Tag Archives: ballet

Breaking Down the Barre Craze: Which Ballet-Inspired Workout is On Pointe for You?

Ballet dancers have flexible bodies conditioned from hours of training. Their specialized workouts create long and lean frames — think Natalie Portman in Black Swan. Their shapely legs, abs, thighs and buttocks come through hybrid weight training, Pilates and cardio workouts with some straight-up ballet pole (barre) stretching.

Their moves are spreading like wildfire, and barre-style workouts are popping up throughout the world with a variety of applications. From sweat-inducing cardio sessions that are hardly a dainty ballet class, to classes that stay true to their ballerina roots, there is a barre workout for you!

If you don’t want to dance in Swan Lake, but do want to get a more toned ballet-ready body, read on as we break down the different methods and tell you which celebrities are on pointe for this craze.

It doesn’t matter which class you choose — you are gonna WORK! 

beyond barre


Feel the burn and see the results in your core, arms and legs, and the glutes.

You’ll need a ballet barre, a handrail (or a counter top), and a super cool GlideBoard.

Inspired by ballet, ice skating, and intense cardio classes.

Differs from others because of an intense approach that incorporates cardio for fat burning and endurance.

Attend a class at one of a dozen studios in the U.S.




Described as “ballet meets yoga and Pilates”

Utilizes a 3-step method where poses are held for longer periods with focus on small muscle movements. Session ends with a cardio blast.

Celebrity fans include Madonna, who may be striking a pose beside you at your next Barre3 class.

Required accessories include a yoga mat, small “prop” ball, ballet barre or sturdy chair.

Classes popping up in over 30 US cities, Canada and even the Philippines with more coming soon. DVDs: Seven different workouts sold on the Barre3.com website.


The Nike Studio Wrap is the Yoga Industry’s Latest Innovation

The sale of yoga swag helps support what is now a six billion dollar industry. From ToeSox to yoga tops, yoga studios are stocking up on merchandise to sell to their peace-seeking supporters.

In today’s world, it is not uncommon to drop over a hundred bucks on either a set of yoga videos, one pair of yoga pants, and even a yoga mat. Companies such as Gaiam, Lululemon, and Manduka do not deny the capitalistic nature of the yoga business. They manufacture innovative and quality products just as fast as you can say “om.”

It is not just the smaller retail companies enjoying the fruits of the growing yoga tree. Big name brands are also getting in on the action. The latest innovation to hit the market is the Nike Studio Wrap. While it may sound like a sarong you might don at the beach, the Nike Studio Wrap is actually a pair of shoes.

Inspired by the need to maintain a firm base of support, beyond what a yoga mat can provide, the Nike Studio Wrap was created for women who spend hours working out in the studio.

Whether it is in yoga, Pilates, or ballet-fitness classes, women can now wrap up their feet in this stylish three-part system that involves a wrap, a ribbon, and a flat bottom surface. (more…)

Mila Kunis Says You Can Lose Weight if You Truly Want to

Mila Kunis is a celebrity actress who, like many, has had to lose weight for a movie role. The already slim actress dropped an amazing 20 pounds for her role in the movie Black Swan. One might imagine someone already so thin, without extra weight to lose, would have to resort to dangerous crash dieting, but not so, she says. She just believed in herself. Kunis sat down with British women’s magazine Glamour to discuss the dramatic weight loss.

Kunis was skeptical that she would be able to drop the 20 pounds from her already slim frame to portray a ballerina alongside Natalie Portman in the mind-bending movie, but was amazed by what her own body was able to do.

“I’m a huge foodie. I love food. But when people say, ‘I can’t lose weight,’ no no no, you can. Your body can do everything and anything, you just have to want to do it,” Kunis stated. “I believed I could do anything. I never for one moment thought that I couldn’t do it. I believe in hard work. In self-drive and self-worth.”


Natalie Portman’s Black Swan Ballet Workout

Ballet dancers are well known for their long, lean muscles, and actress Natalie Portman really gave it her all when she was chosen to play the lead in the new movie Black Swan. In addition to a rigorous diet, she followed a strict 5-8 hour exercise schedule, working with former professional dancer Mary Helen Bowers. Bowers,  the founder of Ballet Beautiful, a program that combines traditional ballet with stretching and strengthening exercises, worked with Portman 6 days a week.

“With Natalie, I was focused on making sure her body was that specific shape of a ballerina by strengthening the backs and insides of her legs,” says Bowers. “With ballet you’re really focused on the inner thigh and butt, and just lifting and lengthening everything, including your arms. You’re not using weights but holding up the weight of your own arms is a challenge.”

Try one of Ballet Beautiful’s signature moves, the Ballet Beautiful Bridge. This move targets your inner thighs, the backs of the legs and your glutes — tightening and toning the area from your knees to your waist and giving you a lifted and sculpted bottom.


One Sugarplum Too Many? Not for This Ballerina

As a ballerina who overcame anorexia, the last thing Jennifer Ringer probably wanted was to be criticized for her weight by a New York Times critic. In a recent review of “The Nutcracker,” said that she, as the sugar plum fairy, “looked as if she’d eaten one sugar plum too many.” The comment hurt initially but is just part of being a professional in a field that demands perfection from those who work in it.

“As a dancer, I do put myself out there to be criticized, and my body is part of my art form,” Jenifer Ringer, 37, told TODAY’s Ann Curry during an interview Monday. “At the same time, I am not overweight.”


Natalie Portman’s Ballerina Diet

Natalie Portman in Black SwanActress Natalie Portman portrays a prima ballerina in the upcoming film Black Swan, and she was determined to look the part. “[Natalie] took [the role] very seriously,” said director Darren Aronofsky. “These dancers get really, really skinny.”

Natalie took her diet and workouts to such an extreme that Darren began to worry about her. “At a certain point I looked at her back and she was so skinny and so cut — I was like, ‘Natalie, start eating,’” Darren told Access Hollywood. “I made sure she had a bunch of food in her trailer.”

The 29-year-old actress said she’s glad to be done with the filming, so that she can go back to her normal eating habits. Portman is a vocal supporter of vegetarianism, and indulged in pasta when shooting ended. “It was pretty immediate. I was ready to leave the ballet life,” she said. “I was like, ‘Please don’t let there be re-shoots for this [film] because I don’t think I could get back into the costumes!’”


Ballet Workouts with Pure Barre

pure barreGuest blogger Carrie Rezabek is the CEO and creator of Pure Barre. Carrie grew up dancing, performing and choreographing events all over the U.S.  After earning a business degree from Michigan State University and a law degree from Wayne State University, Carrie opened her first studio in 2001. Pure Barre now has 18 franchised locations throughout the U.S., as well as a DVD series for home-users. To find a studio near you or purchase a Pure Barre DVD, please visit Pure Barre.

It’s universally agreed that dancers have beautiful bodies – long, lean, athletic and feminine. The most effective way to achieve a dancer’s body is by doing a ballet-barre-based workout. Pure Barre is just that. The technique utilizes the ballet barre to perform small isometric movements working each muscle to fatigue and then stretching that muscle right back out. There is no impact so the workout is extremely safe and the technique is highly effective. We have seen women lose 12-13 inches in just one month.