Raise the Barre

Tone up for the big day with targeted exercises for your entire body
XTEND BARRE The Xtend Barre method, created by Andrea Rogers, combines elements of Pilates and dance to create a dynamic and safe workout that delivers cardio, strength, endurance, and flexibility. To learn more or to try your first class free, visit Xtend Barre in Rochester Hills or online at xtendbarre.com. Photo: iStock | Illustrations By Bunky Hurter

EVERY BRIDE WANTS to feel strong and confident on her wedding day, but not every bride has the time — or resources — for a pricey trainer or gym membership. Here, Xtend Barre founder and creator Andrea Rogers offers four targeted exercises to get you ready for your walk down the aisle.

Scissor Ab Series

Begin lying on your back. Both legs extended to ceiling.

Lift head, neck and shoulders off mat. Bring right leg into chest and lower left leg to your challenge zone (if you have lower back issues, keep the range of motion limited). Holding on to ankle or back of leg, pulse leg two times toward chest and switch legs.

Flow between right and left leg scissors, keeping the upper body lifted off the floor with abs pulling in and up.

To modify, keep the range of motion small and take breaks between reps. To amplify, keep arms above head for entire series.

Back Attitude with Ankle Weights

Begin with feet in first position (heels together, toes apart with natural turnout), ankle weights around the ankles. Place hands on a ballet barre or sturdy chair.

Draw left leg behind the body with a soft bend in both knees. Engage abs to tilt pelvis under so hips are back and tailbone is tilted under. Using the glutes and hamstrings, pulse the back leg up and down to starting position for 16 slow reps. Hold the leg back in the air and pulse (with a small range of motion) for 16 reps at a faster tempo. Repeat for up to two sets. Repeat with right leg. To advance, lift the heel on the supporting leg for an additional balance and control challenge.

Tricep Press Back with Resistance Band

Begin with feet in parallel lunge. Lengthen spine as you hinge from waist. Place resistance band around back thigh. Loop same arm as back leg into band with palm facing up. Opposite hand on hip.

Drawing abs in and up begin to pulse back arm up, resisting band as you lift front heel into releve (heel lift). Perform eight reps slow and controlled before increasing tempo for 16 reps. Hold last rep with arm and heel lifted and pulse quickly for 16 reps. Repeat on other side.

Plie Tendu Series

Begin with feet open to second position, natural turnout. Arms out to the side in second position.

Bend both knees into a deep plie (keeping toes tracking over center of the feet), push off right heel to extend both legs and point left leg to the side. Return to the plie and repeat, pointing the right leg to the side. Alternate between right and left sides for eight reps slow, then increase tempo for 16 reps. To advance, add upper body movement by lowering the arms down on the plie and arms up as you extend both legs.