My favorite muscles to target as a ballet dancer

When I first began to work as a professional ballet dancer, I immediately understood the secret that nobody talks about as a ballerina-in-training: to become even stronger, you have to turn to fitness. Repeating things in the ballet studio is helpful, but being well-versed in exercise science was the only way to really improve at a rapid clip. When I couldn’t do something in the studio, I would turn to my Pilates + personal training certifications to help increase my strength and overcome those challenges.

So, after years of pre-professional training, dancing in cities around the world, and endless pilates classes, what was I missing when I entered a professional ballet company? PURE STRENGTH. I knew how to align my body, point my feet, turn out from my hips, etc. But to keep up with the company women, I needed to get stronger, and faster. Has anyone else ever found themselves in this position? 

The biggest areas I lacked strength in were:

  1. Obliques- When your core gets stronger, your dancing immediately levels up 1000%. By focusing on my obliques, I noticed a big difference when: A. Initiating pirouettes could occur with a bit more “snap”. B. My petit allegro became a lot easier— moving my feet quickly + changing direction quickly. C. My supporting side in adagio could “fight back” against the weight of my leg up in the air.
  2. Hamstring-glute complex- I never realized how important hamstrings and glutes were for power. By focusing on my hamstring-glute connection, I noticed that my pure strength in single-leg ANYTHING (releve, saute, fouette) was much better, 
  3. Adductors (Inner Thighs)- While I’ve done a more tendus, degages, and battement than I can ever count, reminding your inner thighs


Check out some exercises below that have helped me tremendously over the years:

OBLIQUES

HAMSTRING GLUTE COMPLEX

ADDUCTORS

While classical Pilates is extraordinarily beneficial, I found it often lacked enough repetitions for me to actively reap the benefits, and often, the pace is pretty slow. SteeleSculpt began to emerge in my brain. What if we took these exercises, upped the difficulty, set it to music, and never stopped moving? THat’s what you get in any SteeleSculpt class.