How to Get a Ballet Body

Score a ballerina-esque physique with our dance-inspired workout tips.

Move like a ballerina. Ballerinas have enviable bodies. Lithe, lean and toned. The modern dance fitness methods we know of today are originally derived from the techniques of a ballerina, Lotte Berk. Her method of dance conditioning and rehabilitation after she injured her back in 1959, have evolved into the high intensity dance fusions we have today known as Barre Classes, such as those based on the Barre Attack method. The founder of Barre Attack, Renee Scott, is also a former ballerina (think years hitting the boards with the Hamburg Ballet) but Renee is also a Bondi personal trainer and certified in the New York Pilates Method. Her global combo of lifting, tucking and curling through a Barre Attack class has the techniques of ballet with the intensity of a tough strength workout.

Do intense smaller movements rather than big weights. Barre Attack is all about isometric movements. What’s that? Think tiny, concentrated movements, in which your body remains quite still while you contract a certain muscle. For example, perhaps you hold a low, triceps push-up – the tension gets your tuck-shop arms nice and tight. Tick! In Barre Attack you then stretch the muscle back out to create longer, leaner muscles. No bulk. Are you working hard enough? “Yes”, says founder Renee Scott. “The incremental movements fire up the muscle and lengthen it – but they don’t tear the muscle and build bulk.”

Use smart tools (like sliding discs and Pilates balls). To engage those hard to reach spots like inner thighs, Barre Attack utilises it's own specially designed soft, exercise balls (Barre Balls). You’ll feel your thighs burn while trying to grip these between your legs!

The other must-have is sliding discs. The Barre Attack sliding discs allows for a fluid movement during something like core stabilisation. Think a low plank and then moving your legs back and forth. Booty call!

Do a whole body workout. A dance-inspired workout is the ultimate in whole body workouts. Did you know that a Swedish study discovered that the legs of dancers and cross-country skiers have the same amount of ‘slow-twitch’ or stamina-enhancing muscle fibres? This means dancers (and skiers) have greater endurance and a heightened ability to withstand long training sessions. A typical Barre Attack class starts with a mat-based warm-up, arm moves, planks, plus glut and thigh work at the barre. It works every part of your body – it perfects postural alignment, flexibility and muscle strength.

Get up, stand up. A standing workout builds strength and stability. Working your abs while standing has less impact on your joints but burns more calories than traditional floor ab exercises. Barre Attack is mostly a standing work-out – it’s high intensity but has a low impact on your joints.

Remember, smart fitness is functional fitness – using body weight, resistance bands, muscle control and cardio to create the body you want. Get going. Now.