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Here’s a Guide to Enhancing Your Heart Health Using a 20-Minute Cardio Barre Workout

When pondering effective cardio exercises, activities like jogging, swimming, or biking may come to mind initially. However, do not overlook the impact of cardio barre routines on your cardiovascular fitness.

Barre sessions are often recognized as workouts focused on strength and with minimal impact, utilizing only a ballet barre (or a sturdy chair if working out at home). By repeating gentle movements until your muscles quiver, a quality barre class can effectively engage various muscle groups while being gentle on your joints. By increasing the pace, you can maintain an elevated heart rate throughout the session, meeting your cardio fitness goals as well.

Irrespective of the workout type, the American Heart Association advises engaging in at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least five times weekly to boost cardiovascular endurance. If repetitive activities like running or cycling do not appeal to you, why not consider a cardio barre regimen?

We recommend a video for you: As part of the Trainer of the Month Club on Well+Good, Nicole Uribarri, the founder and program director at Bande, offers a challenging yet low-impact 20-minute cardio barre workout that you can easily perform at home. Be prepared with a water bottle as you’ll need to stay hydrated during this workout!

Uribarri initiates the workout with dynamic movements that quickly elevate your heart rate in what she calls a “plank cardio blast” series. This calorie-burning introduction includes knee-to-chest movements, shoulder taps in plank position, and a series of push-ups—all within the warm-up phase. Progressing with a light grip on the barre, Uribarri transitions into a rapid lunge sequence focusing on the glutes and abdominals.

Despite the workout’s fast pace, each exercise emphasizes control as much as speed. The routines may appear straightforward, but the intensity stems from swift transitions and expansive movements (especially during the plank cardio blast!). Remember to adjust as needed if you experience discomfort or are not yet at the intended level.

“I encourage you to give your best effort and listen to your body,” Uribarri emphasizes. “Bear in mind that this moment is fleeting; take this short time to prioritize yourself.”

Barre exercises provide a complete body workout, evident in the final 8 minutes when Uribarri introduces a leg-lift series before concluding with the challenging plank cardio blast. This part is really intense—you’ll surely feel your heart racing!

“As the workout nears its end, your mind may urge you to quit,” Uribarri acknowledges. “Resist that urge. Say yes to pushing a bit further. Exercise is a tribute to your body’s capabilities. Cherish these moments and be grateful for the opportunity and resources that enable you to move in this manner.”

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