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Train Like a Ballerina
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Barre classes are full ballerina barre's' so a stable chair or table top is all you need!
10 Moves to Give You a Toned Physique Like a Ballet Dancer
JOVELL RENNIE / Stocksy
Ballerinas have a way of carrying themselves with grace, strength, and confidence. Their training not only teaches them poise but also works their bodies in a way that creates long and lean muscles. You, too, can train like a ballerina (minus the bruised toes and fierce competition) with these ballet exercises that will sculpt and strengthen your entire body. “It’s a method of movement that allows you to connect to the body, to sculpt a feminine physique, to balance posture, and to burn calories without heavy impact,” says Christine Bullock, former ballerina, and creator of Evolution 20.
Ballet dancer and director of the Steezy Studio Brittany Cavaco agrees, adding that ballet gives you strength, flexibility, coordination, endurance, and lots of energy. “I find that even doing just 20 minutes of a ballet barre or ballet toning class gives me a lot of mental clarity,” she says. “The repetition of the movements, along with the artistry, allows you to do a full-body workout without even realizing it.”
Ready to get started? Here are 10 total-body exercises to get you a toned physique like a ballet dancer’s.
Meet the Expert
- Brittany Cavaco is a professional ballet dancer and the director of the Steezy Studio ballet program. Her career highlights include dancing with companies such as the Washington Ballet, Los Angeles Ballet, and English National Ballet.
- Christine Bullock is a former ballerina, a fitness expert, and the creator of the Evolution 20, Super Shred, and Body Reborn fitness series, as well as the co-creator of Kayo Body Care. She is certified in yoga, Pilates, postnatal fitness, and nutritional counseling.
Safety and Precautions
These ballet exercises are low-impact, so they are easy on your joints and also strengthen your muscles to prevent injury. “These ballet-inspired toning moves are very inclusive,” says Cavaco. Even so, it is important to check in with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have existing health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure.
Start slowly with any exercise program, stopping if you have any pain, and work your way up in intensity and duration. If you have prior injuries or conditions like arthritis, Cavaco recommends listening to your body and stopping if you have any discomfort. “I would suggest that people with arthritis take the pliés very slow and don’t go as deep down. ”
One of the benefits of ballet toning and ballet barre exercises is that they can help prevent future injuries. “Even if you love heavy weights or HIIT workouts, it’s beneficial to your body and goals to add barre,” says Bullock. “This type of workout can build the small muscles around joints to protect from injury. It incorporates mobility and flexibility to balance posture and sculpt longer musculature, and it still blasts calories.”
01 of 10
Plié in First Position
Plié means “to bend,” and it is the best exercise for your glutes and legs. “This traditional ballet exercise is the first step we do in every ballet class, and it is the bread and butter of all ballet moves,” says Cavaco. There are two types of pliés: a demi plié (meaning small or half) and a grand plié (meaning big or full). She recommends doing each type of plié in this exercise sequence.
- Start with a demi plié in first position. Your heels should be touching and your toes pointed outward.
- Your legs will be straight to start, glutes engaged, and pelvis slightly tucked.
- Bend your knees, going down about halfway, with your heels still on the floor.
- You will create a diamond shape with your legs. This is your demi plié.
- To do a grand plié, just continue all the way down until your glutes are hovering over your heels.
- In between each plié, come back up to straight legs.
- Perform three demi pliés followed by one grand plié. Repeat this sequence for three to five sets.
“Try to keep your pelvis and glutes under you. It’s tempting to let them go back like a squat, but try to avoid that if possible,” says Cavaco. “Also, make sure to have your knees go over your first and second toes in each plié to avoid any knee discomfort.”
02 of 10
Plié in Second Position
This is the same exercise as the first position plié, however, you will be standing in what ballerinas call the second position. You will also perform both the demi plié and the grand plié (pictured above) in this sequence.
- Stand in second position, with your feet hip-distance apart and your toes turned out.
- Perform the demi plié, in which you go halfway down.
- Return to standing.
- To perform the grand plié, bring your pelvis in line with your knees. Your heels should stay on the ground.
- Perform three demi pliés followed by one grand plié. Repeat this sequence for three to five sets.
03 of 10
“This will ignite your inner thighs,” says Cavaco, who explains that “jeté” means “to throw.”
- Start in fifth position, with both feet turned out and one in front of the other. Your front foot’s heel should touch the back foot’s toe.
- Your outside leg will go out to the side at 45 degrees and then close in fifth position, with this leg in the back instead of the front.
- Continue doing this movement, alternating front and back.
- Repeat on the other leg.
- Do as many repetitions as you can for one minute.
“Make sure that both legs stay as straight as possible the entire time,” says Cavaco.
04 of 10
This exercise strengthens and sculpts your abdominal muscles. The bigger the circle, the more challenging it will be!
- Sit tall on your sitz bones (the bony part of your pelvis), and lean back onto your hands behind you.
- Bring your legs up to tabletop and have them glued together.
- Circle your legs around, starting to the right.
- Do this 15 times, then repeat to the left.
05 of 10
Bridging helps lift and strengthen your bum as it works your gluteus muscles, hamstrings, and even your core.
- Lay on the ground, with your head facing toward the ceiling.
- Place your feet hip-distance apart, with your knees pointing to the ceiling.
- Engage your lower abdominals, and start the movement by tucking your pelvis.
- Slowly roll up into a high bridge, lifting each vertebra in your back one by one.
- When you reach the top, hold for a moment, and slowly reverse down. Make sure that your hips are even throughout the exercise.
- Perform 20–40 reps.
06 of 10
This exercise tones and sculpts your oblique muscles, which are your side abdominal muscles. “Try not to let momentum take you up, and instead let it be driven by your muscles,” says Cavaco.
- Stand up, feet hip-distance apart. Make sure your shoulders, hips, and feet are all in the same line.
- Put your hands over your head.
- Lean to the right, and use your left oblique to slowly bring yourself back up.
- Repeat 20–30 times on each side.
07 of 10
You know how ballerinas have such beautiful arms? It is partly due to this move, which also strengthens your shoulder and back muscles.
- Standing hip-distance apart, open your arms to your sides. Make sure your elbows are lifted and your forearms are curved in slightly.
- Using your lats and back muscles, bring your arms together in front of you. Imagine that you are hugging a tree.
- Reverse your arms back out.
- Make sure not to let your elbows drop and to keep your arms at shoulder height throughout the entire exercise.
- Repeat this move for 30 seconds to one minute.
08 of 10
Plank With Hip Dips
This exercise strengthens and tones your midsection, giving you that lean and graceful look of a ballerina.
- Start in a plank position, with your hands directly under your shoulders.
- Try to keep your body as long and straight as possible, from your head to your toes. Make sure your bottom isn’t sticking up.
- Engage your lower abdominals, and shift your hips to one side. Come back to the middle, and then shift them to the other side.
- Lift your shoulders up and out throughout the entire exercise.
- Repeat 15 hip dips on each side.
09 of 10
This thigh-lift exercise will strengthen and tone your inner-thigh muscles for strong and sculpted dancer’s legs.
- Lie down on your side, and take your top leg and bring it over onto the floor in front of you.
- Flex your bottom foot, lift it up about seven inches, and then lower it back down.
- Lift it high enough so you are feeling your muscle work. If you aren’t feeling it, you aren’t lifting your leg high enough.
- Perform 30–40 reps on each side.
10 of 10
“The goal here is to look like a beautiful swan,” says Cavaco. “Let your arms be engaged, but not stiff.”
- Stand hip-distance apart, with your hands by your hips.
- Let your elbows lead your arms as they travel up above your head and then come back down.
- Make sure not to let your shoulders creep up toward your ears, and avoid any tension in your head, neck, or chest.
- Repeat this move for 30 seconds to one minute.
10 Best Lightweight Arm Exercises for Sculpted Muscles
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Safe exercise. Updated February 2018.
How to dance ballet, full ballerina video, ballerina weight, ballerina photo
Who said that all ballerinas have to be thin? The heroine of this material - Lizzie Hovell - strongly disagrees with this statement. She believes that the main thing is the passion with which you do what you love, and the desire to work a lot (a lot) and hard (very hard) on yourself.
Agree, when you hear the word "ballerina", the first thing that comes to mind is the image of an elegant and miniature girl who performs the most complex elements of dance with deceptive ease. Her body is a perfect tool that allows you to realize absolutely any idea of the artist, and her figure is the result of hard work and strict diets.
Also, this girl is very thin. Highly.
But still, ballet is the art of beauty and virtuoso control of one's own body. If you like, it's flying, and the width of the hips is not the main thing here. Don't believe? Then look at Lizzy Howell - she is fifteen years old, she is overweight and she dances. And she dances well. By her example, the girl proves that you don’t have to be thin to dance and perform complex steps. It is enough to train a lot and love what you do.
The number of subscribers on Lizzy's Instagram is steadily growing - more than 60 thousand people have already watched her inspiring videos from rehearsals. And thanks to her hard work and willpower, Howell is increasingly being called the new role model for women of all sizes - she is dedicated to her work and constantly working on herself.
Lizzie started dancing when she was five. Now the girl trains four times a week and in her free time she masters new dance styles, such as step and jazz.
By the way, Lizzy's self-irony is also all right.
— I love ballet because it allows you to throw out the accumulated emotions. If I had a good day, I go dancing. If I had a bad day, I even more go dancing.
— My previous teacher used to say: “Until you get rid of excess weight, you will always get the same parts in The Nutcracker. You just don't fit into other costumes." In my current studio, there are no such problems - the teachers help me not only to master more complex parts, but also to sew costumes to size. It is very important.
Dancing for Howell became not just important, but vital after she was diagnosed with benign intracranial hypertension. “The first time I lost my sight for two minutes. Those were the scariest two minutes of my life. And then the terrible headaches began. To cope with them, I need to take pills. Lots of pills. Because of them, my mood often changes and anxiety appears. But after a couple of hours in the studio, I feel better.”
- I like to be an example for others, especially for young girls who are looking for themselves. The only thing is that I don't like being called a "plus size ballerina". After all, if I do what everyone else can do, why should I be singled out somehow?
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Ballet dance - style descriptions
Ballet is one of the most popular classical dances that came to us from France in the 16th century, but quickly spread throughout the world.
It appeared in Russia much later - almost a century later. But at the same time, it quickly became the favorite dance of the nobility, and Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich at one time was even one of the main founders of the national Russian ballet.
Modern ballet dance schools in Moscow for beginners offer training to people of any age of both sexes. And it is worth saying that over the past decades, ballet has not only not lost its relevance, but has become even more in demand. All over the world, men and women devote their whole lives to dancing and reach incredible heights.
Ballet never goes out of styleAt the moment, there are just a lot of ballet festivals:
• International festival named after R. Nuriev;
• Dance Olympus, Berlin;
• Golden Pointe, Paris;
• "Arabesque" in Belgium and many others.
The dance is completely authentic and unique, starting with the costumes, ending with harmonious and smooth movements to the beat of the music. Ballet is harmony, sensuality, the ability to merge with the musical flow and swim with it in the same current. A truly majestic sight.
Ballet watch video
THIS STYLE IS TEACHED
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