5-Step Barre Workout for Toned Abs

FlyBarre instructor Marisa Workman shares intense moves for a stronger core and defined abs.

Photograph by Angie Hilsman.

If these hot temps don’t have you sweating, this barre routine will. Focusing on the abdominals, FlyBarre instructor Marisa Workman walks us through five exercises that will tighten up and tone your core.

Each sequence aims for total muscle “fatigue.” Basically, you go through each movement, or pulse, and hold each position until your muscles begin shaking. The shaking tells your body that you’ve reached muscle fatigue.

And repeat.

“Isolating every muscle group and working it to fatigue is what’s going to get you toned to look fit without flexing,” Workman said.

Workman, who teaches eight to nine classes per week, says that people first see results is in the arms and core. “It’s really fast—if you’re coming to classes four times a week, you’ll start to see results by the end of the week.”

These exercises can also be modified for your needs. If your hip flexors bother you during lower ab exercises, you can take the pressure off by slightly bending your knees to open up your hips. If you want more of a challenge, add arm movements and pulses to the routine.

“You have so much flexibility in how you want to sequence it,” Workman said. “You know your body best.”

Follow along with Marisa in her five-step barre routine for toned abs:

Basketball Abs

Targets your upper abs and obliques.

Ball Behind the Back

Targets upper abs and obliques.


Uses your entire abdominal wall.

Oblique Targets

Works your obliques for great ab definition.

Lower Ab Target

Works your lower ab muscles.

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