Getting in physical activity when possible is a great way to release the stress in your life. You do not have to be an Olympic or professional athlete just to get a good sweat in. You need a favourite pastime or sport and a few minutes each day. From playing soccer to lifting weights to doing ballet, every bit of exercise helps.
In regards to the latter, ballet is a rather unconventional form of athletic performance. Once you decide to get into it, you will realize how engaging it is. Like any other physical exercise, it is important to first warm the body up with smaller exercises. If you are practicing with a ballet barre, there are some perfect exercises to accommodate your routine.
Here are the six best ballet barre warm-ups:
1. Stretching Warm-Up
There is probably no better warm-up routine than that of stretching. Stretching can be used for almost any physical activity, from recreational ballet to more professional routines. The best ones are the ones that allow your limbs, upper and lower body to warm up properly. For example, stretch your arms up, and hold the position for fifteen to twenty seconds.
A key ballet warm-up stretch also involves sitting down and stretching your legs out. Then, stretch your arms out and try to touch your toes that are extended. This will help activate all body parts heavily used in your actual workout. Never cut your warm-up stretches short; they will be incredibly useful for the routine ahead!
2. Short Jog
Jogging is another great way to activate the body before a rigorous ballet barre routine. You do not have to go all out in the running or through sprints. Rather, choose a path outside your studio or in your local neighbourhood, and go for a fifteen-minute jog. These types of cardio help your heart rate out to get it primed for further activity.
This type of warm-up especially helps out with warming the body up. While you will inevitably begin to sweat, you will not be exhausted when you are finished. If you feel as if you are getting tired, it is recommended that you stop and head on to the studio. The last thing you want is to tire yourself out before you even conduct the routine.
Burpees are often seen as an exercise all on their own. While this is traditionally true, they can also be used in a warm-up routine. The idea of a burpee involves getting into a squat position, squatting down, and then force jumping your body up with your arms extended. There are a few key points to consider for using this type of exercise.
Any routine that uses a ballet barre will force your body to jump or make turns. Burpees allow your body to become acclimated to this movement before doing them. Just be sure not to do a lot of burpees in your actual warm-up. They are a challenging exercise and can quickly deteriorate your stamina!
4. Small Pliés
Your free standing ballet barre can be an incredibly useful tool when trying to practice the key movements. Concerning your warm-up routine, why not do miniature versions of those moves first? Doing small pliés, with help from the barre, can be an excellent way to warm up.
First and foremost, it allows you to demonstrate your knowledge of the actual movement. Then, by not over-exerting yourself, you should be able to conduct the plié with as little effort as possible. All other athletic activities, such as boxing, require knowing the movements before the performance. The same sentiment applies to ballet at the end of the day.
5. Foam Rolling
Many may see foam rolling as an activity that should only be used post-workout. Sometimes, this can be valid, as it is a means to accelerate the recovery process immediately. However, it can also be used to properly warm your body up before engaging in your ballet movements. Take any ordinary foam roller you have at home or your studio, and use it for ten minutes.
6. Group Warm-Ups
Warming up for a ballet barre routine can be done solo. Or, it may be much more exciting to do it with a few partners. Try out all of the previously mentioned warm-up exercises in a team, which can be an incredibly fun time.
Once you have tried out all of the exercises, others may be lying in wait. Various barre techniques can be practiced with multiple partners. Either way, you will be primed for the rigorous activity ahead!