Ballet-based exercises that will make you stronger and springier courtesy of Ballet Philippines dancers

Lead photo by Michael Afonso/Unsplash | Photos by JV Dela Cruz


Gia Gequinto


No TheraBand? Use a towel instead

“These are side stretches using the TheraBand. It works the core and it’s for alignment too. If you align your back very well and restrict yourself to the small movements, it’s a good workout. It builds your core muscles. I do it 10 reps on one side and rest for five seconds and repeat the 10 reps two more times. Sometimes in the gym, I do this exercise with  nine-pound weights for extra challenge.”


John Ababon

You can use a ball instead of a hoop 

“This exercise works the inner thighs and the stomach. Ballet dancers are creative when it comes to working out and they utilize whatever is available in the studio like the bar. So this one focuses on the inner thighs instead of the quads for strength, which is required when doing big jumps. That’s where your strength should come from. We work on the abs not just for the sake of having abs; we need strength from the core while dancing. I do four slow reps, but it also depends on how you are doing correctly. Eight sets are ideal.”

Stef Cabral

Yoga is integral to ballet exercises, too

“This stretch is for strengthening the back and making your body more flexible. I would recommend eight reps but beginners can start with four. Rest then repeat. For me, two sets of these stretches are enough.”

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