It sounds too good to be true but you really can strengthen and tone your whole body without leaving your bed with this. Here we show you how with this effective classical bed ballet workout…
Introducing the bed ballet workout
What is BedBallet?
BedBallet, most simply defined, is classical ballet – in bed. “It’s a challenging, convenient and, I concede, indulgent way to learn and practice classical ballet movement and pose,” says founder Drew Rice.
Where did the bed ballet workout come from?
Drew is a keen dancer and he taught aerobics in the 90s at Pineapple Studios and various gyms in north London. After retiring from teaching, he continued to dance and took up ballet a few years ago. BedBallet came about by accident, he explains. “I’d been absent from the barre for a while and I awoke to find myself in a first position calf stretch with arms extended to an unidentified balletic posture.” He carried on practicing ballet moves from the comfort of his bed and during lockdown took it one step further. He contacted his ballet teacher, Katie Pick, and they started filming online tutorials from his back garden.
What are the benefits?
BedBallet is a graceful and demanding workout for the whole body, says Katie who runs Primrose Hill Ballet School. “Ballet practice improves flexibility along with long, lean muscle strength and tone. In particular, it strengthens the core abdominal and improves posture, which will lead to correct everyday posture, along with improving balance and coordination,” she adds. Plus, BedBallet can also be a wonderful outlet to relieve stress, anxiety and improve overall mental health.
Tips to get started
So, how to try it? Wake up, begin. The great thing is all you need is a comfortable bed, a pillow to support your back and neck and bare feet or ballet shoes. “Although BedBallet can be performed at any hour, we would recommend a morning stretch, pose and tone to start your day,” says Katie. “For households with limited space, this is a great source for exercise and wellbeing during these lockdown periods.”
1. Positions of the feet
Positions of the feet in BedBallet is a fundamental part of classical ballet technique that defines standard placements of feet on the floor and in bed. Learning to articulate the feet results in clean lines and is vital when preparing to dance en pointe. This will also improve calf and core strength. For stronger, elegant feet, practice the five basic feet positions: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th. Make sure your neck and head are well supported.
2. Positions of the arms & feet
A ballerina’s arm movements are arguably the most fluid feature of dancing. Just like there are five standard positions of the feet, there are also five positions for the arms. Working in conjunction with the rest of the body, the arms play a pivotal role in coordination, balance and graceful expression.
3. Attitude stretch
The glutes and hamstrings challenge the muscles of the supporting leg and back extensor muscles, as well as engaging and strengthening the core. This stretch will also aid with increasing your splits and back flexibility, improving the line of your arabesque/attitude and lengthening the quadriceps.
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