Memorial day is just around the corner and so is my beach vacation, which means it’s almost time to strip down into a bikini and be seen in public. I’ve been ramping up my workouts to get ready for the summer season and, unsurprisingly, I’m not alone. Ginnifer Goodwin, Kristen Bell, and Chelsea Handler have been hitting trainer Andie Hecker’s dancer-inspired classes at her new Ballet Bodies studio in Los Angeles. I asked Hecker, a former New York City ballerina, for the top tips to getting in perfect form for summer.
Think like a dancer. “At Ballet Bodies we integrate pilates, personal training, ballet, and circuit aerobics to create a long, lean, and graceful body—like a ballet dancer’s. For example during pilates and ballet classes my clients’ legs are stretching and straight, their spines are in line, and their abs are pulled in—just like a ballet dancer’s. My clients carry this to their circuit aerobics and jump class workouts.”
Mix it up. “During resistance training, try to work as many muscle groups at once, so you’re gaining coordination, balance, and strength while burning an optimal number of calories. It’s important to mix up your workouts, so the muscles don’t get acclimated & plateau. So even though Ginny [that’s Ginnifer Goodwin] loves ballet and makes that her primary workout with me, I still like to include some cardio aerobics in her workouts, Kristen Bell loves to sweat it out in our cardio classes but has to take pilates, too.”
Pump it up. For a quick cardio blast at the end of any toning workout, put on an upbeat playlist and do a ballet jump program. (Just make sure your muscles are warm before doing any high-impact cardio like this.) Start with your feet turned out in 1st position and do 16 little jumps, pointing your feet & stretching your legs in the air. Jump out to 2nd position (legs turned out, hop width apart) and do 16 of the same little jumps, continuing the momentum. Jump into 5th position (with your feet turned out and one crossed right in front of the other, toe to heel) and do 16 little jumps alternating the foot that’s in front. Switch this jump sequence up with jump rope or jumping jacks—after 20 minutes, you’ll feel like you’ve danced an entire ballet.
__Lift off.__Get your butt in shape with this series: Lay on your back with both feet on a step or bosu, knees bent, and pulse your hips up toward the ceiling 50 to 100 times. As you’re moving up, concentrate on pulling your lower abs in. Next hug one knee to chest, keeping the other foot flat on the step. Do a single leg bridge, this time with pulsing up for 30 to 40 reps. Switch legs and repeat.
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