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Sculpt lean muscles with a ballet-based workout.
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If you are finding it hard to motivate yourself to work out, maybe you need a change of pace and place. Instead of performing the same old curls, lifts, presses and contortions on machines, many people are leaving the gym and heading for the studio or DVD player for ballet-based aerobic workouts to burn calories and change things up. The New York City Ballet Workout is not an aerobics program or a calorie-torcher, but you can use it at home on DVD to revive your exercise enthusiasm and work your muscles in a whole new way.
Not All Ballet Programs Are Created Equal
Many ballet-based fitness programs incorporate ballet dance into continuous circuits of movement set to upbeat dance music. Those high-intensity, low-impact aerobic exercise classes can burn 400 to 600 calories in a typical 45-minute session. By comparison, The New York City Ballet Workout is a much less vigorous exercise program. The ballet moves are designed to sculpt and tone muscle and are performed to the tempo of slow classical or contemporary music. The workout emphasizes the mechanics of ballet, focusing on poses, technique and posture over repetition and speed.
A Slow Burn: Less Than 200 Calories Per Hour
When exercising, the amount of calories you burn depends on several factors, including your age, weight and how intensely you work out. When you do an hour of the New York City Ballet Workout, you won't be dancing as much as you will be stretching and strengthening. You'll work your core, quads and glutes with plies and your calves with releves, moves similar to squats and calf raises. You'll burn about half as many calories as you would taking a more vigorous, low-impact, ballet-barre aerobics class. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate a person weighing 154 pounds would burn 180 calories stretching for 60 minutes and would burn 480 doing aerobics.
Variety Is the Spice of Life and Exercise
The American Council on Exercise stresses the importance of varying your exercise routine to jump-start flagging enthusiasm, keep yourself motivated to work out and challenge your muscles in new and different ways. You won't miss working too many muscles doing The New York City Ballet Workout and you'll feel some you haven't worked in a while. You may experience soreness in your neck, shoulders and arms from holding your arms up throughout much of the workout. Expect some shakiness in your calves and quadriceps too, especially towards the end of the program.
Your Workout Week
The New York City Ballet Workout is a distinctly different way to strengthen your muscles -- with jetes and fondus, for example -- and ease you right past any exercise plateau. Use Volume 1 to learn the floor work, moves and terminology. Go to Volume II for more challenge and intensity. Do a one-hour DVD workout no more than three times a week on alternate days. This will give your muscles the opportunity to rest, recover and rebuild between workouts. On alternate days, up to five times a week, work in 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity -- like walking, swimming or a high-intensity ballet-barre fitness class -- to more efficiently burn calories.