This At-Home Strength-Training Routine Will Make You Feel Like a Badass Ballerina
We're constantly inspired by the unique and innovative workouts coming out of New York City, and most recently we've been captivated by ChaiseFitness, a workout that combines ballet, Pilates, and strength training all in one dynamic class. "Our in-studio classes incorporate an element of resistance training whether through our overhead bungee system or through resistance bands," said ChaiseFitness Cofounder Rachel Piskin, a New York City ballerina who started ChaiseFitness with her mom, Lauren. Rachel told POPSUGAR that "using resistance in your workout will help you build long, lean muscles and a strong core, and will help improve posture and balance."
You can get your ChaiseFitness workout at home, even if you're nowhere near their beautiful studio in NYC. "We actually developed an entire series of online streaming videos called ReinventYou that enable clients to get that Chaise dancer-like body at home all using just a resistance band!"
But first, here's a sneak peek at what you'll find in those streamed videos: five of ChaiseFitness's favorite full-body moves. You'll need one medium or heavy resistance band (Chaise recommends one that is at least 60 inches in length) — you can get a Theraband or something similar on Amazon, at Target, or in your local sporting goods store (or you can bring this workout to your gym and use the equipment there!).
Plié Heel Lifts
"This exercise is a great warmup that helps you activate your glutes and core," Rachel told POPSUGAR. "And it helps you connect to your body to allow you to work out with an effective form-focused approach."
- Wrapping the ends of the band tightly around your hands, extend your arms in front to form a triangle shape with the body. Make sure there is always resistance on the band.
- Stand in a wide second position with feet and lower body to a plié (toes turned out and feet slightly wider then hips).
- Lift band up above head and lift heels to a balance. Lower down together. This completes one rep of heel lifts.
- Complete 20 heel lifts, then hold plié position with heels flat and pulse legs 20 times.
Lunge Band Pull
Tip from Rachel: "While doing this exercise, think of two important cues: pull the band from your upper back muscles and stabilize your front leg by engaging your standing glute and your core."
- Hold on to band with each hand and extend your arms up to chest height, making sure there is tension on the center of the band.
- Lower your body into a lunge position.
- Pull the band apart as you straighten your back leg.
- Release the band back with arms extended forward and rebend your back knee into your lunge. This completes one rep.
- Focus on keeping tension on the band the entire time, and keep the front leg still.
- Complete 20 reps, then hold your lunge and pulse the back knee down and up 20 times.
- Repeat on the other side.
Muscle Man Punch
Rachel says to "think of this exercise as your full upper-body and core-toning move!" Using the weight of the resistance band, "The bending motion activates your obliques and core while the punching and lifting of the arms sculpts your arms and back!"
- Stand on half the band with feet parallel and wider than hips. Grab on to other end of the band with your right hand.
- Bend your right elbow into your waist with your palm facing forward and bend your upper body toward your right hip (think oblique crunch).
- Try to keep the band behind your elbow and lift your body upright, bringing your elbow up to shoulder height, bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Lean your body toward your left hip, punching the right hand overhead, crunching your left oblique.
- Take a full eight counts to move back to starting position. This completes one rep.
- Complete 20 reps on each side.
Arabesque Arm Pulls
For this one, Rachel included a tip: "To help you balance as you lift your leg and pull on the band, think of pressing down in standing heel and activating that glute."
- Stand on the band, slightly turned out with one foot [read: turn your left toes at a 45-degree angle away from your body]. Hold on to each end of band with your hands and extend the right leg and toe behind your body to floor.
- Pull each end of the band (palms facing downward) toward the ceiling as your back leg lifts and lowers (keeping standing knee bent).
- Complete 20 lifts on this side, then hold your arabesque lift (bent front leg, extended back leg) and pulse 20 times.
- Repeat on the left.
Attitude Ab Crossovers
Now it's time for a little core work on the ground that will also work the legs.
- Lying down, bend your left leg to 90 degrees with your foot on the ground; slightly bend your right in attitude position.
- Place your right arm behind your head, like you would in a crunch. Place your left hand at the side of your body.
- Curl your head up while extending your right leg and reaching your left hand across your body, then release to the ground. This completes one rep.
- Repeat 15 reps on this side, then hold in the lifted crossover position, lowering and lifting your right leg 10 times.
- Repeat on the other side.