Enter the world of Ballet Fit!
Although bringing back good old and classical things is a huge trend right now – no matter what the subject matter – the return of ballet isn’t only about nostalgia. Some 7 years ago, the popularity of ballet sky-rocketed and just like that this old and almost forgotten lore was propelled back into the mainstream, all thanks to the movie “Black Swan.”
Yes, back in 2010, this extremely popular psychological thriller wasn’t just a commentary on the destructive and over-the-top obsessive world of professional ballet, it was just what the world of powder-pink and grey marl wardrobe needed to bring back this amazing crossover of art and sport. Amazing performances of movie stars Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis didn’t hurt either.
Take Mary Helen Bowers for example, she is the professional ballerina and fitness guru who trained Natalie Portman for this role and pioneered the trend for ballet-based fitness.
Bowers runs a studio called “Ballet Beautiful” in NY, which keeps attracting supermodels and actresses, as well as thousands of women logging on to her online classes from all over the world.
“There are people out there who don’t want to go for a run or spinning – but a ballet class on a Sunday afternoon with friends is much more fun and sociable. We get everyone from beginners to experienced dancers,” says Mary Helen.
But enough chit-chat, here are 3 basic ballet fit moves you simply must try:
1. Relevé Plié
TARGETS: thighs, abs, ankles, and feet
Stand with your feet in first position: heels together, toes facing out about 45 degrees. Keep your legs straight, with your hands resting on the back of the chair. With your back straight and abs tight, rise up onto the balls of your feet. Perform a plié by bending your knees out over your toes, but lower – about half-way down. Straighten your legs, but make sure you are squeezing your inner thighs together as you extend, and then lower your heels.
2. Parallel Plié Pulse
TARGETS: glutes, thighs, abs, ankles, and feet
Stand with your feet parallel and together, keep your hands on the back of chair. Press up onto the balls of your feet and bend your knees into a deep plié. Make sure you are lowering your hips as far down as possible, squeezing your inner thighs together. Your knees should keep touching one another. While keeping your knees bent, lift up halfway and then return to deep plié position.
3. Arabesque Attitude
TARGETS: glutes, hips, and obliques
Stand in first position and place your right hand on the back of the chair. With your chest lifted, extend your left leg behind your hip into an arabesque position, keep your foot pointed. With palm facing down, reach out your left arm in front of your shoulder.
You’re still keeping your left leg raised.
Bend your left knee out to the side into an attitude position, try to keep your knee higher than your foot. Reach out your left arm above your head in third position: elbow slightly bent, arm in a half circle shape by your ear, palm down. Now, extend your raised leg back out into arabesque.
That’s one rep.
REPETITIONS: 20 on each side.