3 Ballet Exercises To Help You Shape Up For Summer

by | Jun 16, 2015 | Learning Beyond Class, LIFESTYLE

Summer is here, and ballet can help you stay in shape. If you’re desperate to flaunt your new bikini but you want to trim up, these three exercises will help you reach your goals.

1. Pliés

Young caucasian ballerina girl on white background and reflective floor showing various ballet steps and positions. Full Plie in first Position. Not Isolated.

Got saddlebags? Pliés are a foolproof way to stronger, leaner, butt and legs. Like fancy lunges, they work your gluteals and quadriceps, helping to tighten your thighs and those stubborn areas around your backside. Not a Tchaikovsky fan? Blast some Beyonce while you tone your tush. Practice 8 sets of 8 in first position, and take it slow. The slower you go, the more you engage and strengthen your muscles. Want more of a challenge? Practice 8 sets of 8, in all positions, first through fifth. The summer sun won’t be the only thing burning!

2. Relevés

Young caucasian ballerina girl on white background and reflective floor showing various ballet steps and positions. Not Isolated

If you would like more defined calves, practice heel raises, or relevés. Standing with feet parallel, or in first position, lift your heels off the floor, rise to the balls of your feet, and hold for one count. Lower your heels down to the floor. Again, repeat 8 sets of 8. If your legs start to cramp, shake them out and take a minute to stretch your calves and achilles tendons. Want more of a challenge? Place one foot behind the other in coupé, and rise up on one foot! When practicing relevés, maintain good posture by staying on top of your hips, and keeping your knees straight. This will encourage proper alignment and decrease risk of injury.

3. Straddle crunches

soul of pretty young ballerina is dancing

So, you say the only muffin top you want has blueberries? Practice some crunches, ballerina-style: Sit on the floor in straddle. This means your legs are open in the letter V. Lean your body to each side, reaching for your foot. Want more of a challenge? With your hands behind your ears and your elbows outstretched, lower your upper body until your right elbow touches your right knee. Don’t allow your spine to twist and your midsection to fold inward. Activating your core, lift your body upright and repeat to the left. This exercise targets your oblique abdominals, slimming your waistline and helping you firm up. Practice 8 sets of 8.

If used correctly and consistently, ballet technique, in combination with a healthy diet, can help you create a leaner, stronger body.

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