How to Get a Ballerina Body

By Cari Oleskewicz

Ballerinas are often identified by their long, lean bodies, excellent posture and an enviable lack of body fat. Achieving such a form takes years of training and practice, but if you are interested in working to achieve a ballerina body, you can make progress by stretching, dancing and paying attention to what you eat. Work with a dancer or a dance teacher who can help you focus on the way each muscle and ligament works with those around it to keep you looking strong, lean and poised.

Ballerina Stretching Exercises

Avoid static -- or passive -- stretching, and focus on dynamic stretching. Low-intensity stretches that require a wide range of motion are best, according to "Dance Magazine." Try arm circles to stretch your shoulders and back and do deep lunges across the floor to stretch your legs and hips. These large movements will warm you up and prepare you for the rest of your workout. They will also strengthen your body, helping you to move gracefully and easily. Stretch to increase your flexibility as well. This might include practicing splits on a mat or lifting one leg at a time onto a barre.

Ballet Dancing

Learning to dance like a ballerina will help you look like one. Take a class or set up a studio where you can practice pirouettes and leaps. Work on steps and positions that will serve a dual purpose: teaching you how to dance and sculpting your body to look the part of a ballerina. According to Mary Helen Bowers, a former dancer with the New York City Ballet, this includes working your inner thighs so that you have better form and an improved leg shape. Your work might also including strengthening your core so that you have better definition while you dance and balance in everyday movements.

Ballerina Cardio

Increasing your endurance is essential for a ballerina, and if you're trying to look like one, cardio workouts will help you burn calories and fat too. Do low-impact exercises. Ballet can be tough on your joints, so swimming is an ideal way to kick up your cardio without further damaging to your hips, knees and feet. Concentrating on your strokes will also train you to be conscious of your movements and more graceful with your limbs.

Ballerina Posture

Perfect ballerina posture will not only help you look longer and leaner, it's also better for your joints and muscles. Practice balancing your weight and standing straight. Your shoulders should be down and your neck elongated. Use your leg muscles to pull the rest of your body up from the floor. Tuck your bottom in under your hips and examine yourself in a mirror to see how you look. It may seem unnatural at first, but according to DanceClass.com, it will begin to feel natural when you continue to practice.

Ballerina Nutrition

Their thin, lithe bodies might have you believing that ballerinas starve themselves, but that would be impossible given the amount of energy they need to dance. Protein is essential, so fill up on lean meats, hardboiled eggs and handfuls of nuts like almonds. Eat plenty of fruits, such as bananas, citrus and berries. Whole-grain breads, granola and pasta are also great sources of energy. Decrease your caloric intake to lose weight and achieve a thin, toned body. Eat fewer calories than you burn so that your body uses up stored fat for energy. Don't be afraid to reward yourself; several professional ballerinas told "Pointe Magazine" they eat small servings of chocolate and ice cream at the end of the day.

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