Ballet fitness trend: Does it really work or should you beware?

Victoria’s Secret models last week lauded the latest workout trend, but does it work? (Shutterstock)

Victoria’s Secret models last week lauded the latest workout trend to hit fitness studios the world over – using ballet moves to sculpt and tone.

Such workouts usually mix classical ballet moves and athleticism  by using targeted exercises and stretches to sculpt  physique.

However, some fitness experts do not agree with the trend.

Despite the ballet trend being taken up by many a star who say it works for them, here are three reasons you may want to keep your guard up.

Reason 1: There is little functional application

Ballet-based workouts serve little functional application to our movements in reality.

There are seven key movements that were necessary for the survival of our Paleothic Ancestors. If they couldn’t perform any of these patterns quickly and efficiently without thinking about what their bodies were doing, they would have had a very slim chance of survival.

Even though our lifestyle in this day and age is different to our ancestors, we still perform these key movements in our daily tasks. Many of us play sports that require us to move in multi directional patterns. We walk or run, squat, lunge, bend, push, pull and twist.

An exercise program should always include functional movements that will mimic everyday lifestyle patterns keeping you strong and healthy and giving your body the balance that it needs.

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Reason 2: Creates dysfunctional posture and could lead to injury

Posture is the position from which movement begins and ends. Ideal posture is a state of muscular and skeletal balance which protects the supporting structure of the body against injury.

Poor posture places abnormal weight on your joints and stress on your muscles that leads to pain. Your internal organs cannot be supported well, which leads too decreased circulation causing more dysfunction the body.

The workouts moves in the ballet repertoire place the spine into hyper extended (excessive bending) mode. Furthermore, all the major joints such as the shoulders, hips, knees and ankles are all placed out of their optimal alignments. Therefore the movements performed in these workouts have a jarring effect on the joints and ligaments.

If the body is moving from a flimsy standing point all the movements from there onwards will be also be flimsy. Poor muscle function could also occur in the body which could lead to injury and prolonged pain in the near future.

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Reason 3: It could weaken your core muscles

Many people suffer with dysfunctional core muscles. As we sit down for long periods per day, our upper abdominal muscles become tight and overactive.

The deep abdominal wall, known as the TVA (core muscles), are ideally suited to perform girdle-like supportive function for your lower back - they wrap around the deeper layer of your abs like a belt. To efficiently use these muscles, it is essential to utilize your pelvis by placing it in a posterior pelvic tilt and simultaneously drawing in the belly button.

Consequently, performing ballet exercises such as straight- legged abdominal crunches do not activate your core. These types of exercises only activate the superficial muscles of the upper abdominals to become tighter as they flex (pull) the spine forward and they also contribute to creating a dysfunctional and rounded posture.

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Fitness expert Vahdaneh Vahid can be reached on Facebook and Instagram.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:45 - GMT 06:45
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