Ballet barre fitness is no joke. It may look graceful and fun, but as anyone who's taken a class knows, it makes you sweat just as much as any hour-long run. It's a serious workout.
Just as any runner would train for their sport, there's also a lot you can do to strengthen yourself for barre class outside of the gym. Three of the most important areas to strengthen for ballet barre fitness are: the ankles, the core, and the back.
Let's start with the ankles. A classic way to strengthen your ankles, and therefore improve your stability, is by doing calf raises. Start with your feet hip-width apart, slowly raise your heels until you're on your tip-toes and then slowly lower. The great news? This strengthening exercise also tones your entire leg! Check out a more visual example here.
Your core is the next most important area to strengthen. This is where your balance and control come from for everything from those quick power moves, to the slow and controlled ones. One simple move to try is holding a 30 second plank for two sets once a day. Get into a press up position on a comfortable surface, bend your elbows and rest your weight into your forearms, get on to your tip toes so your body forms a straight line from your head to your toes, and engage your abs to hold your back up without slouching. For a visual example, look here.
Lastly, your back needs to be strong in order to maintain flexibility and support your arms through all of those dancer-like motions. For a move that works your entire back, try a superman. Begin by lying down on your stomach, lift your right arm and left leg off the ground, point your toes, and hold for one count. Repeat on the opposite side and do fifteen reps for two sets. For a visual example, watch this video.
With these three moves, you will be well on your way to gaining the necessary strength to get the most out of your ballet barre fitness class. Want even more ability to train at home? Contact us about getting your very own portable ballet barre.