Holiday Barre Guide

For many of us, holiday season is when we tend to slip a little in terms of our healthy eating and working out. And that's okay! Who doesn't love a little festive Christmas cookie party with family rather than a solo bowl of kale? And when you're home for the holidays, you're kinda obligated to hang out with Grams rather than hit up spin class. You have all year to fit in those workout goals and spirulina shakes. The holiday time is for friends, family, feeling thankful and relaxing with a glass of wine or vegan cookie dough dip like my Cookies n' Cream Cookie Dough (you're welcome).

That said, it's still easy to find a few minutes here and there to get in some tucking (tuck yeah!), plie-ing using the back of the couch as a barre, and building your ankle strength and flexibility with tools like this balancing disc. (Note: those balancing discs are great for both ankle sprain prevention and recovery, in my experience. I used to sprain my right ankle about once a year, and-knock on wood-I haven't had any issues or sprains since using balancing discs or bosu balls, which help tremendously with ankle strength and flexibility). Anyway, I digress.

There are countless YouTube videos and online barre tutorials you can seek out to guide you, or do your own version of a barre workout; whatever you (safely) feel like! In between workouts, find a way to stretch every day. I know, boring. But if you stretch every day for at least 10 minutes, you'll see a tremendous improvement in your flexibility. Also if you're a dancer, I have to say that my newfound commitment to daily stretching has also helped my turnout.

What's an easy way to squeeze in a booty-shaking, leg-quivering workout? While watching TV with your family (maybe stand behind them, or ignore the eye rolls), do bridge lifts and tucks, do an inner thigh workout, or work on your splits stretch. Suddenly, the holidays won't seem like such a hinderance to health after all.

Searching for gifts or tools for you or your fitness friends to further flexibility and improve performance? (Any maybe look fantastic?)

Look no further! Oh, and scroll to the bottom for a quick barre warmup.

As a barre/ballet lover, I'm pretty confident you will not find any cuter nonslip socks than these:

Sparkly Barre Socks

(I have two pairs, and love to rake in the compliments on my "fancy" socks. Don't laugh: confidence=better workouts! Because science).

Strappy Leo

Call 'em "leos" and you already sound like a pro. Take it from me: doing a workout in a skintight leo will make you a) feel profesh. and b) not want to eat that second...or third...piece of pumpkin pie, even if it is gluten-free and dairy-free! I'm all about flattering, pretty workout pieces that hugs your curves and is ultra-comfortable.

Bliss balls:

Whip up these cookies in a few minutes flat and enjoy a couple without the typical holiday guilt. Wrap them up and give them to your fit friend and spread the holiday magic!

Ballet Stretch Band:

I use a shorter "regular" resistance band right now, but this one has great reviews, and it seems like the ones with loops or in one large loop generate the most success. Whatever sort of resistance band you use, make sure you are warmed up first! Holidays with a pulled muscle isn't fantastic. Use this to help with splits, arabesques, strengthening feet and more.

Apple Watch:

Ok. Best gift/fitness tool ever. If you're competitive with yourself, or others, or like achieving goals, this watch is your new BFF. It will convince you to walk one more mile, and stand a few minutes more; whatever it takes to reach those programed goals and see those color wheels complete. Bonus: they now come in this ballet pink/rose-hued shade. Perfect for the studio, or home, or holding that champagne flute at a holiday event.

Barre Warm-Up/TV Commercial workout:

10 jumping jacks

20 squats with leg lifts (bend knee towards your chest as you come up, alternating)

10 leg lifts of each: to the front, to the side, back, and side. (Both legs are straight, toes pointed) Switch legs.

30 tiny plies from relevé: glue your heels together, bend knees toward knee level, little up and downs, thirty times.

Optional: hold on the last one, tuck hips front 30 times.

Balance as long as you can, up on tip toes, keeping core in, arms over head, straight legs. If this is too easy, lift one leg into an attitude.

Repeat up to 3 times to get that blood pumping! Then enjoy that bubbly ;)

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