Ashley Cramer, owner of The Barre Studio in Capitola, Calif., pens a monthly lifestyle and fitness blog for The Penny Rose.
Swimsuit season is in full swing, and these barre-inspired moves will help you maintain your best summer body. I did these at the beach, but you can do them anywhere—in a park, at the gym, or on your living room floor.
At The Barre Studio, we kick off every class with a two-minute forearm plank. This deceptively simple move builds a strong core (read: rock hard abs) and firms your back, shoulders, arms, legs, and glutes.
How to do it: Start on your knees with your elbows on the ground right under your shoulders. Curl your toes under and straighten your legs. Your body will be one straight line from your head to heels. To help you maintain form, press your shoulders away from your ears, press long though your heels and don’t let your seat stick up. Hold for 30 seconds and work up to one to two minutes.
Tip: Keep your core tight so that your belly doesn’t sag, which can cause low-back strain.
Seated Bicycle Twist
This move focuses on your obliques to carve out your waistline. Expect to feel work throughout your core and in your hip flexors and thighs.
How to do it: Sit with your needs bent, and lift them to your chest. When you find your balance, clasp your hands behind your head, lean slightly back, and brace your core by drawing your belly button to your spine. Extend your right leg straight, and turn your shoulders toward your left knee. Keep your elbows wide and chin lifted as you switch sides. Do as many reps as you can in one minute, take a break and repeat two to three times.
Tip: Keep your core braced the whole time (belly to spine) to work in your transverse abdominis, the lowest abdominals, which protect your low back and forms flat abs.