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Ballet Exercises for Non-Ballet Dancers

by
author image S.R. Becker
S.R. Becker is a certified yoga teacher based in Queens, N.Y. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and has worked as a writer and editor for more than 15 years. Becker often writes for "Yoga in Astoria," a newsletter about studios throughout New York City.
Ballet Exercises for Non-Ballet Dancers
Ballerinas achieve leaps through a combination of stretching and strengthening moves. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Just because you're not a ballerina doesn't mean you can't stretch and strengthen your muscles like one. Even if Carnegie Hall isn't in your future, adding a few traditional ballet exercises to your routine can help improve your balance and tone your arms, legs and core. It's not necessary to have a barre or dance studio to do basic ballet moves.

Bridge

Step 1

Lie on a yoga mat with your knees bent and your feet flat. Engage your abs by pulling your lower belly in toward your spine. Keep your arms by your sides and your palms on the floor.

Step 2

Extend your right leg while keeping your knees pressed together. Point your right toes.

Step 3

Lift your hips as high as you can while keeping your knees pressed together and your hands on the floor.

Step 4

Lower your hips again, but stop just before they touch the floor.

Step 5

Repeat the exercise 30 times on each leg. For an added challenge, lift the heel of your supporting leg off the floor, balancing on your toes.

Lower-Body Toner

Step 1

Hold onto the back of a chair with one hand. Rest the other hand on your hip. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width distance apart and your toes turned out.

Step 2

Bend your knees so your butt lowers into a tucked sitting position, as if you were hovering over a chair seat.

Step 3

Pulse by lowering your butt down one inch and up one inch. Go slowly for 15 seconds and then do shallower, faster pulses for 30 seconds.

Step 4

Raise your heels and balance on your toes and the balls of your feet. Repeat Step 3.

Step 5

Lift up onto only your toes for an added challenge. Repeat Step 3 once more.

Upper-Body Toner

Step 1

Sit on a yoga mat and extend your legs in front of you. Rest your hands behind your hips and point your fingers outward, away from your body. Engage your core by pulling your lower abs in toward your spine.

Step 2

Raise your hips off the floor, extending your elbows. Maintain the length in your neck.

Step 3

Bend your elbows to lower your hips, keeping your chest open. Do not allow your ribs to collapse inward.

Step 4

Raise and lower your hips up to 30 times by bending and straightening your elbows while keeping your abs engaged.

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