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A Ballerina Workout To Lengthen and Tone

The most ladylike sweat session ever.

By: Noah Lehava
Photography: Erik Tanner

In the spirit of growing a little older and a little, er, wiser this year, we resolved to taking on a workout routine that did more than just lift our butts and carve out those deeply buried abs—one that would help us to be a touch more elegant and graceful, if you will, and, you know, make us break into a sweat all at the same time. It’s called multitasking. And the one thing that comes to mind is a workout based on the most elegant sport out there: ballet. Obviously. So in our continued (read: here and here) quest to become prima ballerinas and shake our klutzy habits (tell us you can relate…please), we put on our best bodysuits and headed for NYC’s cult-y Pop Physique for the most graceful sweat sesh ever.

 


 

Move # 1

Second Position Plié

(Warm-up)

 

A) Stand with your feet in a wide 2nd position. 

B) Inhale, sweep your arms up overhead as you take a deep plié, exhale straighten your legs and sweep your arms down. Repeat 4-5 times.

C) Hold the plié, reach your arms up, and pulse down, 10-12 times.

 


 

Move #2

Straight Arm Plank Arabesque w/ pulses

(Warm-up)

A) Place your hands under your shoulders, glue your legs together and slide them out to a Straight Arm Plank. Tuck your pelvis, squeeze your seat and pull abs in.

B) Bend your right knee into your chest. Extend your leg straight and reach it up long and straight behind you (think Downward Dog with one straight leg). Repeat 4 times. 

C) Hold the leg straight up behind you, and do tiny pulses up with a straight leg 4-6 times.

D) Bring the right leg down. Repeat left side.

 


 

Move #3

Diamond/Pencil Skirt

(Thigh)

 

A) Face the barre (or a chair) and lightly hold on. Bring your feet into a narrow 1st Position, heels together, toes apart. Relevé. Step your heels together. Pull your abs in. Bend your knees into a Diamond Shape. Move down 1" and up 1". Repeat 8 times.

B) Hold the bend. Bring your knees together, angling them over to the right diagonal (keeping your chest square and forward). Begin to squeeze your inner thighs in and tightly together (like you're wearing a pencil skirt). Hold the squeeze. Move down 1" and up 1".

C) Reach your left arm up. Lift up and lean and look over your right shoulder. Pulse down and down 12-16 times.

D) Come back into the Diamond. Repeat A, B, and C.

 


 

Move # 4

All Fours w/ Ball + Straight Leg

(Seat)

A) Come down onto all fours, elbows under shoulders, forearms on the floor. Place the ball between your calf and hamstring and bring the right leg up behind you.

B) Tuck your pelvis deeply, squeeze your seat and squeeze on the ball. Pull your abs in. Press your leg up and up and up, 10 times.

C) Squeeze your leg in and in again, 10 times. Squeeze in, press up, 5 times.

D) Straighten your leg (the ball will roll away). Walk up onto your palms, straight arms. Re-tuck your pelvis and re-squeeze your seat. Press your leg up and up to finish, 16 times.

E) Come down into a child's pose. Roll up. Repeat left side.

 


 

Move #5

Stretch

(with Strap)

A) Lie flat. Loop the strap around your right foot, extending right leg straight in the air and left leg straight on the floor (legs in an L-shape).

B) Bend and stretch the leg. Guide your leg over to the left a few inches for an IT-band stretch. Float the leg over to the right for a hamstring stretch.

C) Repeat on the left side.

 

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