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Ballet Exercises for the Butt

by 
author image Jody Braverman
Jody Braverman is a professional writer and editor based in Atlanta. She studied creative writing at the American University of Paris and received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Maryland. She also received personal trainer certification from NASM and her 200-hour yoga teacher certification from YogaWorks.
Ballet Exercises for the Butt
Ballet Exercises for the Butt Photo Credit: Erstudiostok/iStock/GettyImages

Ballet dancers spend hours a day training -- and it shows. A ballerina booty is typically firm and toned. It's strong enough to support leaps and jumps and single-leg feats of balance and grace. If you want to get a dancer's gorgeous glutes, you'll have to eat healthy and exercise regularly. Incorporating ballet movements such as plies, rear leg extensions and holds into your workout will shape and tone your glutes in all the right places.

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Plies in First and Second Position

Plies work the glutes similar to squats. Switching your foot position targets a slightly different area of the glute.

First Position How-To: Begin in first position with your heels together and your toes turned out. Slowly bend your knees as far as you can while keeping the heels on the ground. Make sure the knees track over the toes. Keep your pelvis tucked. Rise back up, engaging the glutes at the top. Do a set of 10 to 15 reps.

Second Position How-To: Switch to second position with your feet about hip-distance apart and your toes turned out. Bend the knees and lower down as far as you can, keeping the heels on the ground and your pelvis tucked. Track the knees over the toes. Rise back up, engaging the glutes at the top. Do a set of 10 to 15 reps.

Repeat each of the exercises for three to four sets.

Bridge ups build beautiful glutes.
Bridge ups build beautiful glutes. Photo Credit: fizkes/iStock/GettyImages

Bridge Ups

Bridge ups are backbends that build flexibility and strength in the glutes and lower back. Grab an exercise mat or do these on a carpeted floor.

How-To: Lie on your back with your knees bent, hands at your sides and your feet flat on the floor hip-distance apart. Contract your core muscles and lift your hips up toward the ceiling. Pause for a moment, then lower back down. Keep the glutes engaged throughout the movement. Repeat 10 to 15 times for three to four sets.

Read more: How Does Ballet Help Your Fitness Level?

Penches, or Tilts

Working on one leg is challenging both strength- and balance-wise. This rear extension move works the glutes and hamstrings along the backs of the thighs.

How-To: Stand a few feet from the back of a chair. Hold onto the top of the chair with your hands. Extend one leg out behind you with your toes resting lightly on the ground. Contract your core muscles and glutes and begin to hinge at the hips, lowering your upper body down as your back leg rises. Stop when your upper body and back leg are parallel to the floor. Hold for a moment, then return to standing. Do 10 to 15 reps, then switch sides.

Degage and Plie

Taking the best parts of these moves and blending them together creates an exercise that targets all sides of the glutes.

How To: Stand facing a chair back or bar using your hands for support. Start in first position, with your heels together and toes apart. Reach your right foot back, sliding the toes along the floor. Stop before the foot lifts off the ground. Squeeze the glutes. Slide the right foot back into first position and do a plie. Repeat the movement 10 to 15 times on the right side, then switch sides.

Read more: Conditioning Exercises for Ballet Dancers

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