Words by Ashleigh Wilson
About 80% of us experience lower back pain at some point in our lives. It is one of the most common causes of job-related disability and one of the leading contributors to absence from work. Its caused by a variety of problems. The lumbar spine area is a complex, interconnected network of spinal muscles, nerves, bones, discs and tendons. A sedentary lifestyle can aggravate lower back pain, especially if the no-exercise weekday routine is coupled with strenuous weekend workouts. This is made even worse by spending hours in heels, which can compress your lower back. I always say, don’t work hard, work smart. Instead, try a challenging but low impact Ballet HIIT workout which will strengthen your core, your back muscles and keep the area strong and supple. Wearing heels without back pain? I’m in.
B A L L E T * H I I T || THE LOWER BACK & POSTURE SERIES
Time: 12 minutes
Equipment needed: Yoga mat, timer
Intervals: 4 exercises, each performed for 50 seconds, and then 10 seconds to change to the next position. This is a total of 1 minute per exercise. Once you’ve completed the 4th exercise, rotate back to the 1st exercise and start again. Perform a total of 3 rounds, which will take you to 12 minutes. There is no need to rush. Repeat the movements at a speed your comfortable with.
Refer to Video for Instruction
Exercise 1: with your feet parallel and facing forward, create a table top position as you bend and straighten your legs. Watch to keep your knees over your toes and your back should remain as straight as an ironing board.
Exercise 2: Facing down, Lift one leg at a time and then both. Repeat. Keep your core engaged, as if they are lifting away from the mat. The legs should not float too high.
Exercise 3: Keeping your back pressing down into the mat, twist the legs in a 90 deqree position as far as you can, without lifting the shoulders.
Exercise 4: Alignment rises. The legs are turned out in a Ballet first. keep your spine, hips and knees in one completely straight line. Rise and lower the ankles and arms with control.
What is BALLET HIIT?
Ballet HIIT is an elegant fitness program which combines High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) with Classical Ballet Principles. It is challenging but also low impact, building long lean muscles, increase flexibility and create a beautiful balanced body.