Ballerinas have much more than grace, balance and a good posture; they have strong, lean and fearless legs that you can get with their workout routines. Barefoot ballet exercises are amazing when it comes to toning and lengthening your legs.
All you need are some props for extra balance such as a sturdy chair, a wall or an exercise bar (if you feel wobbly) and a ballerina’s mindset to get you started.
Try these 4 ballerina moves for sleeker and more toned legs.
1. Plié First Position: targets quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes
- Rise up onto your toes with the balls of the feet touching and knees slightly bent. Open your arms as if hugging someone or place your hands on the bar.
- Slowly, squat down and form a diamond shape between your heels and your pelvis.
- Lift up and down about 1 inch without moving your rear below the knees.
- Do 15-20 reps.
To make it more challenging, hold the last rep for 15 sec.
- Start with your feet wide apart and toes turned out; then squat.
- To feel the full effect of this exercise, lift your heels when coming down.
- Place the hands around your hips. If the balance shifts, place one hand on the bar.
- Do 15-20 deep plies.
To feel your leg muscles fully engaged, pulse the last plié.
3. Carousel Horse Lift: targets thighs and glutes
- Stand with your feet hip-distance apart.
- Step back with your left leg and bend your right knee about 90 degrees; then lift arms over the head.
- Lower your hips a few inches as you do a lunge.
- Come back up with your arms opened out to sides; your left leg should be straight behind you and your right foot pointed forward. Try to stay on your left toe.
- Return to start position. Do 15 reps and switch legs.
4. Kneeling Leg Circle: targets outer thighs
- Start from a kneeling position, bringing your left palm to the mat and your right hand behind your ear.
- Extend your right leg and keep it parallel with the mat.
- With your toes pointed, start making 10-15 small circles in one direction, then 10-15 in the opposite way.
- Switch legs and do the same reps.
Proper alignment is crucial in ballet. Try to keep your pelvis stable when circling the legs.