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Barrecore’s top 5 moves for toning your arms
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Barrecore’s top 5 moves for toning your arms

niki meta

Let’s be honest – who isn’t envious of the ballet dancer body? Just looking at those long, lean limbs and perfect posture is enough to get us back in the gym – but toning your arms can be difficult if you’re doing the wrong moves. That’s why this week we’ve quizzed Barrecore founder Niki Rein on how to get fabulous arms without bulking.

We videoed Niki doing her Barre moves (inspired by ballet dance) to help you copy her technique, while her detailed descriptions provide a step by step guide for Barre beginners. Try these five simple moves to get your arms in tip-top shape for spring.

1 Curtsy Lunge with ‘Y’ arms

Niki arms 2

Best for: Strengthens shoulders and back whist creating length.

How to do it: Step into a lunge position, turning out in ‘curtsy’. Bend knees deeply and reach arms high in a ‘Y’ position (biceps stay high by ears). Lift the arms up, squeezing your shoulder-blades down the back and keeping arms straight. Barely release the ‘ lift’ before performing another repetition so the movement stays small and strong. Repeat 20 times on each leg.

Challenge yourself: Lower your back knee to the floor every time the arms raise up.

2 Essentric Arms

Niki arms 1

Best for: Tops of shoulders, triceps and upper back. There’s the added bonus of leg work for increased burn and postural strength.

How to do it: Stand with your feet in a small ‘V’ position, heels lifted. Stretch arms straight out to the sides at shoulder height and your flex palms so your fingertips point toward the ceiling. Push arms back and forward on a horizontal plane a few inches, keeping arms as straight as possible and hands in a flexed position. Repeat 30-40 times.

Challenge yourself: Pulse down and up in the legs for a full body burn.

3 Can-Can Triceps

Niki arms 3

Best for: Tones ‘bingo wings’ with added core work from can-can.

How to do it: Sit on the floor with your knees bent, hip-width apart, placing your hands under your shoulders (fingertips pointing forward). Pull one knee into chest. Bend elbows back as lifted leg extends toward ceiling, then press your elbows straight as the knee bends back toward chest. Repeat 15 times, then switch legs.

Challenge yourself: Straight leg can-can. Start with a straight leg up toward the ceiling and stretch your leg straight forward (even with lower knee) as arms move straight, then move leg back to a vertical position when arms bend.

4 Pretty Press-up

Niki arms 5

Best for: Strengthens pectorals, biceps, shoulders and back. Added bonus of gluteal and leg work.

How to do it: Start in a high press-up position and cross one leg on top of the other at the ankles. Lower down into a low press-up position and press straight up as your top leg lifts up and out at a diagonal. Cross leg back over your supporting leg as arms push straight. Repeat 8-12 times, then switch legs.

Challenge yourself: Instead of lowering the lifting leg down onto your supporting leg, draw the knee to the same side shoulder (think Spider-Man!).

5 Weighted Arm Hinge

Niki arms 4

Best for: Deep thigh and abdominal strengthening and lengthening posture whilst sculpting arms.

How to do it: Holding a 1.5-2 kg weight in each hand (water bottles work, too!), kneel on the floor with knees six inches apart. Keep tailbone tucked under and abs drawn in as torso ‘hinges’ back, so there is a diagonal straight line from knees up to your head. Keep your elbows bent at 90 degrees, directly in front of shoulders. Press weights up (just a couple inches) twice, then extend both arms straight once. Repeat sequence 15-20 times.

Challenge yourself: Add a small tuck of the tailbone at each arm movement.

Did these moves work for you? Send us your workout selfies @healthymag – we’d love to hear from you!

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