Just the musings of a small-town professional ballerina, business owner, wife, and beagle mama as she attempts to make it through this thing called life.

Jun 13, 2014

Guest Post From Amanda Howard On: Summer Training

Returning to A Dancer's Days is the wonderful, Amanda Howard. Some of you may know her already from her previous delightfully informative articles, but if not here are a few things to know about Amanda. She is 18, like me, and she is a ballet blogger, dance teacher, is in the process of writing a dance book, and even owns her own dance studio: Praise Him With a Dance. Listed below is her blog, website, and Facebook page.

I am so excited for the summer! It’s the time of beach trips, friends, iced lemonade, and bathing suits. For a lot of people it can be hard to keep in shape. It is especially important for dancers to keep up their flexibility and strength for the next year. This month I wanted to share some routines that I will be doing this summer to get me ballet ready for the fall. Enjoy and tell me what you think!

Boot camp:

Legs and butt:


Total body sculpt:


Foam roller cool down:


·         Rest your fingertips on a chair or table, and don't pinch your back or lean too heavily on your "barre": You'll miss the benefits.
What It Does: Works the entire lower body; builds balance and stability.

How to Do It: With feet and thighs turned out ballerina-style, hinge forward to a flat back and lightly grasp the seat of a chair. Look at the floor to keep the neck long. Lift the right leg straight out behind you, hips open, until it reaches hip height. Then lift as high as you can and lower back to hip height. Repeat 10 to 20 times.
Wide Plie
What It Does: Tones quads, inner thighs, and calves.

How to Do It: Stand with legs straight and feet wide apart, toes turned out. Do 10 to 20 deep plies, bending the knees deeply until they're directly over your toes. On the last plie, lift and lower heels together 10 to 20 times.
Back Attitude
What It Does: Tones core, hips, and glutes.

How to Do It: With legs turned out, bend both knees slightly and shoot right leg out behind you several inches off the floor, keeping knees bent and torso forward. Lift the leg just high enough that the glutes engage, then return to start. Do 20 lifts; at the top of the last rep, hold and pulse up and down 20 times. Switch legs.
Pretzel Extension
What It Does: Tones core, hips, and glutes.

How to Do It: Sit on floor with left knee bent (outer leg on the floor) and right knee bent behind it (inner thigh on the floor). Resting fingertips on either side of the left knee, lift the right leg -- either keeping it bent or extending it straight behind you (as shown). At the top of the last rep, hold and do 10 to 15 mini pulses up and down. Switch legs.
Kneeling Glutes
What It Does: Works upper back, core, hips, and outer thighs.

How to Do It: From a kneeling position, bring left palm to the floor directly under shoulder. Place right hand behind your ear and extend right leg so it's parallel with the floor. Keep toes pointed, knee facing forward (not up). Make 10 small circles in one direction, then 10 in the other. Repeat with the other leg.
Plie in First Postition
What It Does: Tones legs.

How to Do It: To start, rise onto balls of the feet, heels touching, hips turned out, knees slightly bent. Lower into a deeper plie, then return to start. Do 10 to 20 plies, holding the last one for 20 seconds.

Heel Lift

What It Does: Tones hips, glutes of the lifted leg, and quads of the standing leg; strengthens core.

How to Do It: Facing the back of a chair, hinge at hips with a flat back. Extend arms straight out, resting palms on back of chair. Bend right leg and lift to hip height, pushing heel toward the ceiling. Keeping hips square, pump leg up and down 10 to 20 times. Repeat on other leg.

Thanks for reading, lovelies! Stay tuned for the new teacher's guide to their first recital!
All my best,
Rhiannon -

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