A ballet dancer's idealistically lean, muscular physique results from the many hours she spends exercising and dancing. Ballet can tone your problem areas even if you aren't a full-time dancer. The buttocks are notoriously a problem area for many people. Whether you are battling too much "junk in the trunk" or the disappearing backside, ballet exercises can improve your derriere. Dancers also watch how many calories they eat, which is necessary if you want to reduce the size of your rear.
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The glutes are made up of three different muscles -- the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. Working the glutes will cause the muscles to contract concentrically and lengthen eccentrically. This causes a buildup of lactic acid as well as tiny tears in the fibers called micro-tears. Resting a day or two between workouts is vital to allow the muscles to repair and grow. But, as soon as the soreness goes away, it's time to exercise. The more workouts you can do in a week, the quicker you will see results.
Ballet 101 for Glutes
The plie is one of the most basic ballet moves for your glutes. You can use a chair back for balance. The plie is like a squat that can be done from first position, with the heels touching and toes pointed in a "V," or from second position, with the feet twice as wide as shoulder-width apart. Keep your back straight, the glutes slightly engaged and lower between the heels with your knees over your toes. Correct yourself from leaning forward with your tush sticking out. A demi-plie is when you lower part of the way down. A grande-plie is when you lower yourself until your thighs are parallel with the floor. From first position, this will require you to lift your heels off the ground in a grande-plie, but your heels stay on the ground in second position. Start with eight demi- and eight grande-plies in both first and second position.
A grande battement is a high leg lift that can be done to the front, side or back. Kicking to the back of the body especially targets the glutes. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and raise your left leg straight behind you, toes pointed, tilting slightly forward if necessary, while holding the chair back for balance. Lower and repeat 15 times on each leg for one set. The attitude arabesque is another ballet move that targets the glutes. Holding onto the chair back, bend and raise your leg to the back with the knee higher than the foot. Extend the leg with a pointed toe. Lower and repeat 15 times on each leg for one set. Aim for two to three sets of each exercise. Jumps require explosive strength from the glutes. Jumps can be done from first and second position by doing a plie and then pushing off with the feet and landing back in a plie with the toes landing first, followed by the ball and heel of the foot. Start with eight jumps in both first and second position. For variation, try starting in first and jumping out and landing in second position, and vice versa.
Fat builds up over the top of the glute muscles. If you have more than ample padding on your bottom, your hard work exercising may not be visible. Reducing the number of calories you consume each day and increasing physical activity will help you lose the amount of fat you have in your body, including what has accumulated on your buttocks. To lose about a pound per week, reduce your food intake by 500 calories a day.