Abdominals and flexibility are another optional exercise in class, depending on the school or dance studio. Whether done individually or in class, the abdominal exercises best fit for ballet involve keeping the back as flat as possible. This means you should be performing crunches rather than full abdominal exercises in which your back is strained by being pulled up.
Combining stretching exercises with your abdominal routine further promotes flexibility. Being flexible is very important for a dancer. Look below for the common poses used in abdominal exercises. Also watch the video of a common abdominal routine.

Abdominal Positions

Basic abdominal crunch position

Basic crunch with knees bent and legs at a 90 degree angle

Side crunches with one leg crossed over

Opposite view of a side crunch

Side crunch with leg crossed over, knees bent and
opposite leg at a 90 degree angle

Opposite view

Vertical/parallel leg abdominal crunch

Vertical/parallel leg, reverse crunch, with hips raised

Abdominal Routine

The abdominal routine shows the following steps:
In counts of four, back laying flat on floor and hands placed behind neck for support: basic crunches, crunches with knees bent and legs at a 90 degree angle, vertical/parallel crunches, crunches with one leg crossed over, ankle resting on the opposite knee (aka side crunches), repeat to both left and right side, crunches with knees bent and legs at a 90 degree angle.
For further challenge, do a vertical/parellel leg reverse crunch with hips raised as shown, (move your legs to your chest while simultaneously raising the chest towards the legs). If unable to perform, do regular vertical/parallel crunches. Other challenges include rather than repeating crunches to front, repeat in trio motion, from front, to left side, to right side. You may also add more counts.


Keeping your body flexible is important for a dancer.
Many of these positions are also repeated in the 'Warm-up' & 'Cool Down' sections.



Stretching Routines
Follow along for some common stretching routines practiced both at the barre and on the floor.
These routines can also be found in the 'Warm-up' and 'Cool Down' sections.

Dancer: Brittany Allen
A special thank you to Brittany Allen, Brianne 'Tory' Freeth, Instructor Holly Copeland, Bonnie Copeland &
Encore Dance Centre in San Dimas, CA. www.encoredancecentre.com

All the information presented on this website is for educational and resource purposes only. It is here to inform you about ballet, ballet and health related/fitness issues, ballet vocabulary and ballet history. We are not responsible in your determination of how you interpret the information presented. For health related or physical activities presented, this website is NOT a substitute for any advice given to you by your physician. This is NOT a website suggesting an exercise program. Always consult your physician or health care provider before beginning any nutrition or exercise program. Use of the programs, advice, and information contained in this website is at the sole choice and risk of the reader. The information provided to you is presented in the most accurate form presented with the resources we were provided. Any text on our site are for information purposes only and we are NOT LIABLE for any losses or damages which may occur through your use of any information which you obtain through this website or any other website mentioned. You are solely responsible for the way you perceive and utilize information on the 'Discovering the Ballet in You' website and you do so at your own risk. In no way will 'Discovering the Ballet in You' or any persons associated with 'Discovering the Ballet in You' be held responsible for any injuries or problems that may occur due to the use of this website or the advice contained within. 'Discovering the Ballet in You' will not be held responsible for the conduct of any companies and/or websites recommended within this site.