The past few years have seen an explosion of ballet-based exercise programs, with devotees at studios across the country. Now, most of these exercises are available via DVD, and are excellent 10 minute workout at home routines. Ballet-based exercises burn fat and calories as well as slim and tighten muscles. A ballet inspired 10 minute workout plan includes classic exercises developed by dancer Lotte Berk,
Berk was a German ballet dancer who developed an exercise routine based on the principal of core stability after being injured in a car accident. Eventually she opened her own studio in London. An American dancer, Lydia Bach, brought the method to the United States in 1971, opening a studio on the east side of Manhattan. When that studio closed in 2000, the Berk group of teachers created variations and exercises based on classic training.
Defining the Core
Plan a core workout using exercises that focus on using your body weight as resistance. In combination with isometric work, you can expect to perform a series of plank work to slim the abdominals. A 10- to 15-minute arm series with light hand weights works to shape the biceps and triceps, along with plank and pushup work for this area. Leg exercises combine the classic Lotte Berk exercises of small knee bends, or pliés in second — feet wide apart — and first — heels together — positions. A 10-minute workout at home routine focusing on the core can compliment any cardiovascular exercises.
Slide Up to the Barre
Barre bar work is a great way to trim the waist and slim and lengthen all the major muscles of the legs. Plan a workout at home by warming up, with two to three minutes of knee lifts. These are done by standing in parallel position and lifting the knees to the chest to slowly raise your heart rate. Ballet legwork such as arabesque leg lifts, plié squats and relevé calf lifts elongates and trims the muscles of the legs. The signature barre exercise, the pretzel, helps get rid of muffin tops and tightens the gluteus maximus and hip adductors. Every good workout routine includes an arm workout. To slim the arms, use 2- to 4-pound hand weights. For maximum results, include intervals of stretching, to assist your muscles in elongating.
Define and Shape
Some barre based 10 minute workout routines combine orthopedic stretches; interval training and isometric work to shape and define all the muscles of your body. An arm workout includes using light hand weights and working the muscles until they are fatigued. A combination of ballet-inspired thigh, leg and buttocks work quickly shapes and trims these areas. For most of the ab and legwork, a small playground ball is used to add resistance to the routine.
Shape the Arms
To achieve the trim arms of a dancer, workout the arms 3 to 4 times a week with light hand weights. An important area to concentrate on is the back of the arm. The triceps are the large muscles on the back of your arms. This muscle is responsible for stability and strength in the arms. It is a hard area to tone, and often this part of the arm suffers from sagging skin due to poor muscle tone. You can tone your triceps through a series of targeted exercises, which will increase strength and slim the arms. These arm exercises can be completed in 10 minutes, and are an essential part of good workout routines.
Begin by holding a 2-to-4 pound hand weight in your right hand. Advanced exercisers should choose the heavier weight; beginners should use the 2-pound weight. Stand with your feet together and lean forward. Keep your upper body parallel to the floor. Lean your left hand on your left knee for support. Raise your right arm behind you, so that it is lifted straight a little higher than your back. Once your arm is fully extended begin small pulses upward. Lift for a one count, hold and return. Inhale on the lift and exhale as you lower. Do 20 reps. Repeat with the left arm.
Sit on the floor with your knees bent, hip distance apart. Place your arms behind you, keeping your fingers facing towards your body. Lift your buttocks off the floor a few inches and shift your body weight slightly back into your arms. Begin bending your arms into a small reverse push-up. Go to the point where you feel your triceps engage. Inhale on the downward movement, and exhale as you return to the starting position. Perform 15 reps.
Plan a workout every morning before you go to work. Exercise is a vital part of keeping your body healthy and assisting in weight loss and maintenance. A quick 10 minute exercise plan each day will help with burning calories and keeping your joints and muscles limber and toned like a dancer’s body.