Getting dressed up and seeing “The Nutcracker” ballet performance is a cherished holiday tradition for my family. While I love listening to Tchaikovsky’s melodies and seeing the festive costumes, I am most captivated by the graceful ballerinas. Ballerinas’ figures are legend for being strong yet delicate, with long and toned muscles. There’s no cellulite on their sculpted bodies! I would watch them twirling onstage with awe and, I admit, a twinge of jealousy. So when my friend introduced me to the Ballet Beautiful workout series by Mary Helen Bowers, I was intrigued.
Cellulite is tricky and can be caused by many different things: a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating, hormonal imbalances, aging and loss of collagen, poor muscle tone, etc. But there are ways to reduce and smooth the appearance of those pesky skin dimples, and the Ballet Beautiful workouts, which focus on elongating muscles and strengthening connective tissue, do just that. How? Strong connective tissue allows muscles to support the skin and push fat molecules away from the dermis, creating a barrier of sorts. Saggy muscle tone and lax connective tissue, however, allow the fat to push up through the tissue, giving skin a dimpled appearance. Dance-inspired exercises specifically tighten connective tissue and tone both small and large muscle groups, giving the body a streamlined appearance and keeping fat molecules away from the skin’s surface.
As part of my workout routine, I do a mix of Ballet Beautiful DVD exercises 2-4 times per week. The exercises are challenging and I love founder Mary Helen Bowers‘ teaching style. As a former ballerina with New York City Ballet, she has the knowledge, experience and body to prove that her method works. All of her workouts are available via either DVD or online streaming, so it’s accessible and easy to fit in wherever you are. Not the dancing type? Other good exercises to smooth cellulite include pilates and swimming, which tone muscles without bulking them up.
Add a low-impact circuit or dance-inspired toning workout into your routine, alternating with your favorite cardio exercise to burn excess fat, and you’ll be setting the stage for smooth and taut skin all over!