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Training @ Home: Key Conditioning Exercises To Maintain Ballet Fitness

What strengthening exercises can we do at home?

(Model: TBA Ballet Mistress Lin Fong)


ROLLED UP


Training purpose:

To test the strength of abdominal muscles and the flexibility of the spine.


Breathing method:

Breath

Movement

Inhale

Arm lift

Exhale

Body roll up

Inhale

Stay

Exhale

Roll down and land

  1. Lie on your back with your face up, legs straight, maintaining a natural spine curvature. Raise your hands straight up until they are beside your ears and shoulder-width apart, with your palms facing inward. Elongate your neck, relax your shoulders and abdomen, keep your core tight, and ensure the upper part of your back is close to the ground. Make sure the anterior plane of your pelvis is parallel to the floor. Keep your legs straight and your leg muscles and soles relaxed. As you inhale, lift your hands perpendicular to the floor and lengthen your neck.

  2. Exhale, using the contraction of the abdominal muscles to bring the body up. Roll your body up off the ground in a C-shape, with your head and shoulders following the movement of your spine. Avoid shaking the arms to assist the rolling action. Roll up off the ground until your shoulders are rolled up to a position perpendicular to your pelvis and your arms level to the ground. Keep your legs straight on the ground and relaxed.

  3. Inhale and maintain this stretched position.

  4. When exhaling, contract the abdomen to drive the body back to the ground. When rolling back onto the ground, try to feel the contact action between each part of the back of the spine and the floor, and push the spine down in small sections, so that the spine can be fully stretched and moved. After your shoulders and head are on the ground, straighten your arms and return them to the initial position on both sides of your ears. The height from the ground when the arms are stretched toward the top of the head is subject to maintaining the natural landing position of the thoracic spine; if the front of the chest is too tense or the ribs protrude upward, move the arms moderately toward the ceiling.




LEG CIRCLE


Training purpose:

To strengthen the leg muscles while also training the core muscles.


Breathing method:

Breath

Movement

Inhale

One circle

Exhale

One circle

  1. Lie flat, face up, straighten your legs, and keep your spine naturally curved. Keep the anterior plane of the pelvis is parallel to the floor. Lie straight on the ground with your arms flat on either side of your pelvis, extending toward your toes, palms facing down. Keep your leg muscles and ankles relaxed as you straighten your legs.

  2. As you inhale, draw your legs in a full circle in the air in a counterclockwise direction. Flex your feet, with your toes facing the top of the head. Ensure your pelvis remains stable and does not wobble from side to side.

  3. Exhale and draw a circle in the same direction.

  4. After drawing ten circles in the same direction, draw another ten circles clockwise.




LEG EXTENSION


Training purpose:

It is specially designed for those who have uncoordinated hands and feet. When practicing, first contract the abdomen hard to fix the position of the pelvis on the ground, and then focus on the limbs, opening and drawing circles and retracting movements at the same time.


Breathing method:

Breath

Movement

​Inhale

Prepare

Exhale

Roll up the body

Inhale

Extend hands and feet to a V shape

Exhale

Draw circles with hands and retract legs

  1. Lie on your back, bend your legs together, and keep your spine in a natural curvature. Lift your legs off the ground, with your calf and thigh forming a 90-degree right angle and thighs perpendicular to the floor. Place the palms of both hands lightly on the knees, raise the elbows to the sides, and keep the chest, shoulders and neck relaxed. Use the contraction of the abdomen and ribs to keep the front side of the pelvis parallel to the ground. Inhale and prepare.

  2. Inhale, straighten your arms toward the top of your head, while extending your legs in the opposite direction. Extend your arms back, with your palms facing the ceiling, on either side of the ears, while the shoulders are turned outward. At this point, the body forms a V shape in the air. After the upper body is rolled up off the ground, maintain the same position without moving up or down due to the movements of the hands or legs.

  3. Exhale, bend your legs back together, open your hands to the sides, drawing a big circle, then placing your palms back on your knees. Keep your upper body bended forward off the ground, and bring your knees back directly over your pelvis.

  4. After finishing 10 sets, slowly roll your body down and return to the ready position.




CROSS


Training purpose:

To train the muscle groups crossing the front and sides of the abdomen. Try to maintain the fluidity of the movement while practicing, and slow down the speed of twisting so that you can feel the action of extending the spine.


Breathing method:

Breath

Movement

Inhale

Prepare

Exhale

Roll up

Inhale

Stop at the top

Exhale

Twist

Inhale

Legs retract and exchange

Exhale

​Change side and twist

Inhale

Legs retract and exchange

(after ten sets , the body returns to normal)

Exhale

​Body roll back and land

  1. Lie on your back, bend your legs together, and keep your spine in a natural curvature. Lift your legs off the ground, with your calf and thigh forming a 90-degree right angle and thighs perpendicular to the floor. Put your hands behind your head, put your thumbs on your ears, cross your fingers, and relax your elbows by your shoulders. Extend your shoulder blades along the floor toward the toes, driving the extension of the neck. Inhale and prepare.

  2. When exhaling, roll the upper body up to the sit-up position. Use your palms to help support the weight of your head, allowing the neck to relax and extend. Inhale and stay in this position for a while.

  3. Exhale, twist the upper body to the right, at the same time stretching the left leg to a 45-degree angle, keeping the right leg in the original 90-degree bent position. Keep the elbows relaxed by the shoulders and not pinched forward to help the body twist.

  4. Inhale, turn the upper body and retract the left leg at the same time. The sides of the pelvis remain grounded. Only retract the knees to a position perpendicular to the pelvis, and avoid drawing them too close to the chest.

  5. Exhale, twist the upper body to the left, straighten the right leg at a 45-degree angle in the air, and keep the left leg bent.

  6. Repeat steps 3 to 5 nine more times to complete a total of 10 sets. Keep your upper body off the ground until the ten sets of twists are over, then relax and lie back on the ground.




ONE HUNDRED TIMES


Training purpose:

To strengthen abdominal muscle endurance and stimulate cardiopulmonary function.

Serves as a quick warm-up exercise.


Breathing method:

Breath

Movement

Inhale

Prepare

Exhale

Roll up the body

Inhale and exhale five small breaths

Each as a set, do ten sets in a row

Inhale

Bend your legs

Exhale

Body land on the ground

  1. Lie on your back and keep your spine in a natural curvature. Lift your legs off the ground. Place the palms of both hands lightly on the knees, raise the elbows to the sides, and keep the chest, shoulders and neck relaxed. Keep your core tight and the front of the pelvis parallel to the ground. Inhale and prepare.

  2. When exhaling, roll your upper body up off the ground, straighten your arms toward your toes and keep them beside your pelvis. Ensure your legs are straightened and joined together at 45 degrees to the height of the feet in the air, and the front side of the pelvis remains horizontal. Gaze at your navel to see if the abdomen is contracting. After your body is lifted off the ground, ensure the upper body remains at the same level and is not affected by hand movements.

  3. Take five equal small breaths, and move your hands up and down in a pumping motion five times, keeping your body stable without shaking. Distribute the breath length evenly and exhale the breath completely, to prevent suffocation. Try to relax the shoulder joints so that your arms can move naturally.

  4. When exhaling five small breaths, pump your arms up and down five times.

  5. When you're done, inhale to bring your legs back to the bent position, placing your hands on your knees.

  6. Exhale and land.




THE SAW


Training purpose:

To stretch the spine and leg muscles. When stretching, try to fix the stretching posture of the body as much as possible, and do not shake the body up and down.


Breathing method:

Breath

​Movement

Inhale

Twist to the right

Exhale

​Extend obliquely downward

Inhale

Elongate the spine

Exhale

Make a deeper extension obliquely downward

Inhale

Pull the body back to a straight line

Exhale

Turn back to the preparation position

  1. Start by sitting with your back upright, keeping the original curvature of your spine. Keep your legs straight and open in a big V shape, while ensuring the back is straight by contracting your abdominal muscles. Flex your feet and point your toes toward the ceiling. Extend your arms in a straight line by your shoulders, palms facing down.

  2. When inhaling, sit up straight, and twist the upper body to the right, so that the body faces the right leg. Stretch your left arm to the front as you twist your body. Keep your right arm behind your body, and the palms of both hands facing the ground. Ensure that the sit bones under the pelvis remain on the ground.

  3. Exhale, keep your back upright and bring your body as close as possible to your right leg. The connection between the upper body and the pelvis is the axis, and the body is folded forward to avoid bending the back.

  4. Inhale, maintaining the upright position of the back. Imagine lengthening the top of your head while extending the entire spine, keeping the left pelvis on the ground.

  5. Exhale, continue to draw your body closer to the right leg, and drive the muscles on the back of the thigh to stretch deeper. Keep your back flat.

  6. Inhale, and pull the upper body back to the upright position. At this point, the body is still facing the diagonally to the right.

  7. Exhale, turn your body to face the front, and return your arms to a straight line on both sides.

  8. Twist to the left and repeat steps 2 to 6.




SWIM


Training purpose:

To improve back muscle imbalance and scoliosis problems.


Breathing method:

​Breath

Movement

Inhale

Prepare

Exhale

Lift the body off the ground

Inhale and exhale four small breaths each set

​Exchange hands and legs four times

(Do a total of five sets)

Inhale

After finishing 5 sets, the body stays in the air for a while

Exhale

The body lands and relaxes

  1. Prepare in a prone position, with your body in a straight line, your hands straight above your head, and your legs stretched in a small V shape on the ground. Tuck your chin in slightly and push your shoulders away from your earlobes, keeping your neck stretched. Ensure the plane of the front side of the pelvis is parallel to the floor, the abdomen is contracted, the navel is off the ground, and the waist is not pressed down to maintain the natural curvature of the spine. Inhale and prepare.

  2. When exhaling, lift your arms, legs, and upper body off the ground, keeping your head and spine in a natural straight line. Only the pelvis and abdomen should be in contact with the ground. Maintain the natural straight line of the head and spine, and avoid excessive upward movement of the head to prevent tension in the muscles at the back of the neck. Do not relax your body back to the ground until the whole set of movements is over.

  3. Divide one breath into four small breaths. First, take one breath and straighten your right hand and left leg at the same time. Switch sides each time a new breath is taken. Keep the pelvis stable, ensuring that the front side of the pelvis is stable and in contact with the ground. Ensure the hands and feet are lifted off the ground at the same height. If the hands are lifted higher than the feet, the center of gravity of the body will fall towards the direction of the feet.

  4. Divide one breath into four small breaths. Let out one breath first and straighten your right hand and left leg at the same time, then repeat on the opposite side with the left hand and right leg when exhaling the second breath. Repeat twice more.

  5. Land and relax your body.





ROLL THE BALL


Training purpose:

Challenge the coordination and balance of the body. Rolling in an easy game, overexertion is not only counterproductive, but also makes it harder for the body to balance.


Breathing method:

Breath

Movement

Inhale

Roll back

Exhale

Roll up

  1. Begin with a sitting posture , and bending and contracting your body like a ball. Bend the legs together, with the back in a parabolic arc and both hands holding the ankles. Lift your toes off the ground, draw your knees closer to your chest, and your heels closer to your buttocks. The center of gravity of the whole body is balanced on the ischia of the pelvis.

  2. Inhale, and contract the abdomen to drive the body to roll back to the position of the shoulder blades. Contraction of the abdomen drives the center of gravity of the body back. Keep your head off the ground and maintain the arc of your body. Ensure that the distance between your head and knee, hip and heel remains the same.

  3. Exhale, roll your body forward without your toes touching the ground. Try to use the contraction of the abdominal muscles to roll back to the initial position, while keeping the hands and legs relaxed.

  4. After you have mastered the balance, continue to repeat steps 1 to 3.





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