Though ballet moves are certainly beautiful and graceful, they also require muscle strength that comes from hours of conditioning. Some of the most important muscles for ballerinas are the deep core muscles, which are used to support and stabilize several ballet exercises. What's more, because ballet exercises use the core muscles so much, they are a great way to strengthen them.
Here are several ballet barre exercises that will give you the core strength and physique of a professional ballerina's.
1. Rotating Side Plank
To go into a rotating side plank, start off in a forearm plank
position. Now, turn your hips so that one is leaning on top of the
other. After that, place your right arm on the floor while the rest of
your body is lifted up. The first thing you're going to do is pulse your
top leg toward the ceiling several times. Once you're done pulsing,
rest your leg back into the side-plank position.
Now you'll want to lift your top hand and twist your body toward the
floor until your hand reaches through the open space between your body
and the floor (remember, your right arm is still supporting your plank
position at this point.) Do this several times and then repeat on the
other side. You should be feeling the burn by now!
2. Pelvic Tuck
Did you know that increased motion in your pelvis helps strengthen
your lower abdominal muscles? That is what happens when you do a pelvic
tuck. To do one, face a ballet barre with your feet separated wide
apart. Your hands should be resting on the barre. Start bending your
knees while carefully bringing your navel to your spine. While you're
doing this, be sure to squeeze your belly button towards your spine.
Hold this position for a few counts, release, and repeat!
3. Abdominal Scoop
Abdominal scoops strength the deep muscles of your core. How? Well,
when you're doing them you'll be bringing your navel into your spine the
whole exercise. To do an abdominal scoop, sit straight on your mat with
your knees bent and squeezed together. Hold the back of your thighs and
"scoop" your abdomen – that is, create an round shape with your upper
body by drawing your navel towards your spine. Lean back slightly, come
back towards the center, and repeat the exercise.
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