Intermediate Ballet Leg Routine

May 12, 2014

A tried-and-true full-body toner: Intermediate Ballet Leg Routine

Welcome back to ballet legs! Are you still sore from last week? This tutorial demonstrates a slightly more advanced ballet leg routine built on the simple, foundational exercises of ballet (plié, relevé, etc.).  If you need help with balance, you may lightly rest a hand on the back of a chair. Remember to keep your hips tucked in, your core engaged, and your back straight.  Let’s get to it!






1. First Position Plié on Demi-Pointe

Stand with your feet in first position and bring your arms to fifth position. Raise onto demi-pointe in a relevé (i.e. stand on the balls of your feet). Inch your feet closer together until your heels touch, as shown in the photo below.  Plié as far down as possible (or until your butt almost touches your heels), pause, then raise only halfway up. This is one rep.  By never straightening your legs, you’re staying in a really intense work zone.  Repeat 10 times, then pulse 15 times.


1. First Position Plié on Demi-Pointe (Also great for practicing balance!)

2. Second Position Plié on Demi-Pointe

Take what you just did in first position and translate it to second position.  Your heels will not be glued together this time, but you will stay in that intense work zone, never standing straight up! Oh, the burn you will feel… Repeat 10 times, then pulse 15 times.


2. Second Position Plié on Demi-Pointe (This pose may frighten your cat and send him tearing out of the room.)

3. Attitudes (front, side, and back)

The key to effective attitudes is to stay in control of the movements at all times and not rely on momentum alone. (The point is not to kick your leg as high as possible.) This is a simple but strenuous movement–while you’re lifting your leg, you’re also working your standing leg, your arms (as they resist gravity), and your core (staying balanced!). You’ll also feel the workout in your glutes and various parts of your thighs, depending on which angle you’re working.

Front: Begin in first position feet and fifth position arms.  Brush your bent leg in front of you, keeping your hips facing forward and your foot still slightly turned out. Pause, then return to first position.

Side: Begin in first position feet and second position arms. Brush your bent leg to the side, keeping your hips facing forward. Pause, and return to first position.

Back: Begin in first position feet and fifth position arms. Try to keep your hips aligned as you brush your bent leg to the back, pause, and return to first position.

Repeat 10 times in each direction, switch sides, and do it all over again!


3a. Attitude Front


3b. Attitude Side (My knee is gently bent here, while my standing leg is straight.)


3c. Attitude Back

Don’t forget to stretch!

Photos: Mary Hood

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Peaceful Dumpling Beauty Editor and creator of Bisou du Jour, Mary Hood Luttrell lives with her husband in Corpus Christi, Texas. Mary is a freelance writer and writing and blogging consultant. A lover of whole foods, Mary delights in learning new ways to prepare vegan dishes. Mary also enjoys reading and writing poetry, art journaling, running, and practicing yoga and ballet. Follow Mary on her blog Bisou du Jour, Instagram and Pinterest.


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