience or fitness level.
Elise is a master teacher with impeccable form and cueing and she can help you get the strong body you want!