Lately I’ve been doing a lot of high intensity interval training which is a lot of fun but hard work! So I went scrolling through my fitness instructor app looking for an alternative and I came across a series of classes called ‘Ballet Tec’. As the name suggests, they are workouts inspired by ballet movements. I’ve tried dance based fitness classes in the past but I’ve struggled with some of them (I always end up getting completely out of time!) But ballet workouts are slower paced and consist of wonderfully named moves such as adages, beats, degages, grand battements, plies, port de bras, retires and barre work (at home you can use a dining chair). You also learn the basic positions which some of you may already be familiar with. I’ve also been practising conditioning exercises used by ballerinas.
As someone who has been practising more intense fitness recently, ballet has been a nice change. It is far slower paced than what I’m used to but still offers challenges. I have a fairly good level of general fitness but even I found some of the elements tricky, particularly the ones which require balance. Regular ballet would certainly improve this. A beautifully graceful form of exercise, as well as improving your balance, ballet can also help to develop your flexibility, posture, agility and coordination. Ballerinas are known for their long, lean muscles – a physique which many aspire to have so I can certainly see the appeal. It can also help to improve the strength of your core.
Exercises such as ballet, yoga and pilates are also great at improving the connection between your mind and body. I find that when performing slower, more deliberate exercise, I tend to think a bit more about what I’m actually doing with my body than I do with more explosive exercise. The other good thing about ballet is that is doesn’t leave you looking like a sweaty racehorse at the end which is usually what my fitness regimen does to me! It’s suitable for young and old and you don’t need special clothing either, socks or bare feet are fine for a ballet workout.
I think for me personally, ballet on it’s own isn’t enough to push me physically and to achieve results quickly. But I think combined with other exercise, it’s a nice addition to any fitness programme. I think of exercise like food. To get the maximum benefits, it’s good to enjoy a variety. Any way of getting people up and moving though is good so if you’re new to fitness and would like to start off with something a little slower paced that will still work your muscles, then an adult beginner’s ballet class I think is definitely something worth looking in to.