Tone your legs and glutes with this chair-only bodyweight barre workout

It also improves mobility, posture, strengthens you core and burns calories — what's not to love?

Woman doing barre workout in a ballet studio
(Image credit: Getty)

Want to tone up, increase your mobility, strengthen your core, and improve your posture as well as your endurance? It almost all sounds a bit too good to be true, doesn’t it? But if weight training HIIT workouts or running isn’t your thing, then barre workouts could be. This particular barre workout is perfect for beginners; it will take you no longer than 15 minutes to complete, is low-impact, but will still get your legs and glutes burning. The best bit? No home gym equipment is required; you just need a chair.

If you’re still a little confused about what ‘barre’ is exactly, it’s a type of workout that combines ballet-inspired moves with Pilates and yoga. It’s a type of strength training, as you use your body weight (or sometimes even small dumbbells and resistance bands) to complete the movements, as well as a wall bar (a free-standing bar or chair will do at home) and an exercise/yoga mat. According to Physique 57, one of New York’s first barre-based fitness boutiques: “Barre helps strengthen and tone your muscles without increasing bulk, and it improves your posture. It also increases cardiovascular endurance and metabolism, which helps to quickly burn calories.”

This workout can be done anywhere in your home, you could even take it outside on a sunny day, you just need a chair. You want to try and complete 10 reps of each exercise, on each side, and aim to complete at least three rounds. Remember, barre is all about controlled movement; take your time so as to really engage your muscles and core. Hold onto the side of the chair while completing each exercise to help with your balance. Here’s your workout:

  • Front and back kicks 
  • Tap and lift to the back
  • Knee drives to the back
  • Side to side sweeps to the back
  • Pulses to the back
  • Front and back kicks

 You’ll then repeat exercises two to five, but forwards so: 

  • Tap and lift to the front
  • Knee drives to the front
  • Side to side sweeps to the front
  • Pulses to the front

We hope you enjoyed that workout, and hopefully, it introduced you to a new style of fitness training that you love. If so, then give this other barre-inspired 15-minute full-body workout that uses a mini resistance band a go. If it's your posture you're looking to improve on more, then here are three ballet poses that will do just that.

Bryony Firth-Bernard
Staff Writer, Active

Bryony’s T3’s official ‘gym-bunny’ and Active Staff Writer, covering all things fitness. In her spare time, you will find her in her natural habitat - the gym - where her style of training is a hybrid of bodybuilding and powerlifting. Bryony loves writing about accessible workouts, nutrition and testing innovative fitness products that help you reach your fitness goals and take your training to the next level.