19px”>Have you ever dreamed to have a toned, lean body like a ballerina? Stop dreaming; take actions right now with this ballet-inspired exercise plan. These compound exercises below can improve balance, flexibility, core strength, and even muscle endurance when practicing regularly.
Ballet dancers are known for having incredibly strong, lean legs. This Bridge ballet exercise targets the inner thighs, back of the legs, core, and butt to help anyone get a ballerina’s lower body.
START: Lie on your back with your stomach pulled in, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Make sure your feet are under your knees. Tighten your abdominal and buttock muscles.
START: Straighten your right leg, toes pointed up toward the ceiling. Keep your stomach pulled in tight as you lift your hips off the floor, trying to keep your knees together. Lower your hips until you’re not quite touching the floor and then lift again. Complete 30 reps with one leg and then repeat on the other side.
Make it harder: Rise up on your toes (demi-point, as they say in the ballet world) while you perform the entire set.
A tight, toned ballerina butt not only helps you look amazing in your jeans, but it can also help prevent injury. The Butt-Buster exercise is great to improve your sense of balance, lengthen the arms and legs, and most of all, tone your abdominal muscles.
START: Start on all fours, make sure that you have plenty of cushion beneath your knees.
FINISH: Bring one knee into your chest and then extend the leg straight back into arabesque, keeping the knee straight. Pull in through your stomach and lift your leg high toward the ceiling. Repeat 30 with one leg and then repeat on the other side.
The Hundred exercise is a classic Pilates warm-up; typically used early in a series because it gets your blood moving quickly. But don’t let the term “warm-up” fool you. It’ll test your core strength like no crunch ever will.
START: Lie on your back, draw knees up, lift head and shoulders, and bring chin to chest, coming into a tight ball.
FINISH: Keeping your upper body lifted, extend legs toward the ceiling, or, for more of a challenge, at a diagonal; extend arms (as shown). Pump arms up and down 4 times, then hold arms still and curl torso a tiny bit up and down twice. Repeat series 10 times.
ROND DE JAMBE SEQUENCE
This exercise activates the medial glutes and connects the three dots: the glutes, the low back, and the core. Rond De Jambe helps establish turnout (external rotation of the hip joint) – your leg has to move from the front, side and back and reverses.
START: Stand on a bench.
FINISH: Bend the supporting leg, extend into arabesque and raise the arms; return to passé, lower the arms. Bend the supporting leg, extend to the side and raise the arms; return to passé, lowering the arms. Repeat and extend to the front. Stay in plié with the arms overhead, carry the leg through passé to arabesque and slowly circle to the front. Straighten the supporting leg, returning to passé with the arms lowered. Repeat the entire sequence on the other side.
Releve Plié is a leg strengthening exercise that comes out of the world of ballet and into the workout world. This exercise helps develop strong, sculpted legs, glutes, outer and inner thighs. The plie’ originated from the ballet position that refers to keeping the back straight while also bending the knees.
START: Stand with one hand on the barre, the other on the hip. Bring feet wider than hip-distance; turn toes out slightly and bend knees (keep knees behind toes), pushing hips back to sink seat to knee level.
FINISH: Bend knees a bit more, lowering then raising an inch; lower again and hold, slightly pressing knees back then releasing. Rise on toes, then lower and raise an inch; lower an inch and hold, pressing knees back, and then releasing them. Repeat for 30 reps.