Just like all athletes, dancers need to cross-train too. So when it comes to trading pointe shoes for sneakers, we wanted to know how a professional dancer stays long and lean. We asked Lauren Fadeley, a principal dancer at the Pennsylvania Ballet, to let us in on her regular workout (the one she does when she's not rehearsing for six hours a day). Her favorite? The elliptical, which she hops on during the weekends when she feels like she needs more cardio. "I like it because it's non-weight-bearing," Lauren says. "I can't really run because my metatarsals are always kind of out of place from being in pointe shoes." Lauren says she and other ballerinas like to also bike on the weekends as a way to exercise for fun — again, no running, since they shy away from the high impact that running can have on legs ("We do that all day!" she explains). When it comes to muscle toning, Lauren favors free weights and high reps — eight pounds for exercises like bicep curls, and five pounds for other moves.
Try it yourself: Go easy on your joints with these heart-pumping elliptical workouts that burn major calories without the impact, then sculpt your upper body with the best dumbbell exercises for arms.
Want to know more about what it takes to be a professional ballerina? Check out what Lauren eats every day.