We are pumped to share one of our favorite stories from Self here on FitSugar!
OK, so I'm guessing at least 60 percent of us took dance when we were little — am I right? Remember how fun it was to pretend to be graceful and twirl around? And then Black Swan came around and things got serious. It may be so 2010 to talk about Natalie Portman's killer bod, but long and lean muscles are never passé. If your childhood ballerina days (and, ahem, coordination) are far behind you, you can still emulate a dancer's body thanks to Crunch Gym's new Ballet Ball class.
"The class is great for giving anyone long, lean, toned muscles just like a ballerina," says group fitness instructor Jennifer Frankel. "These moves focus on parts of the body that are more difficult to target like abs, thighs, butt and arms. Through performing high repetitions with low weights, they really tone and sculpt those problem areas."
Learn these moves after the break.
Incorporate these 3 moves into your regular routine 2 to 3 times a week for a dancer's bod without ever slipping into a pair of pink tights or a tutu.
Put your arms rounded out in front of you like you are hugging a tree. Your heels should be touching each other with your toes turned completely out in first position (top). Slowly begin to plié down so that your knees are pointing in the same direction as your feet (bottom). Slowly come back up. Heels stay on the ground. Repeat this 12 to 15 times.
Full Body Fat Buster
With your arms extended in front of you as if you are hugging a tree again, hold a 1- to 3-pound weight, cans or simply use your own body weight (top). Stand near a wall or bar for support. Squat your legs down into a plié and hold. Widen your arms as if the tree got bigger and then slowly pulse your arms 1 to 2 inches up and down (bottom). Keep your core engaged and your heels should be touching each other. Your knees should be slightly bent the whole time. Hold this for 20 seconds. This is one set. Repeat 2 to 3 times.
Face a wall, chair or bar for balance, making sure there is enough space on each side to kick your leg out. Put your feet in first position with your heels facing each other as you did in the first two moves. Plié down (top). Then, as you return to first position, lift your right leg to the side, as straight and high as it can go. Keep your back straight. Your leg should only be going out to the side, not the front or back (bottom). Then, return your right leg back down into the plié position. While doing this, your left leg will bend simultaneously where both legs meet back at the plié position. Repeat the same move with the opposite leg. Repeat until each leg has done this 8 to 10 times. Remember to keep your back straight and your core completely engaged the entire time.