Plié to a Red Hot Body
By: Nicole Smith from Restorative Body
As a personal trainer, when I first meet a lady client, I almost always hear that she is concerned about bulking and wants to make sure that she still looks feminine, not manly; you know, like a BALLERINA!
So, I usually throw in some ballet exercises and my clients receive what they ask for: lean and trim bodies without any bulk!
Take off your shoes and put on your ballet slippers (socks work great) and try this ballerina butt kicking routine and see how fun and effective it is to pirouette through exercise:
1. Plié in Second Position with Side Bend
Start with your feet shoulder width apart and feet pointed outward (this is called a plié.) Bend your knees keeping your knees in line with your toes. Raise your arms above your head like a ballerina. Staying in your plié, lean your side to the left keeping your arms in line with your ears, return to center, and then lean to the right.
Do this on each side 10 times.
Trainer Tip: Pull your belly button in towards your spine to keep your abdominals engaged. Then drop your tailbone down towards the ground and imagine your head floating up to the sky. Now the exercise is great for your posture muscles as well as your legs, waist, and arms!
2. Piqué Side, Front, Side, Back
Find something to use as your “barre” to keep your balance (a chair will do) and place your right hand on it and your left hand to the side in the air. Keep them there through the exercise.
Now, with your legs straight, extend your left leg to the side and point your toes to touch the ground (this is called piqué.) Now bring the leg to the front of the body, keeping the toes pointed and touch the toes to the ground. Then do the same movement again to the side, and then to the back of the body.
Do this circle 10 times then turn around and do it all on the other side!
Trainer Tip: If you are having a hard time keeping your foot pointed that long, you can flex it, and touch the heel to the ground instead! As for your arm, pretend like you have it draped over someone’s shoulder so it stays slightly rounded.
3. Plié with Relevé
Stand with your legs together and your feet pointed out, your right hand on your “barre” and your left hand over your head in a ½ oval shape.
Bend your knees into a small plié and then straighten your legs and push onto your toes (relevé). Return by keeping your legs straight and placing your heals on the ground.
Do this 10 times then turn around and do the same thing with your left hand on the barre.
Trainer Tip: Again, you want to keep your core engaged by pulling your belly button back toward your spine so that your upper body is not wavering around. You can make this exercise harder by speeding up your tempo until you are almost jumping.
4. Tendu to Arabesque
Facing the barre so that both hands are holding on to it, take your right leg back behind you so that your leg is turned out from the hip and your pointed toe is touching the floor (this is called a tendu.) From here, keeping the leg straight, lift it as high as you can without collapsing your chest. You can lean forward slightly but try to backbend your upper body slightly backwards, so that your face remains forward.
Do this on each leg 10 times.
Trainer Tip: This is a GREAT butt exercise when done correctly. The important part to remember is to lift only as high as it is possible to keep the chest up and forward. Don’t sacrifice form for height on this one!
5. Second Position Jump
Standing with your feet shoulder width apart and your arms out to the side, bend your knees so that they are over your toes (this is called second position plié). Keep your upper body as still as possible, use the push from your legs to burst you into the sky. Land and go directly back into your wide plié.
Do this 10 times.
Trainer Tip: This one is meant to get your heart rate going so it’s okay if you are huffing and puffing afterwards. However, while doing the exercise, try to make it as soft and graceful as possible to keep any impact off of your knees!
6. Ballet Stretch
Place your left foot on either your “barre” or on a slightly lower surface keeping your leg straight and left arm over your head with your right hand holding on to something for balance. Bend your body forward and relax into your stretch.
Hold for 1 minute then come up and switch sides/legs.
Trainer Tip: Take deep breaths focusing your attention to expanding your back as you inhale. This helps to calm your nervous system as well as deepen your hamstring stretch!
Nicole Smith is an elite personal fitness trainer and yoga teacher specializing in holistic health in New York City. She loves being a redhead and is obsessed with other redheads as well! You can find other free fitness, yoga, and meditation advice on her website.
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