Squats to Make You Feel the Burn

(Photo by Emily Giacalone for Pointe)

Though you may not think about it much, building strength in the muscles around the hips is a must for ballet dancers. Pacific Northwest Ballet’s physical therapist Boyd Bender even likes to think of the gluteus maximus, medius and minimus and the deep external rotators of the hips as integral core muscles. “They’re as importantMore »

Simple but Effective Ankle Strengtheners

(Hannah Foster, photo by Nathan Sayers for Pointe)

Even after years of pointework, ankle strengthening never stops. Freshen up your warm-up routine with these three daily exercises from Leigh Heflin Ponniah, MA, MSc, from the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries of the New York University Langone Medical Center. Although the movements are subtle, “these work on building stamina in the ankle and supportingMore »

Got Tight Hip Flexors?

(Photo courtesy Thinkstock)

If you constantly find yourself reaching for a foam roller, you’re not alone. “Dancers’ hip flexors are very often tight because of how much they use them every day,” says Michelle Rodriguez, founder and director of Manhattan Physio Group. Each développé devant and cambré forward fires this set of muscles, so it’s no wonder whyMore »

The Workout: Edward Watson

Watson rehearsing Alexei Ratmansky's "24 Preludes" (photo by Johan Persson, courtesy ROH)

Royal Ballet principal Edward Watson is known the world over for his incredible range, whether he’s dancing dramatic works like MacMillan’s Manon or creating roles with contemporary forces Wayne McGregor and Christopher Wheeldon. But when he’s working out, Watson leaves his creativity at the door. “For me, it’s all about maintenance,” he says. “I thinkMore »

Your Best Body

(Photo by Nathan Sayers, modeled by Marisa Trapani of Ballet Academy East)

Perfect Your Posture When you begin your first plié combination of the day, you’re likely feeling refreshed and ready to go—not to mention standing tall with good posture. But as class goes on, and the mind fatigues, bad habits can creep in. By center, your upper back may be slumping forward, and your posture lessMore »

The Workout: Lia Cirio

Just like her crystalline technique, Lia Cirio’s workout is extremely fine-tuned. Consistency is key to staying on top of her game, and her cross-training regimen includes specific daily exercises for total-body stamina and strength.   Shoulder strengtheners: Cirio’s arm workout involves morning Thera-Band exercises, followed by a routine with 4-pound weights in the PT roomMore »

Your Best Body

(Photo by Thinkstock)

Calf Stretching 101From the first plié at barre to the last grand jeté of class, your calves are extremely active. But do you devote the same attention to those muscles during your cooldown? According to Michelle Rodriguez, founder and director of Manhattan Physio Group, sitting in a lazy lunge or hanging your heels off aMore »

Your Best Body

(Photo by Thinkstock)

Amp Up Your Arabesque You’ve probably heard it time and again throughout your training: Flexibility isn’t all that helpful unless you have the strength to support it. Leigh Heflin Ponniah, MA, MSc, from the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries of New York University’s Langone Medical Center, offers this exercise to build lower-back strength to betterMore »

The Workout: Kimberly Braylock

Growing up, native New Yorker turned San Francisco Ballet corps member Kimberly Braylock learned to swiftly navigate the city streets and studied flamenco at Ballet Hispanico. Now, she infuses her cardio workouts on the treadmill with her city smarts and a dash of flavor.   Like New Yorkers do: Since she’s from Manhattan, Braylock isMore »