Quick & Easy Arm Strengthening Exercises

 

Bicep Exercise

1. CURLS WITH THERA-BAND OR WEIGHTS
Set up:
-Stand on thera-band with legs about hip width apart
-Hold on to the end of the thera-bands
Exercise:
-Keeping arms hugged close to the body curl arms forward
Reps:
3 sets of 8-12 curls
Variations:
1. Rotate arms side and curl arms up
2. Hold arms at 90˚ and curl one arm at a time
Triceps Exercise

1. DIPS
Set up:
-Sit on a chair or come to a half bridge position on the floor
-If sitting on a chair, place hands at the edge of the chair and scoot your sit bones off the chair
Exercise:
Bend the elbows and stretch
Reps:
3 sets of 8-12 curls
Variations:
1. Straighten the legs
2. Lift one leg at a time into the air

2. KICKBACKS WITH THERA-BAND

Set up:
-Stand in a wide parallel fourth position with your arms along your body
-Place one end of the thera-band in your hand and the other under the front foot with bend the knee
-Lean forward to a 45˚ angle
Exercise:
-Bend the elbows and pull back with the thera-band until the arm is fully stretched
Reps:
3 sets of 8-12 curls
Other Great Exercises:
1. Push ups
-Pilates push ups (keep elbows pinned to the body)
-Push ups on the wall
2. Balancing in a plank/push up position
3. Side Twist Balance
Photo by Liz Payne

 

 

 

Core Conditioning With Balance Ball: Part 2

 

Here’s more great exercise with the balance ball and improve your stability!


1. Ab Knee Lifts
Set-up:
-Lie on the ground
-Knees bent and placed on each side of the ball
-Lay on Back
-Hands behind head
Action:
-Engage abs
-Squeeze ball
-Bend knees towards chest
Reps:
20x (3 days a week)


2. Ab Pelvis Lifts
Set-up:
-Lie on the ground
-Knees bent and placed on top of ball
-Lay on Back
-Arms down near your sides
Action:
-Engage abs
-Roll up to a bridge (starting with the tailbone)
-Pressing heels into ball, stretch legs out and in (maintain bridge)
Reps:
10x (3 days a week)

 


3. Ab Pelvis Lifts Variation
Set-up:
-Lie on the ground
-Knees bent and placed on top of ball
-Lay on Back
-Arms down near your sides
Action:
-Engage abs
-Roll up to a bridge (starting with the tailbone)
-Lift one leg into the air
-Pressing heels into ball, stretch legs out and in (maintain bridge)
Reps:
5x right then left (3 days a week)


 

Core Conditioning With Balance Ball: Part 1

 

Are you looking for new core strengthening ideas? Try these great exercise with the balance ball and improve your stability!
1. Full Curl 
Set-up:
-Feet near wall
-Sit at the 45° mark
-Lay Back 
-Hands behind head

Action:
-Engage abs
-Lead with the top of the head to curl up and forward (maintain the curl)
-Roll back down into the ball from lower to upper body

Reps:
20x (3 days a week)
2. Side Curl

2. Side Curl
Set-up:
-Feet near wall
-Sit at the 45° mark
-Lay on side (upper body lays over the top of the ball)
-Hands behind head

Action:
-Engage abs
-Lead with top of the head to curl up and over, towards the hip (maintain the curl)
-Roll back down into the ball from lower to upper body

Twist:
-Engage abs
-Lead with the top of the head to curl up and over, towards the hip (maintain the curl)
-Twist upper body so the upper body is parallel to the ground
Reps:
10x regular 10x twist
(3 days a week)
3. Arching Curl

3. Back Curl
Set-up:
-Feet into wall
-Stomach at the 45° mark
-Lay on the top of the ball
-Hands behind head

Action:
-Engage abs
-Lead with the top of the head to arch back
-Roll back into the ball from lower to upper body
Twist:
-At the top of the arch
twist upper body right then left (slow)
Reps:
10x regular 10x twist
(3 days a week)
Looking for a Balance Ball Retailer? Here are a few nationwide and online stores to choose from. (Click on name to view product)

 

Foot Strengthening Exercises: Part 1

 

Pointe work is very tedious and demands strength and control from not only your feet and ankles, but how you use your body as a whole. Through this entry I will outline specific exercises that will help you achieve the strength you need for ballet and pointe work. Remember it’s important to practice with precision. If you are having trouble completing the reps, it’s better to take a rest. Your strength will build the more you practice. Now find some space and get started!

 

Non-Weight Bearing Exercises


1. Alphabet

Set up:

-Sit on the floor with a long back, shoulders over sit bones -Legs are lengthened long and parallel

-Hands rest on the floor, in line with the hips

Exercise:

-Write the alphabet using your toes, foot, and ankle

Reps:

-Get all the way through (A-Z)


2. Circles

Set up:

-Sit on the floor with a long back, shoulders over sit bones -Legs are lengthened long and parallel

-Hands rest on the floor, in line with the hips.

Exercise:

-Leading with your big toe, circle your feet 10 times outward and inwards

Reps:

-Two sets


Semi-Weight Bearing Exercises

1. Treading

Set up:

-Standing tall facing the barre or chair

-Legs are parallel, hip width apart

-Finger rests gently on the barre or chair

Exercise:

-Rise up to relevé high on the balls of the feet for two counts

-Lower one heals to the floor in two counts while bending the opposite knee to force the arch

-Rise back up to relevé and repeat to the other side

Reps:

-16 – 32 times parallel and turned out in 1st position

 


2. Relevé

Set up:

-Standing tall facing the barre or chair

-Legs are parallel, hip width apart

-Finger rests gently on the barre or chair

Exercise:

-Rise up to relevé high on the balls of the feet for two counts

-Lower heals to the floor in two counts

Reps:

-16 – 32 times parallel and turned-out in 1st position

-16 – 32 times turned-out on one leg, with the opposite foot placed in coupé derrière *repeat on the other side

 

3. Toe Roll

Set up:

-Standing tall facing the barre or chair

-Legs are parallel, fourth position

-Finger rests gently on the barre or chair

Exercise:

-With your distributed equally through the foot, lift the toes on your forward foot off the floor

-Leading with the big toe, try to lower one toe at a time to the floor

Reps:

-5-10 times each foot *also try reversing the exercise to lead with the little toe down first

 



4. Flamenco Balance

Set up:

-Standing tall facing the barre or chair

-Legs are parallel, with one leg is passé

-Arms rest by your side

Exercise:

-Balance on one leg

Reps:

-Try to balance for one minute one each leg *too easy? Try it with your eyes closed!

 

 

Take Note:

1. Hug Your Midline

As your performing the exercise, don’t forget your alignment. Keep your abdominal lifted and engage your legs by pulling the knees up and hugging them together.

2. Through The Center

When working the feet, be sure to work through the center of the foot so your not winging or sickling your feet.

3. Be Regal

Connect your back by drawing your shoulder blades down onto your back and keep your neck long.

4. Breath

Always remember to breath, ballet is supposed to look effortless and light.

5. Long Toes

Keep your toes lengthened as you work through your feet as apposed to curling them under.