Barre is a dynamic group fitness concept that utilizes dance-based positions, Yoga, Pilates, and functional movements.
The Barre concept can be applied to floor based exercises, a Ballet Barre, as well as unstable training surfaces such as balance trainers.
Integrating a balance trainer like the Step360™ Pro can create an unstable environment that increases core activation and adds fun, variety, and challenge to many barre-based movements like folder over series exercises and seated upper body muscular strength/endurance work.
The Step360™ Pro is created with a flat surface. Consequently, it allows proper and neutral alignment of the foot and ankle that leads up the kinetic chain to promote optimal mechanics of the hips and spine for most closed-chain movements including squats, lunges, and hip hinges.
One of the most beneficial features of the Step360™ Pro that makes it appropriate for all demographics is the ability to quickly increase or decrease the stability level by simply inflating or deflating it…more air is more stable; less air is less stable.
The flat surface of the Step360™ Pro alleviates the aversion to and fears many people have of balancing. Furthermore, the demographics of people with the greatest need to improve balance are given a better opportunity.
The unique design of the tubing anchors creates a load challenge from a variety of angles for upper and lower body movements. In addition, holding tubing that is anchored to the Step360™ Pro can make it easier for participants to develop balance and coordination.
Simply adding the Step360™ Pro to your Barre classes in the New Year will take member results of all fitness levels to new heights! The two exercises described here are great examples of how this tool can be integrated into any training format to enhance seated and standing positions.
Upper Body Floor
Seated V Shoulder Press
Start with light tubing fixed to wider anchors or use light dumbbells. Hold handles with tube underarms and palms facing in. Raise arms parallel with the floor and bend elbows to 90 degrees. V-Sit in center of Step 360 with spine in neutral position and feet on floor or legs lifted and bent at 90 degrees for more challenge. Activate core by slightly leaning back. Raise arms and straighten arms above head and return to start position. Progress the shoulder press by increasing speed of movement. Progress the movement further by decreasing range of motion in challenge zone then add a pulse. Extend and flex legs to vary movement and increase challenge.
Repeat each speed progression for 1- 2 sets of 8 repetitions.
Seat Work Standing
Start by fixing tubing to anchors at 11 and 1 o’clock then stand upright with right foot in center of Step 360 (where Step 360 is most stable) and left toe hooked around back of platform. Hold tubing handles with arms extended by sides (one handle in each hand). With weight loaded into right leg (stable leg), begin movement by hinging at hip and simultaneously transversely abducting arms (rear deltoid fly). Drive through right heel and activate right Glute Max to return to original position.
Progression 1 – Extend left hip and leg simultaneously with hip hinge. (1 – 2 set of 8 repetitions)
Progression 2 – Remain in hip hinged position then flex and extend left hip and leg for 1 – 2 sets of eight repetitions. Increase speed by for more challenge (1 – 2 sets of eight repetitions)
Progression 3 – Hold left hip and leg extended and continue with 1-inch pulses. Increase speed of pulse for more challenge (1 – 2 sets of eight repetitions)
Variation 1 – Remain in hip hinged position then transversely abduct and adduct left hip and leg (1 – 2 sets of eight repetitions)
Variation 2 – Quarter squat into right leg (stable leg) while left hip and leg remain abducted (1 – 2 sets of eight repetitions)
Repeat sequence with left as stable leg