Hannah Ebelthite is a freelance health, fitness and wellbeing writer. With nearly two decades experience in journalism, she has held staff posts on Cosmopolitan, Zest and Healthy magazines, and writes for a wide range of...

Instructor Harriet has devised the following workout for you to do at home, but you don’t need a barre to do it (just a chair for the warm-up). It works as an all-over toning, 20-minute core routine to complete in full, two or three times a week. Grab a chair and get started with our warm-up.


1 Stand tall facing the barre with your heels together and your toes approximately 3in apart. Rest your fingertips lightly on the barre but don’t cling on.

2 Rise up on to the balls of your feet, keeping your legs straight, then slowly lower your heels back to the floor. Repeat 10 times.

3 Rise up once more and draw your heels together, then bend your knees.

4 Keeping your legs bent and your torso upright, lower your body halfway to the floor and then halfway up again (without straightening your legs). Repeat 15 times.

5 On the 15th rep, stay halfway down and take 30 tiny pulses down.

6 To finish, hold halfway down for 20 sec. If you like, you can challenge your balance here by raising your arms above your head (round your arms with your elbows slightly bent – picture a ballet dancer).

ARMS – tricep push-ups into plank

1 Starting in a raised plank position, place your hands on the floor under your chest, with thumbs and index fingers together, to form a diamond shape, and knees off the floor.

2 Lower knees to the floor and tilt the pelvis forward, engaging the lower abs, and raise feet.

3 Bend into the arms drawing your elbows towards your hips, lowering your chest towards the floor. Then push back up to straight arms. Repeat 10 times.

4 On the 10th rep, hold halfway down, then, with your elbows bent, pulse your elbows in towards your hips 10 times.

5 With both knees on the floor (or both feet if you’re in the advanced position), hold a soft bend in your arms and hold still for 15 sec.

6 Finally, come down on to your forearms and hold a plank for 30 sec to 1 min.

Advanced options 

Miss out no 2 and stay in the raised plank position for the whole sequence.

Float your right leg up for five reps, then the left for five, in no 4.

ABS – high curl with twist plank

1 Sitting upright on the floor, bring your ankles together and point your toes, then open the knees to a diamond shape.

2 Tuck your tailbone under, drawing the pubic bone towards the navel.

3 Slowly lean back from the hips until you feel you’re engaging your abdominal muscles (you feel them ‘switch on’ or they start to quiver).

4 Raise and open your arms into a V shape with your palms up.

5 Lean back 2in as you exhale, then inhale and come back up 2in. Repeat 10 times.

6 Bring your right hand to tap your left hand, twisting through the spine, then open back up to your original position. Repeat with the left hand. Repeat 10 times to each side.

7 Return to centre and take 20 tiny lifts up, keeping the tuck of the tailbone.

Advanced options

Hold your feet off the floor as you lift in no 7.

At the end, come into stillness and hold for 20 sec, taking the arms higher and wider to increase the intensity.

GLUTES – back dancing

1 Lie on your back, knees raised, feet flat on the floor under your knees, about a hand’s distance apart.

2 Tuck your pelvis under until your lower spine connects to the floor.

3 Drive your feet into the floor and tuck the pelvis under until your hips lift approximately a fist’s distance off the floor (the back of your rib cage should stay connected to the floor).

4 In this position, perform 20 tiny hip lifts, pushing your feet into the floor.

5 Keeping your hips level, extend your left leg up to the ceiling, pointing the toes.

6 Lower the left leg until it’s in line with your right thigh, then draw it back up to 90 degrees. Repeat 10 times without lowering hips.

7 On the 10th rep, hold the left leg in line with the right thigh, then pulse your hips up and down again 15 times.

8 Repeat everything on the left side (lifting the right leg).

THIGHS – Lunge with forward tilt

1 Start with heels together and toes a hand’s distance apart (like first position in ballet), with your arms by your sides.

2 Bend your knees and slide your right leg back about 1 metre, back heel raised and weight equally shared across both feet.

3 Keep both legs bent for the exercise.

4 Send your hands to the ceiling, palms facing forward.

5 Push your hands forward and down as you tilt forwards at the hips.

6 Your palms should arrive facing up behind your back, your torso forwards on the diagonal.

7 Engage your triceps (the muscles on the back of your arms).

8 Reverse the movement, bringing your hands back to the ceiling and torso vertical. Repeat 10 times.

9 On the 10th rep, hold the torso forwards position and pulse your legs up and down in the lunge position 25 times – just moving up and down a couple of inches. You should really feel the burn!

10 Bend deeper into the lunge and lift up halfway, then lower again. Repeat 10 times.

11 Repeat the whole sequence, this time with the left leg back.

Advanced options 

Lift the front heel as you hold, in nos 9 and 10.

Hold the position in no 10 as deeply as you can for 15 sec.