BLOG

Top Muscles I Target
As a ballet dancer

When I first began to work as a professional ballet dancer, I immediately understood something that nobody talked about as a ballerina-in-training: to become even stronger, you have to turn to fitness. Repeating things in the ballet studio is necessary, 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.
Baby Sarah (2012) competing with Aurora's Act I Variation from The Sleeping Beauty

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

The biggest areas in which I lacked strength were:

  • 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.

     

  • Hamstring-Glute Complex– I never realized how important hamstrings and glutes were for power. I think this is typical in ballet dancers because we spend so much time working on increasing our hamstring flexiblity instead! By focusing on my hamstring-glute connection, I noticed that my strength executing anything on one leg (releve, saute, fouette) increased immediately.

     

  • Adductors (Inner Thighs)- While I’ve done a more tendus, degages, and battement than I can ever count, I’ve found that usually, my inner thighs need a little “reminder” to turn on. The biggest role our adductors play is helping us turn out! However, adductor strength also helps take away unnecessary gripping in our hips and lower back! For a career where we’re always chasing after hip and back flexibility, that’s definitely a good thing.

Check out the links below for classes that focus on these muscle groups!

OBLIQUES – Hone into those side planks + side bends!
HAMSTRING-GLUTE COMPLEX – Helloooo bridges!
ADDUCTORS – You’ll know it when those inner thighs chime in.

Don’t get me wrong— classical Pilates is extraordinarily beneficial. But I personally always felt like I wanted to do more reps, and get it all done with much faster. SteeleSculpt began to emerge in my brain. Building on those basic Pilates exercises, what if we upped the difficulty, set it to music, and never stopped moving? That’s what you get in any SteeleSculpt class.

Book your first class, live or on-demand, for free with code SS-FREE at checkout.