If you’re looking for a way to get toned while increasing your flexibility, there may be no better workout than ballet. Dancers may look like they are gliding effortlessly across the stage, but in reality, those moves require incredible body strength, balance, and agility.

Getting Started
A surefire way to learn the basics of ballet is to sign up for a beginner’s class. You can easily find an adult ballet class in a local dance studio and some health clubs offer classes as well. You’ll need to wear loose comfortable clothes, preferably a leotard and tights, along with special ballet slippers.

Body Benefits
Ballet is an entire-body workout. Not only will you develop stronger legs and quadriceps, but you will also improve muscle tone in your abdominals, arms, back, and hips. Proper alignment of the spine is a key part of ballet dancing, so after several classes, you should notice an improvement in your posture. Because ballet requires concentration and focus, it can help reduce stress and anxiety.

Warming Up and Cooling Down
Most ballet classes begin with a warm-up in which dancers move through the five basic positions. If your class skips the warm-up and dives straight into ballet steps, try going for a brisk, 10-minute jog or walk beforehand. This will warm your muscles and elevate your heart rate.

After class, it's important to cool down to allow your heart rate to decrease gradually. If class does not include a cool-down period, you should go for at least a 5-minute walk.

Be sure to stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, lower back, and arms at the start of class and again after cooling down to avoid injury and reduce muscle soreness.


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