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8 At-Home Barre Exercises for a Sleek, Sculpted Core

Sculpt a lean and mean core in the comfort of your own home.

Whether you work from home or simply don't enjoy working up a sweat at the gym, having a go-to home workout regimen is essential. You really don't need a pricey fitness membership or fancy equipment to sculpt your dream body. Instead, you can try these at-home barre exercises for a sleek and sculpted core, brought to you by Michelle Ditto, director of training and technique at Pure Barre.

"One of the best things about exercises that you may see in a barre class is that many of them have at-home applications to effectively target your core muscles in a strategic way to give you a full-body workout with minimal equipment needed," explains Ditto.

For many exercises, incorporating resistance or light weights can bump up the intensity, but every exercise can be performed—and is just as effective—when working with your body weight alone. "Your body is a POWERFUL tool and can strengthen your full muscles in myriad ways," Ditto adds.

Below is a sample of Ditto's best at-home barre exercises that fire up the core and promote total-body strength. Read on to learn more, and when you're finished, be sure to check out The #1 Best Type of Exercise for Weight Loss.


To begin hundreds, sit down on the floor, and hold an optional light dumbbell in each hand. Roll back so that your shoulders are lifted off the ground. Lengthen your legs at a 45-degree diagonal. Point your toes, and extend your arms ahead of you. Next, pump your arms as you breathe in for four pumps and breathe out for four pumps.

Perform the exercise for 30 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Complete three rounds total.

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bicycle crunches

The next core-blasting exercise is the bicycle. "Take a seat, then roll back to hover your head and shoulders off the floor," Ditto explains. "Bend your legs to 90 degrees (tabletop), and point your toes. Bring your hands behind your head, elbows drawn wide." Gradually alternate between lengthening one leg to hover above the ground and then the next. Feel free to speed things up, but be sure to keep your range of motion strong.

Perform bicycles for 30 seconds, and then rest for 10 seconds. Complete three rounds total.


Begin teasers by sitting on the floor with a weight in each hand. "Lie back and reach your arms straight to the ceiling," Ditto instructs. "Extend your legs long on the floor. Zip your legs together and point your toes. Slowly activate the core to roll the arms and legs up to a "V" shape. Then, slowly roll back down."

Repeat the exercise for 30 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds, then repeat.

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Plank Variations

side plank hip dip

Plank variations fire up your abs and boost shoulder stability.

Assume a forearm plank position with your legs extended behind you and your feet hip-width apart. For the first variation, gradually shift your weight forward and back for 30 seconds. The second variation calls for you to press up to straight arms and perform an isometric hold for 30 seconds. The third variation will have you assuming a side plank with your hips stacked and your top arm extended toward the sky. Lower and lift your hips for 30 seconds before switching sides. Take a 10-second rest between each set.

Squat Variations

Squat variations engage your hamstrings, quads, glutes, and entire core. Feel free to incorporate dumbbells for extra intensity.

"With one weight in each hand, walk your feet slightly wider than hip-width, toes facing forward or slightly turned out," instructs Ditto. "Rack the weights at your shoulders. Slowly bend your knees to squat down, then squeeze your glutes and push through the floor to stand up."

Perform the exercise for 30 seconds, and take a 10-second rest between sets. Aim to complete three total sets.

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Lunge Variations

reverse lunge illustration

Lunge variations engage the quads, glutes, hamstrings, and core. You can add weights for extra intensity.

"With one weight in each hand, step your feet hip-width apart parallel, [and keep your] arms long by your sides," says Ditto. For the reverse lunge, bring your right foot back to lower into a lunge. Rise up, and repeat the movement for 30 seconds before doing the same on the opposite side. For the forward lunge, bring your right foot forward to descend into a lunge. Stand back up, and do the exercise for 30 seconds before doing the same on the opposite side. Rest for 10 seconds between sets.

Wide 2nd

The wide 2nd exercise targets the hamstrings, quads, outer thighs, and inner thighs while boosting balance. You can use a wall, couch, or chair for balance.

"Walk your feet out wider than your hips and turn your toes out slightly. Make sure your shoulders are stacked over the hips," says Ditto. "Lower down (sit toward your knee line) then stand back up. Option to reach your left arm overhead and add a side bend to the right as you lower down, and then lift upright as you extend your legs."

Perform the exercise for 30 seconds before switching sides. Rest for 10 seconds, and repeat, aiming for a total of three sets.

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Standing Leg Abduction

The standing leg abduction engages the abs and glutes.

"Work near a chair, wall, or counter for balance," Ditto says. "Turn so your left side is profile to your support and hang on to your support with your left hand. Reach your right arm out to the side at shoulder height. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and parallel. Extend your right leg out straight to the side in line with your hip the low diagonal; point your foot. Softly bend your standing leg."

Gradually perform a side bend toward your support of choice as you lift your right arm and lower your right leg. Then, gradually raise your upper body so it's upright as you bring your right arm to the side and lift your right leg.

Perform the movement for 30 seconds. Take a 10-second rest before repeating on the other side.

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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