Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Ballet Workout!

As you all know by now, I love to dance! I have been dancing since age 3 and have dabbled in lots of different types of dance- ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, pointe, hip hop, modern... all very different but the same kind of workout- a good one!

When I danced every night of the week I didn't need to do other workouts- I was eating whatever I wanted and maintaining the same weight because the workout was just so awesome! I've decided to put together a ballet-inspired workout for all- it will include some other elements as well- but will be mostly based on we go!

  • Squats- Do 8 squats with your feet side by side, then 8 with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then repeat.
  • Relives- Start on flat feet and lift up onto your toes, keeping your feet side by side (do this 8 times)- repeat with feet shoulder-width apart. Then repeat with one leg slightly in front of the other, then again switching which foot is in front.
  • Leg lifts- a ballerina would call these a battema- while standing lift your right leg 8 times to the front, taking care that your upper body stays tight. Do this 8 times to the side and then 8 times to the back. Now repeat the whole process with your left leg.
  • Jumps- also known as a sauté. Jumping from feet together to feet apart, making sure you turn out your toes and landing with bent knees. Doing 50 of these should make you feel nice and sweaty!
  • Arabesques- bringing one foot into your ankle- lift that leg behind you into an arabesque position (45* angle) and then back down to your ankle, repeat 10 times and then switch to your other leg.
  • Out Cross Cross- This is one of my favorite workouts in dance class. Laying on your back lift your legs up in the air and bring them apart as far as you can- then back in and cross one in front of the other and switch, then repeat. Do 8 in a set, then criss cross them back and forth down to the floor and then back up. Repeat this process 4 times and your abs and legs will be feeling goooooood!
  • Back Stretch- with my little kids I call this the little mermaid stretch. Lay on your belly, squeeze your legs together and push up with straight strong arms. Hold for a few seconds then come down a rest. Repeat a few times and then curl up into a ball to round out your back!
You can repeat this process as many times as you feel necessary. This workout works all areas of your body- your legs, butt, and core especially. Remember that if you stretch before your workout AND after your workout you will see a big difference in your flexibility after a ballet or ballet-inspired workout. Doing extra crunches and ab work will only help you while doing ballet workouts because having a strong core and center of balance is what being a dancer is all about! 

Happy workout everybody!

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