Ballerina Misty Copeland is here to prove once and for all that dancing is a sport. The Under Armour athlete and American Ballet Theater soloist currently stars in a mesmerizing Under Armour commercial , a must-see not only for her technique on the floor but also for her incredibly strong physique. Misty says that while she does crosstrain with Pilates, swimming, and the elliptical when she's not in season, it's dancing that really sculpts every inch of her body. "I really can't think of something as physically demanding that targets everything by just using your body," Misty recently told us. "When I retire or when I physically can't handle or endure what it takes to be a professional [ballerina], I have no idea how I'm going to find something that's going to be the same in terms of just targeting every single part of my body and bringing me joy while I'm doing it."
When she is in Pilates class, Misty favors total-body moves that especially target her core and legs. And while we can't all be superstar ballerinas, we can definitely add these no-equipment moves to our next gym workout. Check out Misty's favorite ab- and leg-sculpting exercises below!
Source: Under Armour
Misty loves this move for all-over body conditioning and especially for targeting her core. If you're new to the plank, start with holding for 30 seconds. Misty holds hers for two minutes at a time!
- Start on the floor, resting on your forearms and knees. Be sure your shoulders are stacked over your elbows and your body is in one straight line.
- Step your feet out one at a time, coming into a plank position.
- Contract your abs to prevent your booty from sticking up or sinking. Your spine should be parallel to the floor, with your abs pulling toward the ceiling.
- Hold 30 seconds, and work your way up to one minute as you get stronger.
This move "really reaches and targets the hamstrings and the butt and the whole back and the abs," Misty says.
- Lie on your back, and place your hands on the floor for stability as you bend one leg and lift the other leg off the ground.
- Then, pressing your heel into the floor, lift your pelvis up, keeping your body in a stiff bridge position.
- Slowly lower your body to the floor, and repeat. Switch legs to complete one rep.