We are pumped to share one of our favorite stories from Self here on POPSUGAR Fitness!
Sigh. You graceful ballerina. What is it about the allure of your long lines, "I got my ish together" posture and cloud-walking glide? Watching a ballerina on the move always reminds us it would probably be a good idea to unfurl our hunchbacked shoulders every now and then (like our moms told us to!). One ballerina we're crushing on in particular? Misty Copeland, soloist at the American Ballet Theater and spokeswoman for Dr. Pepper.
Not only is the girl ridiculously talented and uber graceful, she's also got a strong physique and hot bod to boot. "It's one of the few art forms that you have to start at such a young age. It really takes years to shape and mold the body," says Copeland, who took her first ballet class on a Boys & Girls Club basketball court.
Since some of us may not be able to dedicate years to the craft, Copeland gives us a for-dummies-style guide to the first building block of ballet: the Plie. "The technique creates these long, lean muscles so you're incredibly strong but in a delicate way," she says. "Something as simple as the plie will strengthen your quads, inner thighs, and calf muscles." One move to ballerina legs? Done.
Read on for the move.
The Move: Plie in First Position
Stand with feet in first position, which, for us laymen, means standing up straight with legs turned out at a 180 degree angle. Your feet should make a "V" shape with both heels touching together, but only turn your toes out as far as you can. Keeping your back straight, bend your knees slowly, making sure that your heels remain on the ground to create a diamond shape with your legs. Straighten slowly. Repeat several times.
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