Change in Plans

Exercise Monday: Change in Plans – The Ballet Beautiful Body

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Hello People,

When I started this blog, about my third post in, I talked about not wanting to develop muscles like a teenage mutant ninja turtle, and I still don’t want to do that. Unfortunately (for people like me), this seems to be the type of training that is extremely popular today with exercise.  Or, at least if you really dedicated yourself to being consistent with those types of workouts, that is the type of body you will develop. Look on YouTube; most of the workouts are squats, presses, pushups, lunges, etc., etc.  These are all well and good, and please don’t confuse my statements for thinking that I am against building muscle!  Creating more muscle tone  is the only way to develop a more shapely physique.  Otherwise, a dieter risks losing weight/fat, along with muscle, and becoming a much smaller version of their former fat self only just, well, smaller.  No way man!  I want muscle definition in my legs and butt.  I want to have the look of a race horse in the heat of the gallop. I just don’t care for that that stocky line-backer shoulder look that some of those popular trainer gurus (and I have featured a few here) have.

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For clarification, I am not speaking of the physique of a competition body builder.  That is an entirely different animal and I will never go there because it requires the use of illegal drugs, and, not to mention, hours in a gym everyday. It doesn’t matter if they claim they don’t take enhancements, there is no images-2possible way on the planet that a woman can develop muscles like that and not be half a man.  The testosterone levels in these gals is through the roof.  It comes at a cost too, it messes with fertility and all kinds of hormonal stuff. But, I’m sure you already knew that.

You know when you go to hug an old lady and she feels like a marshmallow pillow?  Or, if she doesn’t have a lot of plush on her, like one of my grandmas, she is bony and feels almost hollow to the touch?  Yeah, well that’s the effect of a person losing muscle tone as they age. It has been said that after around age 30 humans can lose up to a pound of muscle every year until we die.  No wonder these women feel like you are hugging a down comforter!  They literally don’t have any muscle in their bodies. In order for one to not have this happen and look like a misshapen rag doll, one must do weight or resistance bearing exercises to build and keep muscle.  It will help in your older years for balance as well, and I’m sure we allimages-3 know an old person who fell down and broke a hip because they have lost all sense of balance.

Well, back to the workouts.  You see, I sing in a trio and one of the people in the trio is a trained ballerina who now owns her own dance studio and teaches dance for a living.  She has been griping about having to go to a physical therapist to heal her broken knee (long story – it involved her falling off of a parade float) and the therapist doesn’t understand why she refuses to train her legs to move parallel to the floor (squats).  Her legs have developed over the years, through ballet, into a certain shape:

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This is not to be confused with this:

giant quads

giant quads

She is complaining (due to the healing process) that her legs don’t match anymore and wants to develop the lame leg to match the normal leg.  This can only be done with movements done for development in ballet – lateral motion, or side to side.  And it got me thinking, ballet dancers do have the best bodies around, in my opinion.  Do I want to look like this?:

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Or this?:

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So, my point is, decide what kind of physique looks good to you.  Research it.  Don’t just go to the gym and hop on the machines.  What do you want to look like for reals?  Cut some pictures out or print them out and design workouts that will get you that look.  For me, it is a lot of barre work, floor exercises, and tons of lateral movement with nary a squat in sight.  All movement in ballet has the feet “turned out” from the hips:

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This develops those dreamy long thighs dancers have.  What do you think?  Do you like this type of look? If not, what then?

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