Everyone has a workout routine to fit their varying lifestyles. My workout routine generally accommodates balancing out the muscles that are either overused or underused in ballet. For example, being in the turned-out position uses certain glute muscles that the turned-in position doesn’t use, so it’s important to balance out those glute muscles utilizing exercises where you’re turned in. So a lot of what I do outside class is about injury prevention.
When I was doing just ballet, it wasn’t uncommon for me to run into overuse injuries or just be sore for days after a class. Yet, when I began to cross-train, those overuse injuries began to disappear, and I was no longer sore.
This is what my routine looks like:
- I take ballet twice a week, two hours per class for a total of 4 hours per week. After barre work, we do some basic crunches, another core exercise, back exercises, butt crunches, and push-ups. And, of course, we stretch, stretch, stretch.
- I do resistance training once a week with a keen concentration on my back and shoulders. Yes, I do resistance training for all of my other muscles, but I’ll load several resistance exercises on my back and shoulder muscles as compared to my chest and a few other muscle groups. I especially love my deadlifts. I’ll bang out 6 sets of 12 repetitions on resistance day.
- I also make sure to do specifically a butt and thigh workout once a week. Both of these areas are prone to pain and soreness. While you are turned out at your hips, you are still working different muscles in both your thighs and butt to hold that rotation. It then becomes imperative to work in a turned-in position.
- I also try to fit in just one cardio workout once a week. Ballet is actually enough cardio, but it’s also good to do some cardio where I’m turned in. So instead of doing jumps in first position, I could be doing squat jumps or some variation thereof. Some dancers take pride in their duck feet when they’re out and about, but that, in fact, can lead to injury and is indicative of a muscle imbalance you should not be having.
- When I have to take a break from ballet, I step up the resistance training to twice a week, cardio to twice a week, and I throw in a leg day, which also includes working my butt out.
Overall, this is what my routine is, though it can vary from week to week. I’m not always fully consistent depending on what’s going on, but I do enough to maintain optimal health. I always give myself two rest days.
Get the leggings in the pic here. The shirt was made by me.