4 Exercises to Steal From Misty Copeland for a Strong Ballerina Body

When we consider of a ballerina body, we might design a petite, slim physique. But many dancers have deserted that firm thought of what a ballerina is ostensible to demeanour like—and instead, they’ve led a change towards embracing a different operation of jaunty ballerina bodies. One lady who’s played a vital purpose in that transformation is nothing other than Misty Copeland, a iconic component dancer during a American Ballet Theater.

“We are genuine women and ballerinas, muscular, delicate though also strong, buoyant though also curvaceous,” Copeland writes in her new book, Ballerina Body: Dancing and Eating Your Way to a Leaner, Stronger, and More Graceful You ($30, amazon.com). But Copeland doesn’t fake she always felt so assured in her skin. “None of it was easy. Not my mount in a ballet world, not my attainment during a place of personal gratification and peace, not my tour to a physique we mount in.”

Her book is her approach of assisting other women strech a same state of body confidence that she now exudes to a world. “I dream of pity what I’ve learned—of display women everywhere how to strech their physique goals and grasp what they see as their best selves,” she says.

For Copeland, that has meant prioritizing exercise, as an constituent and certain component of her day. “Working out, so essential to a mental and earthy well-being, can and should be woven by any partial of a lives,” Copeland says.

Below are 4 exercises that she incorporates in her cross-training routine, to assistance say her ideal ballerina body—“one that is gaunt though sinewy, with muscles that are long, sculpted, and toned.” But we positively don’t have to be a dancer to reap a advantages of these severe moves. Try them out to get toned from conduct to (pointed) toe.


“Relevé” means “raised,” or lifted, and describes a position when we arise onto a balls of your feet (demi-pointe) or onto a toes (pointe) of one or both feet.

a. Begin in initial position. Demi-plié, afterwards widen your knees and arise onto demi-pointe (relevé). Repeat this 3 times and aged on a count of four. When finished to music, a depends are to a timing of a music.

b. Repeat once. When we get stronger, we might do 4 repetitions.

Remember to reason your posture. The flexing and indicating also ready and strengthen your ankles to concede we to mount on demi-pointe (or en pointe, if we are an modernized dancer).

Balancing Adagio

“Adagio” refers to a delayed transformation in a ballet technique. As most as a adagio is about flexibility, strength, and fluidity in a movement, training this practice on a building will give we an advantage before coming it standing. On a building we acquire a clarity of change and where your weight should be in method to precedence it to make we legs seem aloft and some-more extended in antithesis to a tip body.

This practice should be finished solemnly to urge balance, alignment, abdominal strength, and stamina.

a. Start by sitting with your legs together on a building in front of you.

b. Lift your legs into a atmosphere by tortuous your knees, holding a backs of your things with your hands with your legs still focussed and together to any other.

c. Leaning back, with your behind true and a backs of your thighs (hamstrings) disposition into your hands, solemnly widen both legs into a atmosphere until they are entirely straight, creation we into a V shape. Bend your knees so a tips of your toes reason a floor. Now do a same with any leg, alone, gripping a tips of a toes of your other leg acted on a floor.

d. Repeat a sequence, commencement with a other leg, when doing a single-leg section.


This practice is good for pardon and lengthening a spine and for centering and strengthening a core.

a. Begin fibbing on your back, your legs together and together and your feet pointed.

b. Bend your legs slowly, bringing them off a floor, still bent, and lifting your feet off a building as well, while your behind hugs a ground.

c. Keeping your reduce behind on a building and your shoulder blades drawn down toward your waist, twist your tip behind off a floor, around your reduce abs. Your arms should act like seaweed being changed by a suit of a tides, around and behind your carried legs.

d. Float your tip behind and arms down to a floor, legs still bent, physique still energized.

e. Repeat 4 times, bringing your legs kindly toward your conduct as your core and tip physique lift, igniting a reduce abdominal muscles.

f. After a final time, reason one palm or wrist (depending on a length of your arms) with a other, behind your thighs.

g. Lengthen your legs true into a air, dire a backs of your legs into your arms. 

h. Propel your legs to a floor, arms still around them, until we get tighten to a floor. Then open your arms to a sides and pierce them brazen toward your feet, over your head.

i. Your tip behind should hook brazen over your legs as we transition from fibbing to sitting, with a backs of your hands on a building to assistance stabilise and keep a backs of your legs on a floor. 

j. Roll down by your spine until your behind is on a building and we are in a starting position, with your shoulders relaxed. Repeat dual to 4 times. 


“Dégagé” means “disengaged.” When scheming for dégagés in particular, though whenever you’re fibbing on a floor, we should feel like we are station or jumping—not fibbing on a silt during a beach!

This practice is good for length, strength, and alignment. Be certain to press a tools of your behind and physique that are touching a aspect of a building to a floor, permitting your operative leg to boyant up, initiating a transformation with your middle thighs and a backs of a legs rather than a tip of your thighs (quadriceps).

a. Begin fibbing on your behind with your feet in initial position (heels together and toes apart, feet pointed). 

b. Place your arms during your sides with your palms confronting down; we can change a positioning of your arms depending on what creates we comfortable, as prolonged as your arms don’t go above your shoulders. 

c. Keep your legs elongated, true on a floor. 

d. Use your palms and arms by dire them to a floor. This will assistance to strengthen 
your core and align a spine. 

e. Lift one leg dual or 3 inches from a floor, with your toes still forked out, by dire a station leg (again, either you’re station or fibbing on a floor, a station leg is a one that is not moving; it helps to say balance), your arms, and your conduct into a floor. This will assistance we to lift a operative leg while progressing fortitude via your body. Do 4 dégagés with one leg front, afterwards switch legs and do 4 with a other leg front. 

f. Now do 4 dégagés to any side. For these, your operative leg stays on a floor, brushing along a building as it extends to a side. Do not disquiet a change of a pelvis or a behind as we pierce a operative leg.

Excerpted from a book BALLERINA BODY by Misty Copeland. Copyright :copyright: 2017 by Misty Copeland. Reprinted with accede of Grand Central Life Style. All rights reserved.