4 Barre Exercises that Improve Balance
No one understands how important balance is like a dancer does. Dancers work long and hard on their craft to ensure that their balance is in tip top shape. Standing, turning, and landing on one leg or on your toes is a skill that not everyone can accomplish. It requires great strength, balance, and physicality. You may not be able to accomplish turning on your toes or one leg, however, the ability to improve your balance is a possibility with a little know-how and practice.
Ballet Barre Workout
If you notice, ballerinas have great balance. They spend a good chunk of their class time training at the ballet barre to focus on their core strength, which is the cornerstone of their balance. The ballet barre is meant to be a tool to give you support when working on your balance. Every dancer takes the opportunity to use the support the barre provides while depending on their body’s ability to strengthen and grow into a balancing machine.
Pliés are a basic exercise that tends to start every ballet class. The plié is an exercise that forces you to use your core muscles to hold up and stabilize your upper body while strengthening your behind and leg muscles through a series of squat type exercises in different dance positions.
A grand battement is a leg lift exercise performed while standing on one leg. This exercise requires your stomach muscles to be engaged in order to stabilize your upper body. Your glutes will also be engaged. The engagement of your glutes aids in balancing on the supporting leg while kicking your working leg up in the air.
Arabesque Leg Lifts
The arabesque is a beautiful pose done by all dancers. This pose is created by lifting your leg up in the air behind your body as high as it will go. This pose engages your glutes, core muscles and supporting leg muscles. All three muscle sets help to improve your balance. You can perform this exercise by facing the barre, placing one hand on the barre, or turning away from the barre. You can perform it in a variety of ways. You can lift your leg behind you and hold your balance for a set amount of time or you can lift your leg and pulse it up and down while balancing on the supporting leg.
Relevé and Elevé
A relevé and elevé is a great way to strengthen your ankles and improve your balance. Relevés are performed by performing a plié and then rising up on your toes. An elevé is just the act of rising up on your toes. The best way to perform both for the purpose of improving your balance is by rising up on your toes and taking a moment to lift your arms over your head or holding them out in a T-position to hold your balance.
A dancer can spend an hour or two just working barre exercises to improve their balance and flexibility. Ballet barre exercises can be performed by anyone. They are done at a steady pace to give you an opportunity to tune into your body and what it is doing. Always remember to drink plenty of water during your workout and stretch out your muscles to help prevent injuries. In a short amount of time, you will notice a change in your body that was not there before.