Sculpting. It’s the key to everything. From defining your facial contours to toning up your arms, abs or legs, sculpting your muscles is what makes your silhouette look long, lean, and toned from head to toe. Last month’s Shape Up: Face Fitness for Every Age focused on quick facial workouts that we equated to barre method classes for your face—defining jawlines, lifting cheeks and firming eye contours. Well, don’t stop at the neck.
"You should work out because you love your body, not because you are trying to change it."
“Barre workouts can target, tone, and lift so many muscles at the same time,” says celebrity fitness trainer Jacquelyn Umof. Her barre moves are indeed impressive. When Jacquelyn started posting pictures of her incredible acrobatic poses on Instagram, followers immediately started asking for her fitness tips. Inspired by their interest, the former Los Angeles Lakers Girl launched Action Jacquelyn, where she offers dozens of at-home workouts that focus on lengthening and toning your silhouette. And her fitness philosophy is one we can really get behind: “You should work out because you love your body, not because you are trying to change it,” says Jacquelyn.
We caught up with Jacquelyn in her hometown of Los Angeles to hit one of her favorite workout spots: the beach, obviously. Here, she shows the key basic barre moves that you can do anywhere (i.e. living room, park, backyard) that’ll help you get long and lean. “These exercises will tone, shape, and lift your butt and your whole body,” says Jacquelyn. Ready?
The Kneeling Rainbow
This full body workout is especially great for giving your butt a little lift. Start by kneeling on all fours, with your hands directly under your shoulders and knees directly under your hips. Press your hands into the floor to engage your arms and shoulders and create a solid base. Extend your right leg out so it is pependicular to your core. Lift that leg up as high as you can, then swing it in an arching motion to the other side, over your supportive leg, and tap your toe to the ground. Then swing your extended leg back to the starting position. Repeat 20-30 reps on each leg. “The high repetitions make it super effective, and your muscles respond quickly to this type of workout, leaving you really sore, but also really strong,” says Jacquelyn.
The Power Arabesque
Think of this like a supercharged version of the classic ballet move—engaging your core, back, and hamstrings for a total body burn. You'll need to hold on to something, like an armchair or park bench. Place both hands on the supportive structure as well as your your left foot, situated between your hands. Stand up straight, then curl your upper body forward—activating your core—as you raise your bent leg, tucking it into your chest. Then extend your leg backwards into an arabesque, while stretching your core upright to activate your back muscles. Straighten your extended leg and lift it as high as you can. Hold for two counts. Bring your leg back to the starting position. Repeat 20-30 times on each leg.
The Plié Jump
This leg-sculpting move targets your quads, glutes, and hamstrings and gets your heart pumping. Start with your hands on your hips and your heels together. Stabilize your upper body by contracting your core, then bend both legs into a small plié, keeping your knees over your toes. From there, jump straight up, widen your legs, and land with your knees bent and your feet a few feet apart. Quickly jump again and bring your legs back together. Repeat a series of 10 out-and-in repetitions, three times.
Photography: Jane Houle | Words: Ning Chao