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How to strengthen my body for ballet

hey. I am 14 and have been doing ballet and other styles of dancing for over 10 years now. My teacher has mentioned, and I have really started to notice recently, that my technique and everything is quite good, but I dont seem to be able to do the steps well enough as I haven’t got enough all round strength.

She is not worried about it as she says it will come in time, but for the moment, is there anything I can work on or buy (not too expensive please) that can help me at the moment. It needs to be for everywhere (especially legs eg inner thighs). any good exercises etc????? thanku

  • Abbie

    You don’t really need to buy anything, practise will help strengthen, because we have excercises in ballet designed for this.

    Plies are good for the thigs, practise doing some slow controlled plies in all positions.

    Developes are also really great for strengthening, try doing a develope and trying to hold it for as long as you can, then repeat to the side and back, then on the other leg.

    If you really want to buy something to help you could get ankle weights then wear them while your practising.


  • Jaymie

    If you feel lacking in strength, do strength training in your legs. I love ballet, but it creates lean muscle, not bulk muscle. Even leg strengthening in ballet is minimal compared to basic strength training. Slow plies are great as mentioned, but doing squats (basically plies) with weights are effective. Do them in second position, but this isn’t really ballet. Start in first, then go to second by moving only one leg out. Bring it back in, and repeat on the other side. 15 Minute Workout for Dummies has a quick version of this. I think it’s best to add to it, but I like following the guideline.

    Core strengthening exercises! Some professional athletes don’t even develop their core, but it’s so important. Buying a yoga ball and doing basic exercises on that increases the difficulty level. There are so many workouts available.

    Don’t wear ankle weights! Sorry Abbie, but that is so bad for you! Your ankles aren’t meant to carry weight around them, so using them strains the knees. That’s why pregnant women have a difficult time coping with ankle pain and swelling b/c the added weight is particularly sensitive in that area. Most fitness experts oppose using ankle weights, instead use dumbbells. That adds weight to your overall workout but is weighted in a safer area. I don’t know why they sell ankle weights. They really should remove them from the market.

  • geane


  • Kristen

    Try swimming! It lets you work your muscles without putting strain or pressure on them. Abdominal strength videos are great, too! You need core strength for almost everything you do in ballet.