How is the low-impact, ballet-inspired workout program, Xtend Barre with Andrea Rogers on the BODi fitness platform? What are its results? I’m really torn about how I’d rank this program in my big list of best Beachbody BODi workouts, as you’ll see from this extremely honest review.
Why Trust this Workout Review?
First, some background: My name is Lillie, and I’m a 41-year-old middle school teacher and mother of two kiddos who is not affiliated with BODi in any way. This means that I can be truthful in my reviews of these online workouts, because my only motivation in writing articles like this one is that I enjoy helping people exercise more by finding the best program for them.
Another reason to trust this review is that I personally DO every part of each program that I write about. I’m speaking from direct, firsthand experience — and sweat!
By way of disclaimer: As with any new workout program, always make sure to use wise judgment and avoid injury by listening to your body, and consulting a doctor or other fitness professional before starting, if needed. Personally, though I’m at a High Intermediate fitness level, I still have to modify numerous moves in the programs that I do.
“Xtend Barre” Overview
“Xtend Barre” is the program that made fitness trainer Andrea Rogers famous, as evidenced by the fact that her later programs (like “XB Pilates” and “XB Sweat and Sculpt”) all have “XB” in the title: short for Xtend Barre. Though the program began on the Openfit platform, it is now on BODi: Beachbody on Demand Interactive.
Each workout video in “Xtend Barre” is 30 minutes, and though some videos target specific areas (ex: “Legs 1”) most of the workouts are full-body, and move from standing, to the barre, to the floor. The program is categorized as “Intermediate” level of difficulty, and its results focus on core strength, long and lean muscle, and defining the rear end.
There are two different month-long workout calendars to choose from with “Xtend Barre,” plus three hybrid calendars. All the calendars have zero rest days (more about this soon). I chose the “30-Day Amplified” calendar because it’s the only one in which every workout in the set is used and none are repeated — and you know I like to FULLY do all parts of a workout in order to have enough data for a review, and hate to repeat videos!
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Equipment for “Xtend Barre”
Third, you’ll need a ballet barre, or tall chair, or something else sturdy and high enough to help you hold your balance during the barre moves. I made do by using the lifting bench from “LIIFT MORE” in the 90-degree position — but I wouldn’t totally recommend that because it’s not very sturdy.
You’ll also need very light weights — only one, two, or three pounds. (Seriously — that’s all you need, and I’ll explain why in a later section.) Instead of buying new weights, I just pulled out the small weights from my 10-pound ankle weights and held one or two at a time, which worked ok. I’ve also heard of people successfully using water bottles or cans.
Finally, you definitely need a squishy mat for all the floor work. I love this one.
What is Barre?
Barre is a low-impact workout that uses ballet-inspired moves (think: plies, tendus, and graceful arms), plus repeated small movements with light weights. There are lots of leg and arm lifts! Barre differs from from Pilates in that the former is more standing and cardio-based, while the latter is more floor work, and less cardio. Note that “XTend Barre” does have Pilates days and moves mixed into the program.
“Xtend Barre” Review
Now that we have the background of “Xtend Barre” with Andrea Rogers, let’s get right into my review! I’ve divided the categories of my opinions into “Pros,” “Cons,” and “In the Middle” so you can accurately assess if this program is a match for you.
Pros of “Xtend Barre”
1. Not a second of wasted time!
I don’t know how it’s possible, but Andrea Rogers uses every single second of “Xtend Barre,” with barely a single pause. Even though I’m at a High Intermediate level of fitness, I found myself needing to pause the video almost every episode — something Andrea does say is ok, as long as you don’t quit.
For those frustrated with the long pauses of “80 Day Obsession,” this faster-paced program may be a better match for you. If you want an even more efficient version than the 4-week, 30-minute a day program, there are also eight great quality 15-minute “XTend Barre Express” workouts to use.
2. Andrea Rogers is professional and helpful.
Ok, first — how tall is Andrea Rogers? 5 feet? Shorter? She’s tiny — but wow, does she ever pack a punch! She is able to talk non-stop throughout the whole 30-minute “Xtend Barre” workout without missing a beat, giving helpful cues, guidelines, and inspiration — yet she never felt annoying or cloying to me. Rather, I found her extremely professional and efficient.
As an example of the instructional wisdom Andrea Rogers shows, each move in “Xtend Barre” is first demonstrated and practiced slowly, then it’s sped up “to tempo” — all while Andrea gives tips on correct form and alignment. She also provides explanation for ballet and Barre terms for those of us who are new to the game. Further, she uses the term “front leg” and “back leg” for cues, which helps avoid a lot of the confusions of using “left” and “right” with a mirrored screen like “Chop Wood Carry Water.”
3. Full-body results of lean, toned muscle — especially core.
“Xtend Barre” truly does provide full-body results of long, lean muscle, especially in the glues and core. I will talk more specifically about my results in the next section, but do know that the moves in this program are quite varied — hitting lots of different areas of the body — and will leave you looking toned and slim, not “bulked up.”
Most “Xtend Barre” workouts start standing, then move to standing while holding the barre (so good for the glutes!), have a brief stretch interlude, then end on the mat on the floor for explicit ab and core work. The definition that developed in my abs and glutes from this flow after several weeks was excellent.
4. Barre is very different from typical workouts and exercise programs — thus very needed.
I’ve now done 18 BODi Beachbody Workout Programs (!) but I’ve never done anything like “Xtend Barre” — meaning that it offers innovative training that even the most experienced athlete can benefit from. I was motivated to push “Play” in the first several weeks, especially, because it was all so novel to me, and my body craved the exciting new movements.
For example, “Xtend Barre Signature 2” features a sort of “flapping your wings” movement that was fun and different. I enjoyed getting to feel like a dancer for half an hour a day, even though I have no formal dance training (well, besides “Let’s Get Up” with Shaun T, hehe), and even though “Xtend Barre” isn’t really a dance program — it just draws from ballet moves.
Even if you don’t do the whole “Xtend Barre” program, I would recommend sprinkling some of the workouts into your regular exercise routine. Most of us can benefit from the core and glue-strengthening work, and from the focus on balance and posture.
5. Functional posture, balance, and core engagement cues transfer to everyday life.
This last point bears elaborating upon in its own category, as it is a very useful thing when a workout program transfers to functional alignment in daily life. As I explained about my LIIFT4 results, some programs just bulk you up, without helping with alignment — but not “Xtend Barre.”
Andrea Roger’s cues and practice in posture, balance, core engagement, and functional grace stayed with me throughout the day. For example, I kept hearing her voice reminding: “Proud chest! Soften the knees. Engage your core!” As I’ll explain more in the results section, I particularly saw improvements in my lower ab engagement, which helps everything, every day — from standing, to sitting, to lifting my kids.
To add to this functional piece, I loved “Xtend Barre’s” emphasis on asymmetrical movements that force balance and core engagement as you work one side, but not the other — as with #mbf “Muscle Burns Fat,” the program with Megan Davies. I also appreciated that Andrea Rogers always makes sure to do both sides of any asymmetrical movement evenly.
6. Mostly low/no-impact workout, but still gets heart rate up.
There were so many benefits of doing a program as low-impact as “Xtend Barre” or “4 Weeks for Every Body.” First, having less jumping and bouncing is easier on the joints. Second, for women used to needing to double up sports bras for high-impact workouts, you’ll probably only need a single sports bra for “Xtend Barre.”
Finally, though your heart rate definitely still goes up and gets your sweat flowing in “Xtend Barre” (more than I thought possible!) you don’t get as sweaty as intense workouts like “6 Weeks of the Work,” meaning you may not even have to take a shower after your Barre workout. This is useful in fitting in the program to random slots in your day — even before heading off to work.
“In the Middle” Elements of “Xtend Barre”
A. “30 min” and “30 days” actually is longer, because it’s so packed.
This may be a Pro or Con for you, depending on your preferences, but “Xtend Barre” actually ends up being way more than “30 minutes a day for 30 days.” Why?
First, every half-hour workout is so packed and nonstop, that most people (including my High-Intermediate fitness level self) would need to pause at least twice for water and to catch their breath. Plus, you’ll likely need more stretches at the end, as the closing stretching is quite cursory. Given this, the actual workout time of each episode is more like 40 or 45 minutes, realistically — sometimes even an hour.
Further, the 30-day calendar has zero rest days — and frankly, that’s not good for most anyone. This means that most people (myself included) add extra rest days in the mix. Boom: Suddenly your month-long program is almost two months long!
Now, on one hand, this could be a benefit to “Xtend Barre:” that you’re actually getting a much longer and fuller program than a mere month of half-hour workouts. On the flip side, though, I found it a bit frustrating that my expectations of a bite-sized program were upended. My advice is to go into this program with eyes wide open that it will likely take you longer than a month if you do it in its entirety.
B. Lean results mean losing bulk.
As you’ll see in the “Xtend Barre Results” section of this article, I got leaner and lost some muscle bulk during this program. While many people like a slim, toned look, I did find myself missing the bulging biceps I’d crafted in “Sure Thing!”
C. You’ll likely need to reorganize your workout space.
Though it doesn’t require quite as much space or equipment as “9-Week Control Freak,” “Xtend Barre” moves from standing (with side-to-side and front-and-back room needed), then Barre work, then the floor mat. For those of us like me who watch the video on a laptop computer, this meant finding three different places to move my computer during each workout.
Though I found this somewhat annoying, I’m keeping this in the “Middle” section instead of “Cons,” because trainer Megan Davies points out that it’s actually good for your body and mind to be forced to move yourself and your objects. It keeps you on your toes, figuratively, and is functional movement.
D. Barre takes some getting used to — the “rules” are different.
For people like me who are used to classic weights and cardio workouts like “21 Day Fix,” the totally different movement styles and “rules” of Barre took a ton of getting used to. For example: I’m supposed to point my toes instead of flex them?! We’re turning out our feet for squats?!
Arm movements are dancer-like?! Legs are angled diagonally when lifted?! Cardio is simply by repeated leg lifts, and core can be done standing?! Whoa!
Again, I think this variety is smart to add into the fitness routine of any athlete, but it’s a mind-shift for sure. It also produces a slightly different form of “exercise high” afterwards — it still feels great once done, but not the sweaty, exhausted breathlessness I’m used to from HIIT.
E. Cast choice and interactions are… interesting.
Unlike Amoila Cesar’s programs like “4 Weeks of The Prep” where you really get to know the cast, the cast members of “Xtend Barre” are essentially silent. This does have the benefit of keeping the classes focused and efficient, but I found myself missing that inspiration of hearing varied human stories.
Further, the cast of “Xtend Barre” is 100% women, and mostly homogenous in younger age and slimmer body type, with just slightly more racial and ethnic diversity than “XB Pilates.” I always wonder: is Barre simply not healthy for male bodies, and that’s why they’re never in Andrea’s casts? Yet — the core work seems like it could benefit everyone! (Note: At least there IS a cast, unlike “Job 1” with Jennifer Jacobs.)
Cons of “Xtend Barre”
1. “Xtend Barre” can be REALLY hard and fast-paced!
This may be because I’m 6 feet tall and thus the “levers” of my legs and arms are longer, but I found “Xtend Barre” extremely challenging and uncomfortable at times. It is rightly labeled an “Intermediate” program, and I would not include it in my ranking of best beginner BODi workout programs, because it’s simply too hard.
What about 30 days in a row with no rest days? Not going to happen. I can’t imagine anyone doing the program exactly as written without adding extra breaks.
While I like a good challenge, I found myself frustrated or even avoiding “Xtend Barre” workouts more than I usually do with my fitness regimen. I also found myself longing for Andrea’s other program, “XB Pilates,” which is far easier because it’s mostly seated or reclining.
2. Injury risks, especially to Achilles, feet, and knees; mods aren’t enough.
I was able to finish “Xtend Barre” with no injuries (unlike my experience with “30 Day Breakaway“), but there were several close calls. Why? Despite being low-impact, “Xtend Barre” has numerous fast squat-like movements, many of which are performed on your tippy-toes. If you’re not using caution, the risk of injury to Achilles Tendons or even knees is there.
Further, though there are modifiers that show how to make most of the moves in the program easier, some of the mods are not explained until the exercise has started, and many are not enough. I strongly urge you to listen closely to your body, and add extra modifications such as slowed-down speed, or much smaller depth of movement, in order to protect your body. Be warned that even the “Flexibility and Mobility” day has some deep lunge stretches that I would absolutely modify to keep your knees safe.
In response to a helpful reader comment, I’m adding in the following caution: Barre can cause foot injuries unless you take proactive measures for protection. What worked with me to keep my feet safe was to always stand on a cushy mat when doing upright moves (I like the foam puzzle piece kind, which I have covering a wide swath of my workout space, with a non-slip mat underneath), and add in extra rest days at the slightest hint of foot pain.
3. Workouts are not in order on the platform.
Maybe this is a pie-in-the-sky wish, but for programs like “Xtend Barre” where the videos are out of order because there are multiple calendars, I wish there was a button you could press to put them into easy succession! It seems like that should be possible with our modern technology, right?
As it is, you need to check each day what the calendar says is the next workout, then hunt for it among the dozens scattered on the “Xtend Barre” page. Further, I’m not sure why anyone would do the regular “Xtend Barre” calendar instead of the “Amplified” one, as the former forces you to repeat videos, and misses a bunch of the good later ones.
4. “Xtend Barre” sometimes has unclear timing or angles.
Though the base number of reps of moves in Barre is eight, Andrea Rogers often slips in a whole other set (or even three other sets) of eight by surprise! This is quite the contrast to the highly predictable count structure of programs like “LIIFT4” — though I suppose in some ways it’s more exciting.
This unpredictable counting structure made it harder for me to plan energy expenditure — along with the fact that there’s no on-screen timer for the program. In another murky clarity piece, some of the camera angles made it difficult for me to understand how to correctly do certain exercises.
5. The program has tinny, odd music.
In “Xtend Barre,” you can barely hear the music — and when you can, it’s tinny, odd video-game style “tunes!” Though I suppose I’d prefer this to silence because it means I don’t have to set up my own music, and it adds a tinge of interest, it’s not fabulous. To me, the gold standard of BODi workout music is the move-synched music of #mbf and #mbfa.
6. Motivation and energy faded more than other programs.
Ok, this is a major problem with “Xtend Barre:” Despite the fact that I started the program with high excitement and saw some good results right off the bat, by week three, my motivation faded more than almost any other BODi Program I’ve done. I also found my general daily energy and moods flagging.
Yikes! Why was that? I think my dwindling motivation with “Xtend Barre” stemmed from several things. First, while I like Andrea Rogers, I am much more motivated by brash, funny styles such as that of Amoila Cesar. Second, the workout videos being out of order on the start page made it harder for me to feel a sense of progress.
Third, many of the ballet-like Barre moves felt uncomfortable and borderline painful for my long legs. Fourth and probably most significant, my body really missed heavy lifting and HIIT. Given this, I’d suggest for folks with body types and workout preferences like me to mix “Xtend Barre” videos in as a hybrid with other programs, rather than focusing just on this program alone. (At least I liked it more than the uneven new BODi Blocks!)
“Xtend Barre” Results
Despite my frustrations with the program, I did see notable “Xtend Barre” results which accrued quite rapidly. Here they are in detail.
A. Abs! Engaged, chiseled core.
Every time I looked in the mirror during the time I was doing “Xtend Barre,” I was thrilled at the growing ab definition. This is definitely one of the best programs you can do for your core definition, posture, and functional strength.
I want to give a particular shout-out to how it coached me to engage my LOWER abs every day — even when not working out. Having had two pregnancies, this mental and physical strengthening has been key for my physical wellbeing — and looks good, too!
B. Glutes lifted.
Barre is famous for the way it lifts, builds, and tones your rear. As someone who tends to be quad-dominant in working out, the steady glute building with “Xtend Barre” has been much-needed. The small, repeated movements really work — though man do they burn.
C. Toned but small-looking muscles in arms.
I had mixed feelings about my arm results from “Xtend Barre.” Yes, my arms developed lean and slim muscles, but it seems my biceps got much smaller, while my triceps got larger in a somewhat awkward way.
D. Softer, leaner body shape.
My body shape definitely changed with “Xtend Barre” to be sort of a softer, leaner look — which isn’t exactly what I like best (I prefer having big muscles!) but may be what you’re seeking. There definitely is a distinct “Barre Body” look: Slim, lean muscles — like a ballet dancer.
Xtend Barre vs. Barre Blend
Anyone browsing the BODi platform for a low-impact workout might have the question: Which fitness program is better, “Xtend Barre” or “Barre Blend?” Listen: I have an easy answer for that one: I found “Xtend Barre” much more enjoyable, simply because of the training style.
While I LOVED Elise Joan in “Fire and Flow,” I found the monologues in “Barre Blend” very difficult to sit through — so much so that I had to quit after week four. Further, “Barre Blend” is several weeks longer than “Xtend Barre,” which for me was a daunting amount of time to do the difficult-for-my-long-legs movements over and over. That said, I know people who’ve loved “Barre Blend” and gotten excellent results from it, so your preferences may vary.
Review of BODi Xtend Barre, in Sum
There you have my honest review of “Xtend Barre” on BODi with Andrea Rogers. In sum, I appreciated that the exercises were so different than the traditional HIIT and weightlifting workouts I’m used to, but ultimately it was not one of my favorite programs, for the reasons listed above. I do, however, strongly recommend sprinkling its videos into your usual fitness regimen, as Barre is very beneficial for the body.
So what about you? If you have tried “Xtend Barre,” did you like it? If not, does this seem like a program you might like? Do share!
Want more? See all of my many BODi workout program reviews here.
The author, Lillie Marshall, is a 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 4.2 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!