Have you ever thought about working out like a ballerina? Nothing is impossible with this ballet-inspired exercise plan. These compound ballet exercises below can improve balance, flexibility, core strength, and even muscle endurance when practicing regularly.
- ARABESQUE ATTITUDE
The Arabesque Attitude is a traditional ballet move that engages your entire core with emphasis on your lower back. To increase your range of motion in an arabesque pose, you need to increase your core strength and back flexibility.
START: Stand tall with your feet in the first position and place your right hand on the back of the chair. Keeping your chest lifted, extend your left leg behind your hip into an arabesque position, foot pointed, and reach your left arm in front of your shoulder, palm facing down.
FINISH: Keeping your left leg raised, bend your left knee out to the side into an attitude position, and reach your left arm above your head. Your elbow should be slightly bent, arm in a half circle shape by your ear, palm down. Extend your raised leg back out into arabesque. That’s one rep. Repeat 20 times with the left leg, 20 times with the right.
- POWER LEG
Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this posture—your quads will feel the burn.
START: Stand facing the chair, lift heels up, bend knees, and hold. Pressing evenly through all 10 toes, keep knees in line with the middle of the toes, hips level and square, and core firm.
FINISH: Lengthen tall through your spine and relax shoulders down the back. Bend knees until you find a challenging position. Lift 1 inch, then lower. Repeat for 30 reps.
The standing Leg Circle is a great exercise if your goal is to increase your coordination, balance and build strong, long and lean muscles. This exercise can be included in a lower body workout to help tone your quads, inner thighs and glutes.
START: Stand tall in the first position with your right hand resting on the back of the chair. Brace your abs in tight and lift your left leg in front of your body as high as you can, keeping your back straight and tall. Raise your left arm to create half of a frame around your face in the third position.
FINISH: Slowly open your leg out to the side, lowering your arm into the second position by reaching it out to the side of your shoulder, elbow slightly bent, palm facing front. Circle your leg behind you, reaching your arms overhead back into the third position, leaning forward from your hips to bring your torso parallel to the floor. Slowly lift back up, keeping your spine straight, and lower your leg and arm back into the first position. That’s one rep. Repeat 10 times total with the left leg, 10 times with the right.
PLIÉ PULSE TO PASSÉ
Shake up your squat routine with the Plié Pulse To Passé, which targets glutes and inner thighs.
START: Stand tall in the fourth position (from the first position take one step forward with your left foot, keeping it turned out, and cross it in front of your right) with your right hand resting on the back of the chair, left arm in the second position.
FINISH: Rise up onto the balls of your feet, and then plié bending both knees out to the sides. Extend your right leg straight, as you lift your left knee out to the side and lightly touch your left toes just outside your right knee. Bring your left arm overhead into the third position. Lower your left foot back into the fourth position and return your arm to second. Repeat 20 times total with the left leg, 20 times with the right.
TEASER BICEPS CURL
Looking for a compound exercise to work your entire upper body? The Teaser Biceps Curl is a great move to target your lower abs, chest, and biceps.
START: Grab a pair of dumbbells and sit with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Pull your abdominals in tight, round your back, and slowly lower to the floor until just your head and shoulders are off the ground. Bring both arms to the outside of your hips, hovering parallel to the floor, palms facing up.
FINISH: Slowly and with control, round your back and roll up through your spine, lifting elbows in line with your shoulders and curling the dumbbells into your chest as you sit up. At the top, lift your chest and straighten your spine as much as you can, bracing your abs in tight, arms bent at 90 degrees. That’s one rep. Repeat 20 times total.
ROLL WITH STRAP
Like sit-up exercise, The Strap Rolling helps improve your balance by strengthening your abdominal muscles. A healthy posture also helps prevent lower back pain and muscle injury.
START: Sit on the floor and place the middle of a yoga strap around the balls of your feet, holding the ends of the strap in each hand. As you inhale, sit tall and hinge back with your torso as you lift your feet off the floor until your legs are straight. Hold. Evenly weight your hips and extend your legs and spine, softening your shoulders down your back. Hold the strap taut with elbows slightly bent.
FINISH: Roll down through your spine keeping the strap taut and legs long. Pause at the bottom to inhale. As you exhale, lift your head, neck, and shoulders and roll up through your spine into Boat Pose. Inhale at the top. Repeat 10 times.