You will feel the burn with this short yet effective leg workout that will sculpt beautiful, long, lean, ballerina legs. It is perfect for those days where you just can’t get online to do one of our streaming videos.
Warm up with 5 minutes of light cardio to get your blood flowing. Then complete the following 6-exercise circuit 3 times. Make sure to cool down with 5 to 10 minutes of stretching to lengthen your muscles and prevent soreness.
1. Ballerina Balance Transfers
Your stabilizer muscles get some love with this move since you’re transferring your weight from side to side, while leaning, will force you to engage your core. Do this move with the others or on its own as a warm-up.
Targets calves, quads, and glutes
- Start with legs apart in second position. Pull up both knees, squeeze your glutes, and lift your heels to engage your calf muscles.
- Take your arms up and out to open fifth.
- Lower one heel and transfer your weight over to the side, bending the supporting leg and stretching the other leg. Lean over from your waist, rounding the arms to fifth position over head.
- Come back through center and repeat to the other side. Move in quick succession.
Do two sets of 16 each direction.
MAKE IT HARDER: Slow the second set down and take the stretched leg 6 inches off the floor each time. Aim for control—no wobbling on your supporting leg.
2. Reverence Pull Up
Squeeze your glutes while you lift your arms.
Targets quads, hamstrings, and glutes
- Stand with one leg behind you in fourth position with your back heel lifted off the floor.
- Bend both knees, bringing the body over your front thigh and sweeping your arms out and down to first position.
- Pull both legs up, bringing the arms overhead to fifth position.
Repeat 16 times on each leg.
MAKE IT HARDER: Lift your back leg off the floor as you pull up and touch your toes high to the back of your supporting leg at the top, pressing your knee open to retiré position.
3. Plié Pulses
You’ll feel some serious burn with this classic dance stance.
Targets quads, glutes, and calves
- Start with legs apart in second position. Without leaning forward, bend your knees and lift one heel off the floor.
- Pulse in this position, keeping your knees open and in line with your middle toes. Do two sets of 16 on each side with a quad stretch between each set.
Do two sets of 16 on each side with a quad stretch between each set.
MAKE IT HARDER: Add a third and fourth set, sinking your hips lower to the floor to pulse so you’re in a deeper plié. Keep your spine straight and your knees over toes.
4. Tendu to Second
They look simple, but remember to keep your toes pointed and knees straight when you do these. You’ll get a better stretch in each leg that way.
Targets calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, and adductors
- Start in first position with your heels apart, keeping your toes in a “ten to two o’clock” alignment and squeezing your glutes.
- Open your arms out to second position and slide one leg out to the side, lengthening the leg and pointing the toes.
- Draw the leg back into first, keeping both kneecaps pulled up, holding the arms in second.
Do two sets of 16 on each leg.
5. Reverse Pliés
Get ready to sculpt your upper thighs.
Targets rotator muscles
- Lie on your back and raise your legs to a 90-degree angle, flex your feet and rotate the legs out to first position.
- Place your hands onto your waist and bend both legs, keeping your core engaged and knees turned out in a diamond position.
- Straighten your legs fully, pressing your heels back up to the ceiling and drawing your legs together.
Do 4 sets of 8.
MAKE IT HARDER: Take your arms over head to fifth, hovering your arms one inch off the floor throughout
6. Battement Stretch Switches
We love a move that hits the abs, too. Squeeze ’em when you do these switches to really engage your core.
Targets hamstrings and abs
- Lie on your back, draw your tummy in, and lift your legs to a 90-degree angle, pointing your toes.
- Place your arms in fifth position overhead, shoulders down.
- Lower one leg only, hovering it off the floor for 8 counts, aiming to draw your top leg close to your nose, fully stretched.
Do two sets of eight switches.
MAKE IT HARDER: Take your hands down to either side of your outer thighs and lift your shoulders and upper back off the floor throughout the sequence.