When the graceful world of barre meets the athleticism of kickboxing, the results are hot! This in-demand fusion class provides the best of both worlds and appeals to a wide audience.

Barre Fight Details

Total Time: approximately 60 minutes

Goal/emphasis: to achieve cardiovascular, strength, balance and flexibility benefits in one workout

Format: alternating intervals of barre strength and cardio kickboxing

Equipment: per person: a mat, dumbbells and tubing (bars are also helpful, but not required)

Music: barre: 126–128 beats per minute (upbeat); cardio kickboxing intervals: 135–140 bpm

Additional details:

  • This workout includes all planes of motion for a well-rounded, functional workout.
  • In traditional barre classes, participants do not wear shoes, while in kickboxing classes they do. Determine the needs of your participants and take it from there.
  • Always begin with base moves and then offer progressions and modifications.
  • Do kickboxing intervals near the bar (if you have one) or in the floor center for more space.
  • Establish one body position per song to keep it simple. For example, do stationary lunges for one song, then second-position pliés for the second song.
  • Consider range of motion (full, half, pulse, static hold) and tempo (half-time, single-pace, 3/1, 1/3). Add weights to upper-body moves to add variety.

Warmup (10–12 minutes)

Begin with a barre warmup (body weight only) that incorporates graceful, dynamic move­ments. Add sweeping arm movements to increase heart rate.

  • Chair squats: Stand with feet hip-width apart, bend knees and flex slightly through hips as you lower into squat, then return to starting position; 16x–24x, 30–45 seconds. Repeat, wide squat stance.
  • Side-to-side lunges with rotation: Start with feet much wider than hip distance. Bend right knee and shift weight R, keeping left leg straight. Flex hip slightly forward, stretch L inner thigh, then shift to opposite side. Continue shifting side to side, adding arm movements; 16x–24x, 30–45 seconds.
  • Curtsy lunges: Bear weight on L leg and point L knee and toe in same direction while tucking R leg behind and lowering into curtsy lunge. Maintain neutral spine. Alternate lead legs, 16x–24x, 30–45 seconds. Finish in starting position as you press and release R heel down for dynamic calf stretch, 15–30 seconds. Repeat sequence, opposite-side start.
  • Floor-work: Finish warmup on mat to fully prepare upper body. Cue plank position, hands under shoulders, abs engaged, shoulders pressing down. Do triceps pushup: Lower slowly 1x, then press back into downward-facing dog. Repeat 4x–6x.
  • Side plank with rotation: Hold plank, then rotate onto one arm for side plank, reaching free arm to ceiling; twist and reach arm underneath to “thread the needle.” Repeat 2x–3x per side.
  • Low-lunge hip stretch: From plank position, step forward with one leg, aligning knee over ankle. Hold 2–4 counts, then return to plank and switch legs. Repeat 2x–3x per side.

Alternating Cardio Kickboxing and Barre Strength Intervals (30-42 minutes)

Cardio kickboxing interval (6–8 minutes): Choose movements from kickboxing menu.

Barre strength interval (6–8 minutes):

  • Chair squat with biceps curl: As you rise out of chair squat (see warmup for details), do biceps curl, varying tempo/range of motion and adding/omitting biceps curls. Add dynamic lunges; repeat until song ends.
  • Second-position (wide) plié with lateral raises: With feet wider than hips, toes naturally pointed outward and neutral spine, lower down, knees aligned over ankles, then rise to starting position. Vary range of motion, adding/omitting lateral raises. For variety, add alternating dynamic pliés side to side to finish song.

Cardio kickboxing interval (6–8 minutes): Choose movements from kickboxing menu.

Barre strength interval (6–8 minutes):

  • Curtsy lunge with row: Lower into curtsy lunge and reach opposite arm toward floor, weight in hand. While returning to starting position, draw elbow back in row. Vary range of motion and tempo; switch sides.
  • Barre burpee with overhead press: Do wide-stance burpee with overhead press at top of movement, 6x–8x. Hold and do overhead press 8x–16x. Repeat entire sequence until song finishes.

Cardio kickboxing interval (3–5 minutes): Choose two movements from kickboxing menu.

Barre strength interval (3–5 minutes):

  • Lunge with arabesque and triceps kickback: After completing stationary lunge 12x–16x, begin combo by pressing forward into single-leg hip extension balance; do triceps kickback, then return to lunge; repeat combo 8x–12x. Finish by holding arabesque with glute lift while doing triceps kickback 12x–16x per side. Switch lead legs (half song per leg).

Core Phase (10 minutes)

The mat work incorporates a Pilates-style barre class.

  • Bridge with Pilates ball: Lie supine, feet on floor, and press hips into bridge, sponge ball between thighs. Release halfway down, then press up again. Repeat, varying tempo, 30–45 seconds. Then, while holding bridge, squeeze ball for inner-thigh work, 30–45 seconds. Repeat series 2x–3x.
  • Supported V-sit: Wedge ball between back of pelvis and floor. Engaging core, recline onto ball. Add trunk twist for full-body core movement pattern; 45–60 seconds.
  • Pilates pushup to side plank: From high plank, do one half-time pushup, then rotate into side plank. Repeat, opposite side. Complete combo for 45–60 seconds.
  • If time permits, repeat entire core sequence.

Cooldown (5 minutes)

Lead the following finishing moves.

  • butterfly stretch (hip opener)
  • forward fold (hamstrings, calves, lower back)
  • kneeling hip-flexor stretch
  • cat-cow
  • child’s pose

Cardio Kickboxing Menu

Kickboxing

Cardio kickboxing includes a variety of transition moves, strikes, kicks and punches.

Keep movements simple to allow a sense of mastery. Combine two movements if desired.

Basic and/or Transition Moves

  • Boxer’s shuffle: Shift weight side to side, bringing guard up near jaw in preparation to punch or defend.
  • Speed bag: Starting with boxer’s shuffle, circle arms quickly overhead as if hitting speed bag.
  • Bobbing: Bend knees quickly while simultaneously shifting body either slightly right or slightly left to defensively duck or avoid punches.
  • Jumping jacks.

Kicks and Strikes

  • Knee strike: From ready position, “grab” for opponent’s shoulders, powerfully thrusting back knee up and forward while squeezing standing glute.
  • Front kick: Bring front knee up, extending leg toward target in kicking motion. Aim with ball of foot; return to start.
  • Side kick: Bring knee up, foot parallel to ground. Push heel of kicking leg out to side and straighten leg, aiming with heel.

Punches

  • Jab: Extend front arm (same side as front leg), knuckles down, then quickly recoil.
  • Cross: Pivot rear leg to rotate hips forward, then extend rear arm toward target for “power punch”; recoil.
  • Hook: Throw punch with forward arm
    circling down and parallel to ground, using full body to complete motion.