All your questions answered
Many wonder how to get that sleek ballerina body with lean toned legs, arms and a graceful posture. There is an answer, if you want a ballet body, you will need to train like a ballerina and there is a simple and fun way to do that: it is called 'Ballet Fitness'.
Ballet fitness is becoming more and more popular worldwide as people realise all the amazing benefits. With its broad range of movements and exercises you will not only get the ballerina physique, but also the many deeper health benefits that come with it.
This article aims to answer all your questions about ballet fitness so that you can learn about all the benefits, the range of exercises and how you can get started.
What is ballet fitness?
Ballet fitness is a fusion of ballet barre moves and fitness techniques that will challenge your body in numerous ways. The range of movements, stretching and conditioning with the physical exertion from the actual workouts will help you develop stronger, leaner limbs and core, improve your flexibility, improve your posture and increase your stamina and that's not to mention all the mental and mood lifting benefits.
As you can see, the benefits that can be obtained from ballet fitness are foundational to wellbeing, in addition to getting the sleek, defined body of a ballerina.
Ballet fitness workouts often includes the use of a ballet barre, a piece of equipment dancers use for support as they work through the ballet positions and exercises required to train and hone their bodies. In ballet fitness, ballet barre workouts are designed to achieve similar results, to sculpt and tone your body, achieve a ballerina posture and become flexible, like a dancer.
At Sleek Ballet Fitness, we have created an artistic fusion of authentic ballet positions and proven fitness exercises for a full body workout that is accessible for anybody to do. Our ballet fitness method has been designed to create the long, lean, body sculpture of a dancer, without the need for any previous ballet or barre experience.
Are ballet barre workouts effective?
Yes, Ballet Barre workouts are extremely effective in creating a strong, lean, flexible physique. This is because they follow the method dancers use day in and day out, with and without the ballet barre, to sculpt and tone their recognisably athletic, ballet fit bodies. When combined with fitness based conditioning, as well as exercises to improve balance and flexibility, ballet fitness followers see improved muscle strength, a more defined core and lean legs, cardiovascular improvements, as well as a refined ballerina posture. The effects are apparent within a short space of time from the first ballet fitness class taken.
There are different ballet fitness methods available and effectiveness will very much depend on the specific method and teachers, it's therefore important to choose a proven method that is taught by professional ballet dancers.
At Sleek, our online ballet fitness classes and barre workouts not only provide the ascetic benefits that many want but are also designed to keep your muscles and joints healthy and safe. For example, our workouts include intermittent stretching routines and focus on muscle symmetry, this is in turn effective in easing common physical complaints including upper body tension, lower back pain and joint stiffness.
What are the physical benefits of Ballet Barre Fitness?
Benefits for adults
The physical benefits of ballet fitness classes are abundant. As ballet and barre workouts are a fusion of proven ballet and fitness techniques, the benefits are maximised.
Those who regularly attend dance fitness classes or follow ballet fitness videos can expect to feel increased stamina and cardiovascular health, as changing the body between ballet positions at speed raises the heart rate.
Ballet and barre classes sculpt and tone the big muscle groups, the quads, hamstrings and gluteal muscles, in the same sequence of ballet poses that a traditional ballet class follows: plié, tendu, glissé, fondu, and so on, building heat and strength in the body as the workout progresses.
Ballet fitness classes are devised to allow the body to warm up safely and correctly at the start of each class. Each of the ballet moves are low impact, therefore, safe on the muscles and easy on the joints.
Ballet poses are frequently held on one leg, naturally challenging balance and engaging the muscles in the supporting side and the abdominals.
As well as strengthening the core area, ballet barre workouts use the arms and upper body (port de bras) throughout each class which leads to greater endurance in the arms and back and a more open chest and shoulder line for an elegant ballet posture.
Active stretching is an integral part of every ballet fitness class. As well as helping you become flexible, stretching in this way increases the body's range if motion, allows blood flow to the muscles, reduces muscle soreness and eases stress.
One of the most wonderful benefits of ballet and barre fitness is that it significantly improves cognitive well being. During a single ballet fitness class, exercises to improve balance, co-ordination, rhythm and memory are included.
During a ballet fitness class, each ballet move is always completed equally on both sides. Repeating ballet moves and recalling different patterns, not only improves muscle symmetry in the legs, arms and core but also acts as a mental exercise.
Throughout each ballet barre class, traditional french ballet terms are used to describe the ballet positions. Switching on and learning by memory these original french ballet terms is a great way to exercise the mind as well as the body.
Exercise is brain boosting and none more so than ballet fitness. Dancing releases feel good endorphins which in turn reduces stress, decreasing the symptoms of anxiety and depression and boosting self-esteem.
Our Sleek Ballet Fitness method is artistic so all of our ballet barre workouts are practiced to music. This stimulates a rhythmic and musical response which in turn challenges the areas of the brain that deal with memory, organisation and co-ordination.
As adults, we love to revisit pastimes and activities we did as children. Ballet is often one of those hobbies that get left behind as we grow into adulthood.
Adult ballet classes create positive emotions through revisiting memories. They are often full of students who love the feeling of dancing either because they never had the chance to experience a ballet class as a child or because they did not carry it on as adults.
The emotional and social connection with the music and movements release feel good endorphins, encouraging self-expression which boosts self-esteem and emotional well-being.
Ballet fitness is an extremely social past time, both in a studio and even when practiced online. Our Sleek Ballet Fitness community spans the globe and we have ballet barre fitness lovers who regularly chat with each other and share ballet moves, tips and techniques either from our Sleek Technique videos, a ballerina DVD or from participating in ballet fitness classes in a studio near them.
Benefits for over 50s:
As we age, our bodies become stiffer. Our joints are less mobile and we begin to gradually lose muscle mass. Ballet Fitness is a safe, well-constructed exercise method for the over 50s which can help slow and even prevent physical and mental decline. Ballet fitness workouts include a fusion of exercises to increase endurance, strength, balance and help you stay flexible. All these ballet fitness elements bring numerous physical and mental benefits as we age:
promote longevity and social independence
lower blood pressure and keep the heart healthy
help prevent muscle mass decline
improve memory, concentration and coping mechanisms
strengthen bone density
boost energy levels and self-esteem
improve quality of sleep
Can I do ballet barre classes online?
It is easier than ever to learn anything online and online ballet fitness classes are no exception. There are even benefits to doing ballet fitness online providing the workout/course structure is well designed and taught by real ballet dancers. Doing online workouts means that you can progress at your convenience around your lifestyle, you can focus on the areas that you enjoy and it's a huge financial saving compared to going to a studio regularly.
Sleek Ballet Fitness is the leader in online ballet fitness, our ballet and barre fitness classes have been online for nearly a decade which means we have an extensive streaming library of ballet videos, including adult ballet barre classes, ballet technique programs and ballet bootcamp fitness workouts. Anyone can try ballet fitness and all of our online ballet and barre workouts are accessible to all. At Sleek, we also offer two-way interactive live online adult ballet fitness classes so you can begin your dance fitness journey from home, with the help of a qualified ballet fitness instructor.
To take part in online ballet fitness, minimal equipment is required (a chair or something similar to act as a ballet barre is perfect) and you need only about a yoga mat's worth of space to start with. Experience is not necessary as during each ballet workout, your trainer will talk through the ballet terms, ballet positions and ballet moves. It is recommended that if you are new to ballet fitness, you start with a ballet for beginners workout program. As you progress, or for those already with ballet and barre experience, Sleek Ballet Fitness also offers a full category of intermediate and advanced workouts for the lower, upper and full body as well as stretching workouts and cardio and fat-burning workouts. All of these ballet barre videos are designed for you to achieve the maximum benefits that ballet fitness gives, whatever your starting point.
You can try Online Ballet Fitness classes for free here.
Are Online Ballet Barre classes effective?
The simple answer is yes. Online ballet fitness workouts have the same physical and mental benefits as studio-based, adult ballet fitness classes. But there are additional advantages too. Online ballet fitness gives you the freedom to choose when and where you practice your ballet barre workout. At Sleek Ballet Fitness, our community of dance, ballet and barre fitness lovers all workout from home, when on holiday, and even at work and at whatever time of the day or night they wish. This freedom allows for less distraction and more time for concentrating on you.
Joining a studio-based ballet fitness class entails other people being in the room with you. If you are new to ballet and barre workouts or you don't feel ready or as confident to practice your ballet moves in front of anyone else, online ballet fitness classes take that element out of the equation, allowing you to practice at your own pace and level. This means you gain the maximum physical and mental benefits that ballet barre classes are known to give.
Live online Ballet Barre classes:
If you feel like you still need the accountability of turning up to a ballet barre class to keep you motivated, online two way interactive ballet fitness classes are an excellent solution. At Sleek Ballet Fitness, we have daily, two way interactive live classes that anyone can join. You receive all the sculpt and tone, ballet body sculpture benefits of a ballet fitness video, only with the added motivation of a welcoming, knowledgable and fun, ballet fitness trainer to help guide you through your class. It is the best of both worlds and ensures you get the most from each of your training sessions with Sleek Ballet Fitness.
Finally, from a practical perspective, online ballet fitness classes take the legwork out of being in a dance fitness gym or studio. You only need a small amount of space and can set up your 'home studio' where you are comfortable. You don't need to spend time on driving to your class, finding parking, waiting for a changing room spot or waiting for class to start.
The other big advantage is you are likely to save money by joining an online ballet fitness or barre fitness class. The cost is lower than a gym membership and you'll be saving on fuel as well as time too.
What equipment do I need for Ballet Barre classes?
There is minimal equipment required for ballet fitness. Unlike many fitness methods, no weights are required during a ballet barre workout, (although they are optional for those wishing to include them). At Sleek, we focus on using your own body weight as resistance to sculpt and tone the lower body, for defined, lean legs and the upper body for a refined, ballerina posture. A yoga mat is suggested to make the mat work and stretching sequences that help us become flexible more comfortable when on the floor. Mat work is frequently practiced during a ballet fitness workout to specifically help strengthen and condition the body and improve exercises in the centre (standing exercises).
Although ballet fitness classes often require a ballet barre, a professional barre is not necessary. A chair, shelf or even ironing board is just as suitable, as long as it sits no higher than your shoulder. Tutus, leg warmers and leotards are part of a ballerina lifestyle but are not essential by any means during a ballet barre class. Wear what you feel comfortable to move in and what makes you feel good. Ballet shoes are a good option in a studio adult ballet class but for online ballet fitness and barre workouts, bare feet is the norm and helps you to feel and use the floor better, improving the ballet positions of the feet.
I'm a beginner. Where do I start?
Ballet Fitness is for everyone and no previous dance experience should be required for you to take an adult ballet class or try out some ballet fitness workouts for yourself. Most ballet fitness classes will have a beginners program to help you feel familiar with the ballet terms, ballet positions and ballet moves that are used during each class. You can find a studio class near you to attend or you can search for online ballet fitness methods and start your journey from home.
At Sleek Ballet Fitness, we suggest everyone who tries out our online ballet barre workouts starts with our Sleek Body Starter Program. This is a fusion of all levels and beginner ballet barre workouts, fully programmed for you to follow along with over a period of 28 days. It has an accompanying PDF which you can choose to download and includes a detailed breakdown of your ballet fitness workouts and ballerina diet recipes, as well as additional ballet tips too. We know that this will start you off on a body sculpture journey that will see you achieve all the benefits that ballet fitness has to give.