Fitness Guide: Strengthen Your Legs With Lotte Berke’s Barre-Based Workouts

There are a lot of things to envy about real-life ballerinas, but among the most coveted are their lithe lower halves. For the rest of us, there’s hope in the offspring of celebrated German dancer Lotte Berke’s original, at-the-barre fitness craze. Most versions share a demanding sequence alternating concentrated bursts of energy with deep stretches for high-caloric burn and leaner, firmer muscle mass, with some unique evolutionary tweaks. Take your pick.

The RITE Method Barre Studio

Beth El Synagogue Center, 1324 North Ave New Rochelle/575 King St, Port Chester (914) 400-4392;

RITE (Resistant Interval Training Exercise) is a non-impact, fusion conditioning program that will get your heart pumping and “leaves no muscle untouched,” says RITE Method’s camp. Unique progressions—floor and standing exercises combined with yoga stretches —are performed at an interval pace for increased flexibility, balance, muscular strength, and endurance, while reducing joint stress to the spine, hips, knees, and ankles.

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Physique 57

1142 Wilmot Rd, Scarsdale (914) 722-0570;

A pop-up of the cult-following studio (Kelly Ripa is a fan)—with locations in the City, Hamptons, LA, and Dubai—opened in Scarsdale last fall. (Co-founder and CEO Jennifer Vaughan Maanavi grew up there.) Designed to produce results in as quickly as eight 57-minute sessions, the workout’s signature mix of cardio, strength training, and recovery targets muscles to the point of fatigue, then switches to stretching for relief. Expect intense thigh and seat sequences, and the sculpted muscles to match.  

The Bar Method

32 Rye Ridge Plz, Rye Brook  (914) 207-7798;

Celebs love this combo of muscle- shaping isometrics and body-elongating dance conditioning, set at fiery-paced intervals to reduce fat and create definition—i.e., long, narrow hips and thighs, a lifted seat, and defined hamstrings. Classes (three to five times per week) start with a warm-up, free weights, and push-ups; then on to the heavy leg and seat work at the bar, with active stretching along the way. 

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