I have lately been straying from my typical work out regimen and doing a lot more work outdoors because it is the summer and who wants to be inside. This week I went to a ballet bar class and it made me realize that I have been neglecting the small muscles that hold the body together and in alignment. A ballet class is a super easy way to get a good work out to strengthen from within.
Ballet practice improves flexibility, muscle strength and tone. It also helps to strengthen the abdominal muscles and improve posture.
Ballet teaches you how to use your deep abdominal muscles as you move through each movement. It also forces you to use good posture and alignment, which will naturally improve your muscle memory and awareness of the way you stand, walk, sit etc. As you develop core strength it will simultaneously help to mitigate back pain.
Flexibility helps protect our bodies from injury, as well as to recover after workouts. If you are not into ballet you can check out this stretch routine I do as often as I can. Ballet, unlike static stretching, increases flexibility through movement. This works to lengthen and strengthen at the same time, producing long, lean, sculpted muscles with a lot of flexibility.
Ballet classes involve a good amount of footwork. This works to increases the muscularity in the feet so that you stand tall from the ground up. I remember reading that leg and foot strength are especially important for balance, as we get older. Often people get injured later in life from falling accidents, so balance is huge!
I suggest mixing in a few days a week of this style of exercise. Try ballet bar or Pilates classes, they will both allow you to achieve this style of strengthening whit out having to do it on your own.