To try a dancer's approach to core work, cue up this challenging 10-minute ballet workout.

By Renee Cherry
June 24, 2020
Advertisement

It may not be the first thing that crosses your mind when you're watching Swan Lake, but ballet requires a lot of core strength and stability. Those graceful turns and leaps demand no less than a rock-solid foundation. (Related: The Legs and Butt Workout a Professional Ballerina Swears By)

Regardless of whether you have any interest in becoming a dancer, you can train your core like one. Jason Wimberly, celebrity trainer, creator of WIMBERLEAN, and star of the new series Working Out Is a Drag (a must-watch, TBH) created this 10-minute ballet-inspired core workout.

Wimberly's history as a professional ballet dancer informs his fitness approach today. "It's pretty impossible to think of movement and not reference what I learned as a young dancer," he says. "Ballet is the foundation of my strength, and truly one of the reasons I have had a two-decade-long career in fitness. Nothing compares to the strength of a ballet dancer, and even if you don't have rhythm, ballet basics are great building blocks for all fitness." (Related: The Intense Ab Workout You'll Barely Make It Through)

With this workout, you'll hone a few other skills that ballerinas have also mastered. "Besides the burn in your core, this particular workout is all about balance and stability, which is essential for better performance and injury prevention both in and out of the gym," says Wimberly. Consider yourself warned: You might feel a little wobbly while attempting some of the exercises he threw in. (Related: The Ultimate Full-Body At-Home Barre Workout)

Some parting advice from Wimberly: "Enjoy it! Have fun. Add extra arms, put on pink tights, order a tutu online, or borrow one of mine. Fitness should be fun above all else, and if living your prima ballerina fantasy while toning your core sounds fun to you…well then, let's get sweating!"

10-Minute Ballet Core Workout

How it works: Perform each exercise for the indicated number of reps.

You'll need: No equipment. (Just a mat if you're on a hard floor.)

1. Side Lunge

A. Stand with feet together, hands stacked horizontally in front of chest, elbows pointing out, and forearms parallel to the floor.

B. Take a big step out to the side with the right leg, sinking hips back to lower into a lunge.

C. Push off right foot to return to start.

Do 4 reps on the same side.

2. Side Lunge with Twist

A. Stand with feet together, hands stacked horizontally in front of chest, elbows pointing out, and forearms parallel to the floor.

B. Take a big step out to the side with the right leg, sinking hips back to lower into a lunge.

C. Push off right foot to balance on the left foot. Drive right knee to chest while twisting torso to the right.

Do 10 reps. Repeat moves 1 and 2 on the opposite side.

Scale down: Tap lunging foot on the floor beside standing foot instead of balancing on one leg.

3. Step-Up Lunge with Twist

A. Start half-kneeling on the right knee, left foot flat on the floor, with arms rounded in front of body as if holding a large beach ball in front of chest.

B. Push off the right foot to balance on left foot, bending right knee up to hip height, right foot resting along the inner left leg. While standing up, raise arms overhead, maintaining round shape.

C. Pause, then step back with right foot, bending knees to return to kneeling and lowering arms in front of chest.

D. Twist torso toward the left, contracting core, then untwist to return to start.

Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

Scale down: Tap foot on the floor instead of balancing on one leg.

4. Alternating Curtsy Lunge with Reach

A. Stand with feet together. Step right foot across and behind left foot, bending knees to lower into a lunge. While lowering into lunge, raise arms to rounded overhead position.

B. Maintaining length in spine, lean toward left and back up.

C. Push off right foot to bring right foot to meet left foot, standing up and lowering arms to return to start.

Switch sides; repeat. Do 10 reps total, alternating sides.

5. Crunch Hold

A. Lie on the floor with a neutral pelvis, knees bent with feet resting on the floor, arms rounded in front of chest. Crunch to lift head and shoulders off the floor.

B. Keeping head and shoulders lifted off the floor, reach arms overhead in this rounded shape, then back in front of chest.

Do 8 reps.

6. Flutter Kicks Into Toe Touch

A. Lie face-up on the ground with legs extended, arms out in a "T."

B. Slowly raise legs to a count of four while crossing and uncrossing feet. Stop when legs are perpendicular to the floor.

C. Extend arms toward feet. Exhale and contract abs as to crunch up from waist and lower four times.

D. Lower arms to sides and slowly lower legs to a count of four while crossing and uncrossing feet to return to start.

Do 5 reps.

Scale down: Keep knees bent.

Comments

Be the first to comment!