Would Ballet Workouts be more effective

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Negin
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2011/11/25 10:55:22 (permalink)

Would Ballet Workouts be more effective

for someone like me who tends to bulk up quite easily. especially in the lower body (or, actually, pretty much everywhere)?
For years and years, my focus has been mainly on cardio, weights, etc. It's only  recently, at the age of 43, that I'm just learning ballet-based workouts, pilates, etc. I am now loving all these new changes to my workouts. I also love swimming. I feel that ballet, pilates, and swimming lead to the ideal body - looks-wise anyway. I could be wrong. 
I would much prefer a leaner and more sculpted look. When I look at most ballet workouts, the instructors have a much leaner look than in some of the weight ones, etc. I'm tired of bulking up. 
My plan is to try to do ballet or pilates every other day and to alternate on the other days with swimming, rebounding, weights, cardio, walking, etc. Would greatly appreciate your thoughts and feedback on this. 
Has anyone experienced a leaner-looking body from ballet, pilates, or swimming? 
Thank you.

Laugh every day, even if it is at yourself!
#1

14 Replies Related Threads

    Alice Kathleen
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    Re:Would Ballet Workouts be more effective 2011/11/25 11:03:31 (permalink)
    Hello, and I right with you.  I fell in love with Pilates when Jennifer Kreis released her first videos.  I also know that after a summer spent at the local pool,  my lower body is leaner and more tapered.Yes, ballet  or jazz or modern dance would add to your desires for a leaner lower body.   I suggesttaking a live class in addition to our beloved videos.   The excitement and constant changes of a live class as well the correction of an instruction will be of great benefit to you, I feel.   I took jazz dance twice a week in a live class for years, working up at my peak to five classes a week in my early 40's.  I still reap those benefits.   Best to you,  Alice  PS Don't forget a fun dance class like belly or hula,  these will challenge your co ordination and work muscles you did not even know you had .  I took my classes at local YWCA and our local Parks and Recreation as well as the local 2 year college.
    post edited by Alice Kathleen - 2011/11/25 11:04:50
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    Negin
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    Re:Would Ballet Workouts be more effective 2011/11/26 00:18:01 (permalink)
    Alice, thank you so much for your helpful reply.
    I wish I could take some classes, but none are offered where we live (outside the U.S.). 
    Thanks again. 
    I just posted in the Equipment section regarding Pilates/Ballet equipment. I'm such a newbie at all this!

    Laugh every day, even if it is at yourself!
    #3
    Alice Kathleen
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    Re:Would Ballet Workouts be more effective 2011/11/26 07:45:31 (permalink)
    OK!   Go with the videos, and don't forget a few good books, too.   Once you memorize a routine, you can do it anywhere.   For books, I suggest for a beginner "Powers Pilates".    Powers is a former dancer, and I take her book with me whenever I leave home.  My other tip would be to do  your routines if possible by a mirror,  a small full-length one is not expensive, and will help you to maintain form as you do your workouts.   For Pilates,  see if Collage still has the "Method Standing Pilates Blend",  one of my favs for lower body.  For the fun dances like Belly Dance,  check out videos at garage sales and thrift stores, if they have such a thing where you live!  Sometimes you can find one for a dollar or two,  good
    for a mix-up.  Remember,  dance will change your "connections" in your brain, so mix it up,  
    and keep it up!  Best, Alice
    post edited by Alice Kathleen - 2011/11/26 07:48:05
    #4
    kitkat
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    Re:Would Ballet Workouts be more effective 2011/11/26 07:46:00 (permalink)
    I think Callanetics and pilates type workouts work better for my body also, and I'm also discovering ballet workouts. I'm also putting in more yoga to work on my flexibility since as we get older that needs to be worked on and it seems like you need to be flexible for some of the ballet workouts. :)I loved lifting heavy weights, yes, they made me feel strong which is a great feeling, but I wasn't seeing the results with my body the way I wanted. It's too soon to say if using my bodyweight and barre/ballet workouts are going to help me lean out, but it's something different.
    #5
    Negin
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    Re:Would Ballet Workouts be more effective 2011/11/26 13:35:01 (permalink)
    Alice Kathleen
    don't forget a few good books, too.   My other tip would be to do  your routines if possible by a mirror,  a small full-length one is not expensive, and will help you to maintain form as you do your workouts.   For Pilates,  see if Collage still has the "Method Standing Pilates Blend",  one of my favs for lower body.  


    Alice, thanks so much again. I'll see if I can look into dance stuff. I'm really not much of a dancer at. all. Unfortunately, Collage doesn't seem to carry the Method Standing DVD. I'm looking into the book you suggested also. And I'll try to convince dh to install a full-length mirror in our office where I workout. That would be ideal. 
    kitkat

    I think Callanetics and pilates type workouts work better for my body also, and I'm also discovering ballet workouts. I'm also putting in more yoga to work on my flexibility since as we get older that needs to be worked on and it seems like you need to be flexible for some of the ballet workouts. :)I loved lifting heavy weights, yes, they made me feel strong which is a great feeling, but I wasn't seeing the results with my body the way I wanted. It's too soon to say if using my bodyweight and barre/ballet workouts are going to help me lean out, but it's something different.

    Thank you so much for posting. It feels quite comforting to know that I'm not the only one here! Yes, I fully agree with you about yoga and keeping up the flexibility. These workouts - yoga, pilates, ballet - have so many amazing benefits.

    Laugh every day, even if it is at yourself!
    #6
    Sophia
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    Re:Would Ballet Workouts be more effective 2011/11/26 15:48:01 (permalink)
    Swimming is great for slimming the lower body, but be careful with your upper body.  My sister used to swim quite a bit when she lived in an apartment that had a pool.  Her bottom half became smaller, but she got much wider in her upper body and her tops wouldn't fit her anymore.  You can use a kickboard sometimes so as not to overdo the top half.
    #7
    Negin
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    Re:Would Ballet Workouts be more effective 2011/11/27 04:52:32 (permalink)
    Sophia, thank you for that important reminder. Yes, I need to be very watchful about not bulking up in my upper body. I love swimming and being in the water. May have to look into getting a kickboard.

    Laugh every day, even if it is at yourself!
    #8
    Negin
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    Re:Would Ballet Workouts be more effective 2011/11/27 14:47:41 (permalink)
    Sophia's post has really gotten me thinking. Sorry to sound a bit obsessive. 
    I'm now concerned that swimming (which I absolutely love) might make me even broader in the upper body than I already am ... Yet swimming is said to be one of the absolute best workouts for back fat and muffin tops. What to do? What to do? 
    Not swim at all? I don't like that option.
    Swim, but swim about once or twice a week?
    Do as Sophia suggested and use a kickboard at times to not overdo the top half. 
    Any thoughts on all this? 
    Thank you again.

    Laugh every day, even if it is at yourself!
    #9
    swimmy
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    Re:Would Ballet Workouts be more effective 2011/11/27 21:49:24 (permalink)
    Forgive the detailed response, but I've swam competitively, swam for leisure and solely toning, given lessons, etc., (and you asked, LOL). I know it well.

    Only using the kickboard will help your legs, sure, but you won't get the total cardio benefits that full-body swimming will give you. If you use a full leg stroke and NOT allow your feet to come above the water level--keeping splash down to a minimum--you will use the resistance of water more efficiently. 

    It's also dependent on the strokes you do as well as your body type. When I swam 4 x a week there was a Japanese woman who swam religiously for 60 minutes daily--she still remained tiny and I doubt she added much "bulk" to her frame. She only swam freestyle. 
    Butterfly typically makes for broader shoulders, but not so much with breastroke. 

    Remember, too, that being broader (yet toned) on top gives the illusion that your middle is thinner.


    To answer your question regarding frequency, I would recommend 3x a week, starting with 30 minutes if possible. If not, start at 15 or 20 minutes. There's so many things to do besides just laps--push ups on the side of the pool (holding legs "dead"), doing explosions from the bottom of the pool to the surface, just walking against the flow of the water, treading water and moving your arms around...

    Oh my, I could go on and on. 
    Sorry for the verbal diarrhea!

    Anita
    #10
    Exerciseman
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    Re:Would Ballet Workouts be more effective 2011/11/28 08:54:38 (permalink)
    Captain Obvious says:" So that's why you call yourself Swimmy!"...D
    #11
    swimmy
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    Re:Would Ballet Workouts be more effective 2011/11/28 10:34:19 (permalink)
    :-D at EM!

    I thought about this notation...

    Exclusive use of a kickboard can also hurt your shoulders, as you're extending them in one position and somewhat pushing down on the board. Yes, there is a place for board use--especially with dolphin kick which is awesome for your abs--but be careful of extended use of it, especially if you're a beginner, and make sure to stretch them out afterwards.

    See? I could go on for days...

    Anita
    #12
    Negin
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    Re:Would Ballet Workouts be more effective 2011/11/29 04:22:48 (permalink)
    Anita, I love the detailed response. Thank you! 

    Using a kickboard doesn't really appeal to me. But if the dolphin kick (which I've never done before and guess I could look it up on youtube) is good for the abs, I'm willing to do that for a bit, but definitely not too much.  
    Again, I've always loved swimming and being in the water.
    I can only do bre@st stroke and am quite fast, but definitely not as fast as you probably are! I'm an hourglass/apple body type.  When I do swim, I usually go for about 30-45 minutes - doing laps. I used to swim daily. Then I cut back to a few times a week. I haven't swum in a while, due to the fact that I always get ravenous right after swimming. But I do miss it and love what it does to my body overall - getting rid of back fat, etc and overall toned feeling. 3 times a week would be ideal. 

    Thanks for the reminder that having a toned top gives the illusion of a trimmer waist. 

    Keep sharing, keep posting! I love your input! :) Only if you have time of course. 

    Thank you again!

    Laugh every day, even if it is at yourself!
    #13
    swimmy
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    Re:Would Ballet Workouts be more effective 2011/11/29 11:13:37 (permalink)
    Negin,
    Ditto on being ravenous after swimming, but I wouldn't worry about it.
    It works so much of your body, and is such an intense cardio workout (if done correctly), your body burns calories fast! 
    When I started back after 20 years and swam just for exercise I started taking a snack to eat in the locker room so I wouldn't get light-headed.
    When you start in on dolphin kick, your abs will flex as you down stroke your legs and your upper body comes up. Concentrate and you'll feel it--although it might take a bit to get the right position. It might help to learn it without the kickboard. If possible, just go a bit deeper underwater so you have room to move. Another idea--push off the wall underwater and dolphin kick holding your breath, then come up and continue with breast stroke or freestyle or whatever.
    Sounds like you know what you're doing--keep it up!
    post edited by swimmy - 2011/11/29 11:14:13

    Anita
    #14
    Negin
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    Re:Would Ballet Workouts be more effective 2011/12/02 10:31:46 (permalink)
    Anita, thanks so much for those really helpful tips. I'm saving the info for when I start swimming again very soon.

    Laugh every day, even if it is at yourself!
    #15
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