On Wednesday, I discussed how to adapt a barre practice to fit any body. After any challenging athletic activity, it is always ideal to have a good post-workout routine to alleviate stiffness or soreness. With all the awesome leg work going on in barre classes, my quads, glutes, and calves have definitely needed some YTU love.  If like me, you find yourself feeling a bit sore after class, I suggest the following YTU poses to cool down and help get your body back on track.

Leg Stretch #2 at the wall is excellent for stretching the inner thighs.

Leg Stretch #2 at the wall is excellent for stretching the inner thighs.

With almost any workout I do, I love to warm up my lower body with Prasarita lunges. When done dynamically, the pose allows for a wonderful stretch and can be used to awaken the abductors and adductors of the hips, preparing them for a more intense workout. Conversely, you can take a static version of this stretch for a nice cool down stretch after an intense leg series. See how to do it in the video at the end of this post.

A closed chain version of Leg Stretch #2 and #3 are my go-to favorites to help release sore inner and outer thighs after a long series of clamshells (diamonds), an end of class exercise that is a favorite of many of my barre instructors. Leg Stretch #3 allows for a nice twist combined with a wonderful release of the outer hip muscles, which are also targeted by clamshells.

Keep the spine neutral by engaging the gluteals during this stretch.

Keep the spine neutral by engaging the gluteals during this stretch.

And finally, we can’t forget the quads. While my quadriceps have gained massive strength since I started barre, I have had to work hard to help keep them supple and mobile.  After a leg work series of carousel horses, couch stretch is one of those poses that I love to sink into at the end of a long day. I am always amazed at the difference in sensation and range of motion for the front of my thigh after only 2 minutes each side. Watch out for overextending through your lower back with this pose – be sure to keep your pelvis aligned with your ribs by contracting your glutes, even if that means your forearms remain on the ground for the stretch.

I hope this helps keep your body gliding and sliding instead of clicking and sticking! No matter what your modality, maintenance is a must and YTU has many great options to keep you at the top of your game. See you at the barre!


Find more pre and post athletic stretch routines.

Discover Therapy Ball solutions for athletes.

Learn more solutions for hip pain.



Kevyn McAnlis

Kevyn started practicing yoga during college in 2003 as a method for relaxation and stress relief. Her study of Anatomy and Physiology helped to deepen her practice. In 2010 she received her 200 hour teacher training certification from Corepower Yoga in Aliso Viejo, California. As Kevyn began exploring new styles of yoga, she walked into a Yoga Tune Up® class. The mix of anatomy with asana won her over and she became YTU certified in 2013. She teaches Vinyasa and Yoga Tune Up® classes in the Bay Area.

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Love the stretching ideas!


This article helps me contextually locate within my personal movement practices how YTU and in particular Prasarita Lunges can specifically support me before and after a more intense workout.


Prasarita lunges and couch stretch are my top favourite stretches and movements. My adductors are weak so I love doing the lunges but they are always also tight as are my quads and the couch stretch is so awesome it feels heavenly when I stand up from it.


I did a few barre classes this past winter after purchasing a Groupon, and I have never been so sore in my life. I had delayed onset muscle soreness two days later and had a very hard time walking up and down stairs, and even walking in general because my quads, and calf muscles were so sore. When I start going again in a few weeks I will try to practice these pre- and post-barre class, thanks!

Sebastien Noel

très belle série, elle sera TRES utile dans mon cas.

Tami Cole

Thank you for sharing your pre & post barre stretch routine. I’m looking to join a barre class this winter and knowing these stretches ahead of time will save me from the much dreaded after workout soreness and stiffness. These stretches look like they feel amazing barre or barre none!!


I practice barre all the time and really like the idea of creating a warm-up and recovery stretch sequence using Tune Up poses like the ones suggested here to help recover from sore quads, glutes, and calves. Thanks for the targeted suggestions!


I agree with all of this, and would even add an emphasis on rolling out the calves because they can get SO tight with barre. I find that proper warmup and then a down regulating sequence with the Yoga Tune Up balls makes a world of difference.

Kim Cordova

i’m usually pretty flexible but am always so stiff and sore in these it feels like my bones are fused. Why is that? is there rolling i should be doing?


I have seen all 3 of these poses done in numerous yoga classes as well. I even teach them myself! If there are a lot of students in class, going to the wall to close the circuit is a bit more challenging ig the studio has a lack of wall space and it takes up more class time to have everyone set-up and then re-set-up the mats. However, going with the closed chain option is definitely my favorite. For the quad stretch, there are other ways to access it. For example, from lizard pose reaching back and grabbing the inside… Read more »

Ananda Tinio

I teach at a studio that honors several fitness modalities and I’ve never understood or tried barre, but I do like the reminder to take proper care after an intensive workout. I do the same in my classes. Thank you for your informative post.I love that quad at the wall stretch.

Veronica Dinehart

I appreciate these excellent suggestions for warming up the inner thighs and hamstrings prior to a barre class.

Jason Campbell

Barre classes seem to be popping up every where these days, and i think as a yoga instructor it’s awesome that you’re aware of the trends and making a yoga practice relatable to the other fitness modalities that pop up. I teach a yoga class right after a barre class a few times a week, i’ll be sure to use some of these YTU poses in those classes. 🙂

Aaron Goodnow

Ive never tried the barre method but I have a regular yoga practice and understand the connection between a challenging workout and post workout care.I try to make it a point in all the classes I teach to bring awareness to what muscles have been used and proper cooldown techniques. Very informative blog and a great reminder on post workout care.