6 Whole-Body Toning Moves, by Ballet Beautiful's Founder
While preparing for one of the biggest fashion shows of her career, Gigi Hadid went to celebrity trainer Mary Helen Bowers of Ballet Beautiful to pointe and plié her way to a Victoria's Secret runway–ready figure. Among the likes of Lily Aldridge, Lindsay Ellingson, and Erin Heatherton, Hadid tones and lengthens her muscles using Bowers's easy-to-master moves. (Seriously—you can do these from the comfort of your own home.)
Below, you'll find Bowers's plan for a typical Gigi workout. Ready to get fit like a top model? Let's go!
Classic Hamstring Stretch
According to Bowers, every Ballet Beautiful workout begins with this stretch to release tension in the legs, hips, and back. "Seated on a mat (try the Sivan Health and Fitness Yoga Mat, $26), legs in front of you, bend your left knee and extend your right leg out long on the floor in front of you. Reach toward your right foot, keeping your leg straight, and hold for 10 to 20 seconds as the muscles begin to open. Repeat on other side," she explains.
Classical Ballet Beautiful Bridge
Next comes this bum-lifting exercise guaranteed to give you some Gigi-esque glutes. Start by lying on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor (or bring your toes to a demi-pointe like in the photo for a more advanced version). Press your shoulders and upper back into the floor and tighten your stomach muscles, keeping your feet together and knees closed to work your inner thighs. Next, lift your hips high toward the ceiling while keeping your stomach tight to reduce stress in your lower back and tighten your bum. Finally, lower your back without letting your hips or bum touch the mat, and repeat four sets of eight reps.
Up next: abs, obliques, and core. While seated on the floor, extend your legs and pull your stomach toward your spine. With your upper body extended, place your arms in first position (as indicated above), and twist your upper body to the right, scooping your lower abs in. Continue twisting from left to right, and complete four sets of 10 reps.
Classic Inner-Thigh Lift
Next in the series is the inner-thigh lift for those "long, lean muscles that define a ballet leg," explains Bowers. Lying on a mat on your side, bend your left knee and place your foot either in front or behind your extended right leg. Next, pull your stomach in to engage your center and stretch long through your right knee. Raise and lower your right leg, never fully releasing it to the mat. Complete four sets of eight reps, and repeat on both sides.
Fondu Side in Parallel
The outer thighs are a hard area to target, but this move will help. "Lie on your mat on your side. Extend both legs out straight. Keeping your hips stacked and legs parallel, stretch and lift your right leg slightly above hip level. Next, bend your leg so that it's parallel, and then extend it out straight, returning to the starting position. Do four sets of eight reps, and repeat on the other side," says Bowers.
Arabesque Lift With Swan Arms
The final step of the series is this graceful movement to get the blood flowing and work all of the muscles that were previously engaged. Start by standing with your right leg in front of your left, and slightly bend your right knee, keeping it over your toes. Next, extend your left leg straight out behind you (this is called a ballet lunge). Then, straighten your right knee and lift your left leg off the floor. This is where it gets a little tricky—while you lift your leg off the floor, tighten your stomach muscles, and lift your arms up above your head in a V position. When you reach the floor, bend your right knee to return to a ballet lunge, and lower your arms down by your side at the same time. Repeat for three sets of three reps.
Fin! What do you think of this series? Not too bad, right? Have you ever done a ballet or barre workout before? Tell us below!
Quotes have been edited and shortened for content.
Opening Image: Reebok