As summer grows closer, barbecues, brunches, and leisurely days at the beach are calling. Sticking to those workout goals you set back in January can become a bit more challenging .
If you’re short on time and looking for a good burn, this week’s episode of Well+Good’s Trainer of the Month Club might just have what you’re looking for. Dancer and Lululemon studio trainer Amanda Baxter leads viewers in a 10-minute low-impact barre burn.
“If you’ve never taken barre, it’s a fusion of yoga, Pilates, as well as ballet technique,” says Baxter. For the class, she recommends holding onto some sort of “barre” to help maintain your balance. She uses a chair, but basically anything you can hold onto (the edge of a table, a sturdy bookshelf) will do the trick.
This workout skips high-impact moves like jumping or burpees in favor of slow and steady engagement of your quads and core. And it may be only 10 minutes long, but because Baxter has you staying low between squats and continuously engaged in your moves, you’re gonna feel it.
“As you’re going from one position to the next, try to stay low and grounded,” Baxter says. “You wanna avoid standing up to transition.” That’s because when you come up out of the squat, you’re letting your muscles rest, which decreases the overall workout intensity (and that spicy muscle “burn”).
Baxter starts the workout by walking the legs out to a wide second position (the second of five basic standing positions dancers use in ballet technique, according to Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre). She then instructs viewers to maintain an upright, engaged core while lowering down into a pulsing squat in this position. Baxter then adds in a curtsy squat, and has you transitioning between the two. Don’t worry if that sounds complicated—she explains it all and demonstrates clearly along the way.
“You’re definitely gonna feel some shakes in the legs. But I want you to remember that those shakes are a sign of strength because we’re pushing through this,” says Baxter. “We’re building our muscular endurance. So train those muscles, even when they’re exhausted, to keep working for you.”
“I want you to remember that those shakes are a sign of strength.” —Amanda Baxter
It’s a short workout, but the moves pack a punch in your quads, glutes, and core. Not only does your core have to work to keep your posture upright throughout all the standing moves, but Baxter caps of the session with some Pilates-style single-leg stretches and spiders (pulling one knee toward your elbow in a plank position) for some targeted ab and oblique burn.
Of course, follow along to your comfort level, and if you want to take a break, stand up, skip a move, and hop back in, totally feel free to do so. Though a big part of the challenge comes from staying engaged throughout the full 10 minutes, don’t hesitate to listen to your body and rest when you need it.