Long before Natalie Portman whipped across the floor in her Oscar winning performance, women have been flocking like Black Swans to ballet-barre based workouts.  But forget the Tchaikovsky and the intimidating dance terms, these below workouts all use the prop of the ballet bar to stabilize muscles, allowing you to focus on toning those hard to reach areas.

Cardio Barre, a workout based in Los Angeles has a solution to whip your body into shape in no time.   This up-beat, muscle-sculpting, fat burning and leaning workout, utilizes a ballet bar, free weights, and center ab work.  They say you can lose up to 5 percent body fat in 8 weeks.   There’s no bouncing up and down, but just good old-fashioned lengthening and strengthening.  And that hard to sculpt side-butt droop?  Consider it lifted. 

Similarly, Bar Method, a technique developed by Burr Leonard, helps isolate and tone specific sections of the body.  It uses the muscle-shaping principles of isometrics, the body-elongating practice of dance conditioning, the science of physical therapy and the intense pace of interval training.  Sounds like a mouthful, but skip the fancy lingo and revel in the results. There are a ton of celebs that swear by Bar Method and they trust Leonard to keep their bodies toned, looking healthy, and defying the laws of physics.

Physique 57– the newest workout to pop on the scene, is focused on interval training and teaching the body to work past its breaking point.  It, like Bar Method, uses isometric exercises and orthopedic stretches to systematically lengthen and sculpt, and also uses the bodies own weight as resistance.   High volume tunes accompany this 57-minute workout.

No matter which path you decide to dance down, your muscles will burn and shake, and the inches will pirouette right off your frame.

-Arianna Schioldager

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