Summer Cross Training + Gym

Summer is upon us, and I have been cross training for ballet a lot.  I enjoy doing this at the gym because I have lots of resources.

I have been wanting to put an elliptical in my brother’s room, as he leaves for college late this summer, but he still has to come home on big breaks, so it’s up for debate.  We live in Grand Rapids and he’s going to the University of Michigan (in Ann Arbor)…so I think it’s only about a 3 hour drive (ish).  That situation might hurt my wishes for daily cardio.  Oh well.

Anyways, I’ve been working out a lot at the gym.  I like doing plenty of cardio, and I supplement with pilates and strength training to keep my big ballet muscles strong.  I’ve also been exercising lap swimming and aquatic ballet to help me…but more to come on that.

Cardio Circuits

For my cardio workouts, I like doing 30-45 minutes on the classic elliptical.  I usually go at about a speed of 60, and increase the levels as I go.

Lately, I’ve been getting into burst workouts, as they replicate the structure of ballet.  Basically, I’ll either do a longer (40-45 min) elliptical without bursts, or I’ll do a shorter (30 min) elliptical with a 3 minute burst every ten minutes (7 mins off, 3 mins on, 3 sets).

In addition to my classic elliptical workouts, I’ll typically add on a lateral elliptical if I have a bit more time.  Basically, this works in side-to-side circular motions, and helps get the inner/outer thighs and your hips.  I like doing this for about 15 minutes, especially if I only did the regular elliptical for 30 mins (burst workout).  I go quite fast on this, and keep the resistance low as to not overwork my quadriceps.

Weights and Daily Strength Circuits

As far as my pilates, and strength training goes, I’ve been using some basic weight machines to help me mostly with my core and some upper body stuff.

This is all in addition to my three daily circuits: a 25-minute ballet strength mat workout (includes abs, side leg series, backups, all-fours hip toning exercises, bridges, and planks), my 10-minute foot strength routine to kick my sickling habit, and my three daily stretches (quads, single-leg pull for hamstrings, and half-pigeon pose for hips).

Ballet Classes

As far as classes go, I usually do a full barre and a few jumping combinations for my cardio the days I don’t do my cardio circuits at the gym.  Although, I will have to double up on cross-training and ballet classes late this week and next week, as summer intensive is the week after that!

To help with my turns, I have been taking a break from practicing regular balletic turns, as I want to do somewhat of a turning detox cleanse (what a concept).  I have just been using my turning board to kick my fear of turning and practice my spotting techniques.

I have also been enjoying doing barre in the pool at the gym.  The resistance of the water works the small ballet muscles to a greater extent and also helps you feel the right movement quality.

Finally, I’ve been swimming a few laps whenever I get the chance to help with my upper body and leg strength.  Swimming is an amazing no-impact, no-gravity exercise…I highly recommend it for dancers.


Here’s a quick overview of my weekly cross-training and training exercises:

Cardio Circuits: 3-5x per week

Strength Circuits: Daily (includes mat exercises, foot strengthening, and stretching)

Ballet Classes: 2-3x per week (when I don’t do cardio)

Swimming/Weight Training: 1-2x per week

See you guys later!  I’m vlogging today (Thursday), so hopefully I’ll have that posted tomorrow if not tonight.

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