Fitness looks different for everyone. For some people, staying fit and healthy means going for a daily jog. For others, it can mean weight lifting.
But did you know that ballet is an intense workout that can train your entire body? Keep reading to find out the best ballet workout at home to improve your ballet strength, flexibility, balance, and skill.
Get the Right Gear
You should also find a sturdy, high-back chair to use in place of a ballet bar. A couple of hand weights are good to have if you need more of a challenge as well.
If you have a larger body type and feel like you may need extra assistance, yoga blocks and bands are great tools to use to modify any workout or stretch that is too hard for you to do safely.
Basic Ballet Moves to Try at Home
Before we get into the exercise routine, let's take a look at the individual moves you'll be doing.
All you have to do is bend at the knees while keeping your heel on the ground. Basic pliés only involve a small bend in the knees but others involve more demanding bends.
Elevés and Relevés
Elevés are a movement where a dancer lifts onto the balls of their feet when they're standing in the different ballet positions. Relevés are the same movement, from flat-footed to being lifted on the balls of your feet, when in a pliés position.
This movement helps to strengthen your ankles and calves. It can be a difficult workout on its own for anyone healing from an ankle injury.
Start in the first or fifth position and slowly glide your foot outwards until it is sitting at a point away from you. Then, with the same motion, bring it back to where you started. You can practice these from the front, the side, or the back.
This motion helps strengthen your leg muscles and will help you rotate your legs and feet outwards for other ballet motions.
This is a movement that is similar to a tendu, except instead of allowing your foot to rest on the floor, you keep it elevated. This adds strain to the muscles while training them to help your foot and leg turn outwards.
Rond de Jambe
Rond de jambe, which literally translates to "circular movement of the leg," is another simple but challenging movement for ballet. While you stand, rotate your leg to make a semi-circular movement from the front to the back. This helps to open up your hips.
This is a simple ballet jump. Start in a plié and then jump up so that both of your feet are pointed downwards while you're in the air. Then, land back in a plié position.
When you first begin this movement, do it with the help of a bar, or a sturdy, high-backed chair. Then, as you advance, you can do it without!
Beginner Ballet Workout at Home
Now that you know the basic ballet movements you can get started on your beginner ballet workout at home! Grab your chair, hand weights, and a water bottle to get started.
First is a workout that will target your thighs, ankles, feet, and even your abs.
Start in first position, which is with your heels together and toes turned out at a 45-degree angle. Keep your legs straight and your hands resting on the back of the chair positioned in front of you.
Keep your spine tall and your core engaged, and relevé! Simply rise on the balls of your feet and then plié by bending your knees slightly over your toes.
Then straighten your legs and squeeze your inner thighs together before you lower your heels.
Repeat this motion 5 times if you're a beginner and 10-20 times as you advance.
Next, stand with your feet together, parallel. Keep your hands on the back of the chair.
With your feet on the ground, press your weight into the balls of your feet and bend your knees into a deep plié by lowering your hips as low as you can tolerate. Keep your inner thighs squeezed tight together.
Then lift halfway, but keep your knees bent. Then dip into another plié position. That counts as a single rep.
Repeat this motion 5 times if you're a beginner, 10-20 times as you advance.
Go back to first position and place your right hand on the back of the chair. While keeping your chest upright, bring your left leg behind your hip, pointed behind you. Reach with your left arm in front of you while keeping your palm face down.
Keep your left leg raised and bend at the knee. Reach your left arm above you, creating a half-circle by your ear.
Then, re-extend your arm and leg back into the initial position. That's a single rep. Repeat 5-20 times on both sides.
Plié Pulse to Passé
First, get into fourth position. From first position, take a step forward with your left foot, turning it out. Cross it in front of your right foot.
Keep your right hand resting on the back of your chair and your left arm in second position.
Come up onto the balls of your feet and plié both knees out to either side. Stretch your right leg straight and lift your left knee out to the side. Touch your pointed left toes outside of your right knee and bring your left arm above you into third position.
Lower your left foot back and return your arm to second position. If you can, keep your heels lifted for the entire set.
Repeat this 5-20 times per side.
Stay Active for Life With Ballet
With that, you've got a full-body ballet workout at home! With these few simple moves, you can get your heart pumping and your muscles working in new ways. Whether you're a practiced dancer or you're just looking to shake up your regular exercise routine, ballet at home is a great addition to any active lifestyle.
If you're looking to upgrade your workout gear with something more professional, browse our selection today!