Ballet Band Exercise Guide

by William Duffield on August 08, 2020

In this guide we will demonstrate some of the best ballet band exercises that you can perform at the gym or at home.

Click HERE to buy a ballet band

What You Need:

A Yoga Mat Or Towel
A Ballet Band
A Chair Or Water Counter Top

A Few Tips To Get You Started:

• Make sure to wear comfortable clothing that does not restrict your
movement in any way.

• Try to stretch before and after any exercise to increase muscle recovery.
• Choose a practice area that is flat and fairly quiet.
• Do not eat a heavy meal before practicing.
• Using props for comfort and balance is highly recommended.
• Be patient with your body, flexibility and strength takes time to develop.
• Have fun!

How To Practice

• Be sure to warm up before using your ballet bands. Jogging or skipping rope for 5 minutes is a great way to warm up the muscles in order to avoid injury.

• Make sure you have something that can help to stabilize your balance.
A chair or counter top work best.

• Always focus on breathing as you perform each exercise.

• Take breaks whenever necessary as you build up endurance and strength.

• Ballet Bands come in varying resistance, when the lower resistance band
becomes effortless switch to the higher resistance band.

• If your band has a nick or tear in it discontinue use.

• Once you can comfortably complete 30 reps of any activity it is time to move on
to a stronger ballet band.

Practice Structure

Each position, stretch, or exercise can be done independently or performed
together depending on your desired outcome. You can use your band in addition to your current workout routine or as a workout on it its own.

Example: If you already undergo a workout routine, these exercises can be
incorporated into your established routine. If you do not currently have a routine
you can utilize these exercises by themselves.

Warming Up

If you are just finishing a series of exercises your body will be warmed up. Warming up the muscles is important to avoid injury. Cold muscles are less inclined to stretch and more likely to become injured.

Here are several suggestions for warming up the body before stretching:

Jog or run in place for 5 minutes.
Complete 10 rounds of jumping jacks.
Complete as many burpees as possible in 60 seconds.
If you practice yoga, you can complete 6 rounds of Sun Salutations.

Second Position Pulse

This is an excellent move to tone the inner thighs, arms and shoulders all while
building strength in the legs and increasing balance. If you feel any pain in the
knees decrease the depth of your bend to a smaller pulse. If your balance feels
unstable start with the feet a little closer together and widen your stance over time.

1. Begin with feet wider than hip-width
apart and feet turned out and the
ballet band over head. The toes
should be pointing outward.

2. Bend the knees over the toes while allowing the hips to sink down to knee level. As you bend bring the ballet band in front of the body to shoulder height.

3 Keep the core engaged and your gaze directly forward.

4. Return to your starting position with legs straight and ballet band overhead.

5. Perform 10 reps if you are just beginning and increase to 20 or 30 reps over time.

Overhead Shoulder Press

This move will both strengthen the muscles of the legs as well as opening the shoulders and stretching the chest. A full body move, allowing your balance to be tested and your core to be tightened. Be mindful of how your knee feels in this position.

1. Begin with your right leg stepping forward into a lunge. The ballet band should be held by both hands, shoulders distance apart, overhead with straight arms.

2. Slowly bend the knees until the back knee hovers just above the ground. As you bend the knee also bend the elbows bringing the ballet band just behind the head. Draw the shoulder blades together as you draw the strap down.

3. Stretch both legs straight while pressing the ballet band overhead until arms are straight.

4. Repeat this for 10 reps.

5. Switch legs and repeat for 10 reps on the second side.

6. Increase number of reps as you gain endurance.

Lateral Oblique Bends

This standing stretch builds strength in the legs and helps to stretch, strengthen,
and lengthen the obliques. While building strength it also helps to increase balance. Be mindful of your knees in this position, if pain occurs simply raise your stance a bit or step your legs slightly closer together.

1. Begin with feet wider than hip-width and the toes pointing outward. Extend the ballet band overhead with hands wider than shoulders distance.

2. Bend into the knees until the hips are in line with the knees.

3. Keeping the ballet band extended overhead, lean to the right side, return to the center, and then lean to the left completing one rep.

4. Keep the abdominal muscles engaged and the gaze facing forward. Repeat for 20 reps.

Position Stretch 1

These stretches come directly from ballet. They help to both stretch and strengthen the muscles of the legs and feet. They also help to increase balance. It is best to practice these positions with a chair, counter top or bar to help with balance.

1. Begin by looping the ballet band under the foot of your right leg. The band should be resting at the arch of your foot.

2. Bring the ballet band diagonally behind the back and loop the other end around your opposite shoulder.

3. Slowly begin to raise your leg away from the floor and pulse the leg slightly away from the floor for 20 pulses.

4. Repeat on the second side or move on to the second position stretch. 

Position Stretch 2

Similar to Position Stretch 1, this not only strengthens and stretches your leg
muscles, it also improves balance and posture. It is best to have something nearby to act as a balance aid. If you are entering this from Position Stretch 1 you will simply swing the leg forward and lift until your foot is at hip height. If you can not lift the leg to hip height, hold the leg as high as you can raise it.

1. Begin by looping the ballet band under the right foot.

2. Bring the ballet band diagonally behind the back and loop the other end around your opposite shoulder.

3. Slowly lift the right leg up while keeping the leg straight until it reaches hip height.

4. Hold for 30 seconds before returning to standing and switching sides.

Standing Dancer's Stretch

This standing stretch helps to increase balance and to stretch the quads while
assisting with building balance. A chair or counter top is essential for this pose to
aid with balance. Aim to keep your chest square with the chair or counter top you
are using.

1. Begin by standing while facing the chair or counter top you are using for

2. Loop the ballet band around your right foot.

3. Bring the ballet band behind the back and over the right shoulder until you
can hold the opposite end in one hand.

4. Slowly use your hand to pull the strap until your right leg lifts away from
the ground.

5. Lift until you have a 90 degree bend to the knee.

6. Hold for 30 seconds and return the foot to the ground.

7. Repeat on the second side.

8. Once you gain balance you can practice this away from a balance aid.

Glute Presses

This stretch is an incredible strengthener for the glute muscles. Additionally, the
abdominal muscles will receive benefits and core stability will be activated fully.
As this position is done on hands and knees, you may need to pad the knees
with a towel or exercise mat.

1. Begin on all fours with the ballet band underneath both hands and the right foot in the other end of the band.

2. Press the right leg into the strap, extending the leg back until it is straight. Use the glutes to lift the right leg up.

3. With control bring the knee to a bend, bringing the leg back to the starting point.

4. Repeat 20 times before switching sides.

Single Leg Inner Thigh Stretch

This seated stretch aims to elongate the muscles of the inner thighs. This stretch allows the degree of stretch and intensity to be adjusted to your level of flexibility and desired intensity. Be mindful of your knee and keep a slight bend to it if you feel any knee pain.

1. Begin in a seated position

2. Extend your right leg out to the side while bringing your left heel to rest just at
the groin.

3. Loop the ballet band around the left foot.

4. Bring the band behind the back and then place far end around your outstretched foot.

5. Keep your right hand on the band and pull gently until you feel a
stretch through the right inner thigh.

6. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides.

Straddle Stretch

This stretch will target the inner thighs specifically. Adding a gentle pull on the band will deepen the sensation. If the legs can not comfortable rest in an outstretched way allow time for the muscles to develop flexibility by keeping the legs slightly closer together.

1. Begin seated with the soles of both feet together and knees opened to
the sides.

2. Loop the band around one foot before bringing it around the back and
then loop it over the other foot.

3. The band should be around the arches of both feet.

4. Slowly extend your legs out to the sides into a straddle position.

5. Keep both hips pressing firmly into the ground.

6. Hold for 30 seconds before returning the soles of the feet to the center. Release the band slowly.

Seated Hamstring Stretch

This seated stretch will lengthen the hamstrings while helping to elongate the body and ease and strain on the low back. Aim to keep the spine long as you
extend the leg.

1. Begin in a seated position with both legs extended forward.

2. Bring the band around your body, bending the right knee bring the other end of the band around the arch of your right foot.

3. Bring both hands to rest on the floor behind the back to provide stability.

4. Slowly begin to lift your right foot away from the ground and extend the leg straight forward until it hovers above the ground.

5. Lift the leg high enough to feel a stretch across you hamstring.

6. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.

Reclining Hamstring Stretch

This reclining stretch is similar to the seated version. It allows a deeper stretch to
the hamstrings with no strain on the back. The aim of this pose is to keep your leg as straight as possible, if your knee begins to bend release a bit of tension by
bringing your leg further away from your body.

1. Before reclining bring the band around your body, like the seated version.

2. Recline all the way down with the legs extended forward.

3. Bring your right knee into your chest and loop the band around the arch of the right foot.

4. Slowly begin to straighten the right leg and extend it upward towards the ceiling.

5. Bring the leg as close to the face as possible without bending the knee.

6. Hold for 30 seconds before switching legs.

Abdominal Curls

A strong core is essential to a functionally fit body. These curls will help to
strengthen and elongate the abdominal muscles. A strong core will
lead to better balance and a decreased chance of injury.

1. Begin seated with knees bent and feet
resting flat on the floor.

2. Bring the ballet band into both hands with arms outstretched at chest level.

3. Slowly curl the body down until there is a C shaped curve with the spine.

4. From the C curve, slowly curl the body up an inch and back down an inch.
Exhaling as you curve up and inhaling on the down. Do 10 to 15 reps.

Back Strengthening

Perfect posture is achievable when you focus on strengthening and stretching the back. This pose does just that by allowing the muscles of the back to
strengthen with each rep.

1. Come to a fully flat position lying on the stomach with the band in both hands behind the back.

2. Keep the tops of both feet resting on the ground and begin to activate the muscles of the back to lift the chest away from the ground.

3. As the chest rises, lift the band away from the back until the shoulders begin to come together.

4. Lift and hold for 10 seconds before returning to the ground. Repeat this for 10 reps.

Ballet Band Toe and Foot Stretch

The feet are incredibly important! This move both stretches and strengthens the
muscles of the feet. This stretch can help to alleviate foot pain.

1. Begin in a seated position with both legs extended straight out in front of you.

2. Loop the band around your right foot while holding the opposite end of the
band in your hands.

3. Gently point your foot until you feel a stretch across the top of the foot. Hold
this for 10 seconds.

4. Slowly flex your foot, using the hands to add tension to the band.

5. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat between the two for 10 reps before switching to the opposite foot.

Thank You and Happy Stretching!

As you make your way through this guide, you can practice the stretches
individually or as part of your current workout routine. You will be
feeling lean, flexible, and balanced in no time!

Here are a few final tips for you:

  • Be mindful of how your body feels as you stretch. If you feel pain, stop.
  • Your body knows best when you move.
  • Breathe deeply.
  • Flexibility takes time and doesn’t come over night.
  • Enjoy your new found flexibility and openness.

Click HERE to buy a ballet band