It’s January, which pretty means we’re all working hard to follow through with those resolutions we found ourselves making last month, and we’re willing to bet that getting in better shape is at the top of most people’s lists.
In addition to cutting carbs, chugging more water, and stalking YouTube for easy ab workout videos, we’ve found an easy—and quite effective way—to slim down while lengthening our muscles using nothing but a pole and our own body. The workout is from from New York fitness studio Body & Pole’s Vertical Ballet Barre class, which uses traditional moves taken from ballet, but instead of a classic horizontal barre uses a vertical pole.
Check out the easy and effective step-by-step moves below, which were created by Body & Pole’s Allison Wardwell, and get moving!
1. Flex & Point
Sit with your back against the pole or a wall with your legs straight out in front of you. Point the toes and then flex the feet by bringing the toes towards your body. Flex as far back as you can, maybe even bringing the heels off the ground. Repeat point and flex 10 times to warm up and work on foot articulation.
2. Roll-Up Relevé
Stand up straight with your feet together, holding onto the pole (or a ledge) for balance stability. Slowly bend at the knees, then lift the heels off the floor. Then stand up straight—remember to keep the feet and ankles glued together throughout the exercise. Return to starting standing position and repeat 10 times.
3. The Thigh Master
Begin standing with your legs bent and knees externally rotated, but keep the heels off the floor and glued together. Engage the glutes and bring the knees in and then press the knees back out wide. Repeat squeezing the legs in and out while staying on your tip-toes. Repeat 20 times.
4. Inner Thigh Squeeze
Beging standing on a block, a stair, a pillow, or anything that’s stable and gives you lift. Flex the feet with the heels together. Squeeze the inner thighs and slide the right foot in front of the left. Bring the right foot back to neutral and then extend it behind the left foot. Do 10 on the right and then 10 on the left, keep the inner thighs engaged and zipped together throughout the exercise.
5. Side Leg Extension
Begin standing with the right leg bent and rotated to the side, right foot should be at left side ankle. Engage the core and bring the right foot up to meet the outer left knee. Then, engage the obliques and bring the right leg up higher, try to pull the right knee into the right armpit. For an extra challenge, fully extend the right leg out to the side. Slowly return the leg to starting position and repeat, 10 times each side.
6. Back Leg Extension
Begin standing on the left foot, right foot should be pointed behind the left. Engage the glutes and extend the right leg back and up. For an extra challenge bring the right leg back and up as high as you can, remembering to keep the chest and back engaged. Slowly return the leg to starting position and repeat 10 times on each side.