Ballet AZ Blog

Ballet Barre Workout Ideas

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Performing a few simple exercises that are similar to what our dancers do when they are at the ballet barre will help you improve your strength, balance, and flexibility. Don’t believe us? Give it a try yourself. Add some of these ballet-inspired exercises to your at-home workout and see the difference for yourself.

Ballerina Squats – helps with toning your lower body and strengthening your legs/core

Every dancer from beginners to professionals starts their day with plies. The ballerina squats you will be doing as part of your at-home workout routine are similar to those plies.

To do ballerina squats, do the following things:

  • Stand with your feet together
  • Slightly turn your toes outward – your feet should make a V shape
  • Slowly lower your body by bending your knees. Your toes will stay on the floor while your heels lift off just a little bit. If you feel unsteady, you can place one hand on a chair or the wall.
  • Lift yourself up by straightening your knees once you have gone as low as you can go
  • Repeat this movement several times 

Arabesque Lunges – Strengthens and tones your legs

Arabesque –where one leg is straight to the back – is a traditional ballet pose that is performed in almost every dance performance. When doing this at-home exercise, you will be strengthening and toning the muscles in your leg.

To do an arabesque lunge from second position, do the following:

  • Stand in ballet second position – this is where your left foot and right foot are pointed away from each other at a wide distance apart.
  • Place one hand on the back of a chair, ballet barre, or wall for support
  • Rise up onto your toes, then back down into a squat.
  • Slightly shift your body to face the chair (or barre) and lift your back leg upwards. While lifting, keep your leg straight and make sure you don’t rise it too high.
  • Bring the leg back down to the ground and put the toes back to where they started
  • Make sure to push the back leg backward keeping the toes on the floor and bend the knee on your supporting leg.
  • Slide the toes back along the ground and stand back into second position.
  • Repeat this four to eight times then switch and do the same on the other leg

Side battement – strengthens legs, builds muscle, energizes the body, and helps with balance

Side battements are basically dainty kicks that are performed to the side of the body. Unlike when you kick a ball, a side battement is usually controlled, your muscles are held tightly, and you are working to balance yourself and not wobble all around.

To perform a side battement as part of your at-home workout do the following:

  • Stand in ballet first position
  • Place one hand on the back of a chair
  • Push your foot to the side. This is called a tendu. While pushing your foot you will want to point the toe.
  • Once the toe is to the side lift it upwards.
  • Bring the leg back down and then close the foot to the side of the standing leg.
  • Try this several times. The more comfortable you get, the faster you can kick the leg out until you are kicking the leg – in a controlled manner – to the side without stopping.
  • Repeat this several times and then turn around and do it on the other leg

Want to really challenge yourself? Consider taking part in one of our full-length ballet classes. Our ballet classes start at the barre and you will quickly notice that many of the exercises you did at home are being done right there in the studio. We offer weekday and weekend dance classes so there is certainly something that will fit your schedule.

Don’t feel ready to try your hand at a full-length ballet class? That is okay. You can still see some of the same movements you did during your at-home workout routine when you catch one of our performances. Visit our website to learn more about what performances we will be doing, where to buy tickets, and what dates we will be performing.

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