Sweat Session: 20 Minute Ballet Workout (Mid Level Experience)

Quick Cardio Ballet Workout –

I grew up  a ballerina for pretty much my whole life, in fact I’ve dedicated 20 childhood years to ballet, took a 6 year break, and then went back! I know how truly beneficial ballet exercises can be for strengthening and toning your body quickly.   So if you are tired of the same old downward dog or high knees routine, looking to firm up your inner thighs and butt, or just looking to add some diversity into your workout you’ve come to the right place.  Below is a quick 20 minutes Ballet workout for those with basic previous Ballet experience/knowledge of the phrases and their meanings.

To note, one thing my ballet master always said is that you don’t need to be dripping with sweat to have achieved a good workout.  Ballet is a skill and a focus.  Ballet tones, lifts, and strengthens all muscles in your body.  if you want to sweat simply go to the gym.  With that said here’s a quick toning workout which is great to swap in on those “off” cardio days:

Warm Up: (5 minutes)

1. Leg Stretches – Start on the floor lying on your back with both knees bent.  Pick up  your right leg, keeping it bent and hold just under your knee.  Stretch up to the ceiling (foot flexed) and hold for 5 secs (hamstring stretch).  Do this 3 times.  Then bend your knee down and circle your ankle 3 times to the right and 3 times to the left to loosen up for jumps later on.  Switch and repeat with left foot.

2. Stomach Crunches (ballerina’s LOVE strong cores)- While on your back lift you legs straight in the air.  lift your head up crunching to 50.  Rest and repeat.

3. Sit and Reach – sit up legs straight forward and reach up and over trying to touch your toes (objective here would be to get your nose touching your knees).  Hold for 2 seconds and come up.  Repeat once more.

4. Stretch legs out to either the side in semi-splits position.  Reach opposite arm up and try to touch opposite toe getting a deep stretch down your side.  Switch sides.  Then stretch forward making sure as you do knees are pointing upwards (they have a tendency to turn in as you stretch forward.

Barre Workout: (8 minutes) – go ahead and use the back of a chair or edge of kitchen counter if no barre is available

1. Plies– Start in first position (heels touching in a ‘V’ position, arms following you throughout) 4 plies and a grande plies (back straight no butts sticking out please), releve onto the balls of your feet (take your arm off what you’re holding and test balance).  Repeat in second, fourth position (one leg slightly in front of the other, and fifth both feet crossed tightly together (switch).  Go through a port de bras series reaching forward first then arch back, reach side towards the barre, side away from the barre, then forward and back again.

2. Tendu/Degage – Starting in fifth:  two tendus and two degage’s, to the side two tendus closing in front first, two degages.  To the back same closing in fifth.  To the side closing back first so you finish in front.  Susu to the other side and repeat.

3. Fondu – Starting in fifth, fondu front to tondu, fondu again to 25%’s, and a third time fondu extend to 45%.  Repeat side, to the back, to the side.  Test your balance in posse.  Turn and repeat other side.

4. Battement – Starting in fifth, four battements front, four to the side closing front first, four to the back, four to the side closing back first. Repeat again.  Posse to attitude back or arabesque test balance.  Turn to other side and repeat.

Grab quick water you need it…

Jumps/Center Work: (5 minutes)

1.  Four Jumps in first,two jump side (out close front, jump out close back), four jumps in first, four shashmas closing front first.  Repeat.

2. Balance, balance, sutenu.  Posse with your right foot to preparation for pirouette. Pop up into pirouette (1,2, or 3) landing in fifth.  Repeat on left side.  Then repeat on right however instead of an inside pirouette do an outside pirouette.  Repeat on left.

3. This one needs some space: across the floor, arabesque

Cool Down: (2 minutes)

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