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Recipe for Dancer's Legs and a Stronger Core

By Sandy Schroeder

Most of us are always looking for new ways to stay fit and look leaner. If you are working on your core, and your thighs, barre exercises may have some great answers. Tighter leaner muscles, better posture, and a longer leaner look is the order of the day.

Barre  sessions typically run 45 to 50 minutes and provide a full body workout. They mix ballet moves with yoga, dance and strength training, using classic dance moves such as plies and static stretches. You wind up with a stronger core, more energy, better posture and a long lean look.

A friend of mine, who has struggled with sciatica for a long time, said her barre classes help her maintain her balance, feel more energetic, and shed pain. She is on her feet all day in her job and takes classes in the evening. Barre helps her keep up with everything while she strengthens her leg muscles and tones her body. She says it is a springboard to everything else she wants to do.

Here's What Happens

WellAndGood.com site trainer Rahel Ghebremichael gives us a few plies to see how it works.

Pli with right heel lifted - Stand with legs wider than hips and chest open. Raise the right heel and roll shoulders down from ears. Squat up and down in your plie, moving arms through bicep curls in front of the body. Lower heel and repeat on other side.

Plie arm extension - Stand with legs wider than hips and chest open. Keep shoulders back and down. Move elbows into sides holding dumbbells in each hand. Squat down and extend arms straight out to sides. Keep core engaged and stand back up bringing elbows back to sides.

Curtsy sit - Step in from the wider stance and stabilize yourself on your right side. Step back with your left leg moving into a curtsy lunge and curl your arms up. Tighten your core and square the hips. Repeat on the opposite side.

Check It Out for Yourself

Visit local studios in your area, looking for the one that is just right for you. If you have kids you may want to involve your family too. Talk with the directors and observe a session. You are looking for low impact, isometric moves that help you grow stronger, more poised, and more confident. Dancer's legs, a toned body and a longer, leaner look are hard to beat.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Seal Beach, Calif.

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