Ballet Exercises to Do at Home


Release your inner ballerina by incorporating ballet exercises into your at-home workout. Dance-inspired workouts work your whole body by raising your heart rate, taxing your muscles and increasing your flexibility. While it's helpful to have a barre at home when attempting a ballet workout, it's not necessary — the back of a chair or the edge of a counter serves just as well as a stabilizer.

Relevé Plié

This classic ballet move looks much like a very deep squat and targets your thighs, glutes and abs.

HOW TO DO IT: Move into first position — toes angled to 45 degrees and heels together — and standing tall, with your hand resting gently on the barre (or whatever you're using in place of it). Keeping your abs engaged, rise to the balls of your feet. Bending your knees out over your toes, lower yourself down about halfway to the ground. Push yourself up, squeezing your inner thighs and glutes as you rise. Lower your heels. Repeat 20 times.

Banded Degage

To do this quad- and glute-burning exercise, you'll need a resistance band.

HOW TO DO IT: Stand tall in first position. Loop a resistance band around your knees. Keeping your knees straight and your toes points, lift your right foot up straight in front of you. Flex your foot, and pull it back. Repeat the same motion to the side and to your back to complete one repeat. Complete 12 to 15 reps, and then repeat on the other side.

An at-home barre is handy, but not necessary for a workout.

High Fifth

If you need a move that targets your whole body, from legs to shoulders, this is it.

HOW TO DO IT: Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Move into first position and then step out, so you're in a wide plie position with your knees slightly bent. Keep your toes turned out. Lift yourself onto your toes and bring your arms overhead into a releve, which is the classic ballet move in which a dancer is on her toes. Pause at the top, and then release downward into a deep plie. Continue the up and down movement for 12 to 15 reps.

Arabesque Attitude

This moves focuses on your glutes, hips and oblique muscles.

HOW TO DO IT: Move into first position and hold onto the barre, chair or countertop lightly. Lift your leg behind you, moving into an arabesque position. Keep your toes pointed and extend your left arm in front of you with the palm facing down. Keeping the leg raise, bend your knee to move into the attitude position, in which your knee is higher than your foot. Lift your left arm overhead so it's in third position, which means your elbow is slightly bent and your arm is creating a slight curve. Release your leg back into an arabesque to complete one rep. Repeat the move on the same leg 20 times, and then repeat it 20 times with your right leg.