This Article is About
warm up exercises
ballet barre exercises
spinal muscles
hip muscles
pelvic muscles
ballet class
dance class
heart rate
Stretching And Warm Up For Your Ballet Warm Up Exercises
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Stretching And Warm Up For Your Ballet Warm Up Exercises

Every series of ballet barre exercises warms you up - beautifully in fact. If your teacher knows how, every barre workout alternates the big and small muscles groups, accelerating the exertion needed in a gradual method.

Yet it is still a good idea to get to ballet class early and do some warm up exercises. If your heart rate is accelerated, and your "kinks" are worked out, you will get more out of your dance class.

Every one is different. Some dancers want to warm up and stretch their turnout muscles, as a priority. Here is what their routine may look like:

  • either lying down on their back, or standing, the dancer assumes a low passe or retire position, legs parallel
  • using only the turnout, inner pelvic muscles, she/he turns out the working leg, as far as it will go
  • the dancer does not engage or exert any other muscles, except to maintain their position
  • this is repeated 10 to 20 times

...and then repeated using the other leg.

This action warms up the turnout muscles that lie under the big gluteal/hip muscles.

Next, those muscles can be stretched. Again, lying on the back, or standing:

  • the working leg is bent and the foot is placed on the opposite thigh, just above the knee
  • if standing, the dancer does a plie, and oh does that stretch on the outside of the working hip feel good!
  • if lying down, the dancer bends the supporting leg, engages the abs, and lifts that leg off the floor
  • the opposite - working - leg, bent, foot on the opposite thigh, gets the stretch around the hip joint

And so, under five minutes, both sides are warmed up and stretched, for the turnout muscles.

Stretching the large posture muscles, the psoas or anterior spinal muscles, and the quads:

  • Holding the barre, tendu derriere, and then do sixteen swings forward to attitude en avant, (to the front) and
  • back, to attitude en arriere (to the back)
  • hold your core muscles, yet allow the pelvis to open and come back into place
  • don't kick too hard, you are just warming up

Warm up the foot muscles, calves, and quads with prances, using the barre or not:

  • legs parallel, and holding the barre, or using the core muscles for balance,
  • press up one foot to demi pointe
  • press up the other foot to demi pointe
  • press down to one foot, flat
  • and continue down to your demi plie, placing the weight carefully on the supporting foot
  • and at the same time, pointing the working foot to full pointe, toes just touching the floor
  • push up from your demi plie to flat while you start PRESSING down through the other foot to flat
  • (pressing to add to your warm up, rather than just changing the foot position)
  • plie with the foot coming down from pointe, as you pointe the other foot

Repeat 20 times, breathing deeply while you hold in your core muscles.

This is also a great warm up in pointe shoes.

Now that you have your big muscles warmed and stretched out a little, you might want to sit down on the floor and gently get into a box splits or front splits, with little force.

Some gentle side stretches when in the box splits (sitting in your second position) and gentle forward bends in front splits, will signal to your muscles that class is about to start!

It does not take much time to add stretching and warm up before your ballet class. And, you can learn lots more detail about ballet warm up exercises if you wish.

Street Talk

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