Ballet to Build Lower Body Strength

by Jessica B. | December 15th, 2011 | Lower Body, Strength Training

As a runner, strong calves and a strong lower body are a necessity. You might think that running alone is enough to build a strong lower body, but there are plenty of simple, at home exercises you can do which will increase your strength and stamina while out on a run.

It may sound silly, but ballet is a great way to strengthen your lower body. Even if you are uncoordinated, as I am, a simple way to start is by working your way through the five ballet positions and doing a series of pliés, start with ten per position and repeat.

A plié is when you bend your knees until your thighs form a straight line. Think of it as a slight twist to the basic squat. When you get comfortable with this move, you can also combine it with raising your hands above your head to form a circle.

Position I: Your heels touch and your feet spread out. Imagine you are trying to make your feet into a perfect straight line, but since we aren’t aiming to be ballet dancers, I think we can settle for slightly greater than a 90 degree angle.

Position II: Keep your feet turned out, but move your feet apart about 6 to 10 inches. Again try to keep your feet in as straight a line as possible. The heels still face each other.

Position III: Bring your feet back together and place one in front of the other, so that they are overlapping. The heel of your front foot should be touching the middle of your back foot.

Position IV: Step your feet slightly apart from position III. Your front foot is still aligned with the middle of the back foot, but they are no longer touching.

Position V: This is where things get really tricky. Move your feet back together and the heel of your front foot should touch the toes of your back foot, and vice versa.

If you have difficulty mastering position V, give it a try, and then move on to repeat the first four with pliés. It will take practice, but you will get there.

If you want to try a more advanced move, try to plié down and then jump up, pushing yourself off the ground. This combination is a great way to strengthen your lower body.

You can also go through all of the positions while standing on your toes, but probably not the tip of your toes – unless you are well-trained in ballet.

There are a lot of great workout programs now aimed at using ballet as a tool for building muscle. They can be a really great tool for both men and women for building body strength using only natural resistance.

Comments on Ballet to Build Lower Body Strength

All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.