Ever wondered how ballet dancers get their long and lean look? Here are some exercises that will help you to sculpt your muscles in the same way that dancers do:
1. The Bridge
Lie on your back with your stomach pulled in, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Straighten your right leg, toes pointed up toward the ceiling. Keep your stomach pulled in tight as you lift your hips off the floor, trying to keep your knees together. Lower your hips until you're not quite touching the floor and then lift again. Complete 30 reps with one leg then repeat on the other side. Make it harder: rise up on your toes with the standing leg while you perform the whole exercise
Start on all-fours, making sure that you have plenty of cushion beneath your knees (use a yoga mat or towel). Bring one knee into your chest and then extend the leg straight back into arabesque, keeping the knee very straight. Pull in through your stomach and lift your leg high towards the ceiling. Repeat 30 times, and then change legs.
3. Abs Exercise
Lay on your back with the arms open wide in second position, knees slightly bent. Pull your stomach as you lift your upper body, bringing your arms overhead to first position (making a large circle around your head). Focus on keeping the stomach pulled in as your lower and lift again. Repeat 30 times.
4. Arm Toner
Sit on the mat with your legs extended straight out in front of you and hands just behind your hips, fingers facing out. Lift your hips up off the mat as your stretch the elbows, keeping the chest open and the neck long. Lower and lift your hips by bending and stretching the elbows, keeping the stomach strong and hips elevated the entire time. Repeat 30 times. Make it harder: rather than allow your hips to drop, see if you can keep your body in a plank so that it moves as a whole as you bend and straighten your elbows.
5. Essential Stretch
Lay on your back and lift one leg straight up. Use your hands to pull the ankle gently toward your head. Work toward stretching your knee all the way over time. Repeat on the other leg.