This 20-Minute Barre Workout Challenges You To the Hardest Cardio Plank Series of Your Life

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Barre workouts are better known for their muscle-shaking movements than their ability to spike your heart rate, but with the right format, they can leave you seriously sweaty. In this episode of Trainer of the Month Club, Nicole Uribarri, program director and founding instructor of Bande, is giving you the best of both worlds with a short cardio barre workout that will get you on and off the mat in 20 minutes. "Get ready to sweat," she says.

What makes the workout so effective is the "cardio blasts" that punctuate traditional barre movements. In these moments, you'll get down into a plank and cycle through a series of all-out exercises designed to get your heart pumping. Here's what it involves:

  1. Start in a plank position with your shoulders stacked over your wrists and engage your core, focusing on keeping a straight line from the top of your head all the way down through your heels. Then, take one knee to your opposite elbow, and repeat on the other side for a knee drive. When you're comfortable with the movement, you'll speed it up for an all-out plank run, which you'll repeat for two sets of eight.
  2.  Continuing to hold your plank position, tap one hand to your opposite shoulder, then repeat on the other side. Continue alternating from hand to hand for one set of eight.
  3. Lift your hips up and back into down dog, then lower back into plank. Repeat three times.
  4. Repeat steps one through three.
  5. Walk your hands back to your feet, and then sweep your arms as you stand up. Fold your body down and walk your hands out, do a push-up, walk your hands back, and sweep your arms up to stand. Repeat for 20 seconds.

You'll repeat this series three times throughout the workout, which will help keep your heart rate up as you move on to more traditional ballet-inspired exercises. In your non-cardio moments, you'll use a barre (or, if you're at home, a chair), for exercises like jumping plié squats and reverse lunge knee raises to really give you a full-body burn.

Ready to go? Follow along to the video to get Uribarri's short cardio barre workout.

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