I wouldn’t consider my go-to barre workout to be a high-risk activity for injuries. Still, without an instructor at home to correct my form, I know the potential is there. Talking to Elements Fitness Studio barre trainer Darby Fulcher further opened my eyes to some poor workout habits I’ve formed — and usually dismiss — that could lead to muscle tightness or strains.
I know I’m not the only one who skips cooldowns or starts to sag midplank, so when Fulcher offered some tips for improving my home barre workout sessions, I felt compelled to spread the word.
Choose Your Weights Wisely
If working out from home means you only have access to one set of heavy dumbbells, Fulcher believes it’s better to skip the weights or opt for lighter alternatives instead.
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“Using weights that are too heavy can affect your form, causing you to raise your shoulders or yank the weights up to try to complete the exercise, which can lead to injuries,” she says.
Since barre prioritizes higher rep counts, it’s important to use lighter weights (Fulcher recommends between two and five pounds) to create lean muscles.
“If you don’t have lighter weights, consider swapping out your heavy set with water bottles or cans as an alternative, or lower the amount of reps you do so that you can maintain your form and prevent injuries,” she adds.