Summer ready legs

You don’t need to be a ballerina to have ballerina legs and with these at-home ballet exercises you will have all the moves you need to have toned, sculpted, summer ready legs.

Follow this 6 step workout to tone, sculpt, strengthen and elongate your legs!

Step 1 Demi-Pointe Position

Start with a five- to 10-minute total-body warm-up. Jog, prance or do star jumps in place, take a quick walk around the block or do a few reps of your stair case. What we need to do before you begin is increase your circulation and warm up your hips, legs and ankles. When you feel warmer, do a simple exercise to help you find your alignment. Stand with your feet parallel, gripping a tennis ball between your ankles. With your fingertips on the back of a chair, slowly rise onto the balls of your feet. Hold the demi-pointe position for two counts and then slowly lower your heels. Repeat the slow rise 10 to 15 times, removing your fingertips from the chair periodically to test your balance.

Step 2

Stand to the right of a chair, holding the back of the chair with your left hand. Extend your right arm to the side in second position. With your heels together and your toes open in first position, bend your right knee slightly to the right. Point your right foot, touching the baby toe lightly to your left shin in coupe. Rising slowly onto the ball of your left foot, extend your right leg to the front so the foot is 12 to 24 inches off the floor. Hold the rise and extension for a count of two and then lower your heel and return the foot to coupe. Repeat the extension to the side and back, keeping your hips bones level and facing front. That’s one rep. Complete up to three sets of 10 to 12 slow reps. Switch to your left foot.

Step 3

Stand in first position with your left hand on the chair back. Step to the side with your right leg, shift your weight between your feet and bend your knees slightly in second position demi-plie. Continue bending your knees, lowering your hips and pelvis until your thighs are almost parallel to the floor. Keep your spine relatively straight and your knees over your ankles. Hold briefly. Straightening your knees, shift your weight back over your left foot and draw your right leg swiftly across the front of your body. Hold briefly at the top of the motion and then sweep the leg back, settling back into a deep second-position plie. Complete one to three sets of 10 to 12 reps. Repeat on your left leg.

Step 4

Stand facing the back of the chair in turned out first position with your spine straight. Rest your fingertips lightly on the back of the chair. Contract your abs, buttocks and inner thigh muscles as you rise onto the balls of your feet. Lift your heels as much as you comfortably can, but maintain the outward rotation of your legs and keep your insteps over your second and third toes. Hold the releve for five seconds, releasing your fingertips from the chair, and then slowly lower your heels, squeezing your inner thighs together. Repeat the slow releve 10 to 12 times for up to three sets. Repeat the exercise with your heels wider than hip-width apart in second position.

Step 5

Move away from the chair and stand in first position. Extend your arms downward with your pinkies just in front of your thighs. Your elbows should be soft and slightly rounded. Bend your knees slightly, keeping your knees over your insteps. Maintaining a straight spine, push off the floor, jumping vertically with your toes pointed toward the floor. Land softly in demi-plie by articulating through all parts of the foot. Repeat the jump in first 10 to 12 times for a total of one to three sets. Step into a wide second position and repeat the jumps.

Step 6

Finish up your routine with a gentle, but thorough, stretch routine to reduce soreness and maintain or improve lower-body flexibility. Include stretches for your hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves and shins. Hold every stretch for up to 30 seconds, breathing evenly for maximum benefit. Push the stretch only to the point of mild to moderate tension. It should feel good.

Via The Nest

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