Callanetics was created in the seventies by Callan Pinckney who originally developed the program as a form of pain relief. It is a system of tiny muscle contractions and stretches. Proponents claim that one hour of Callanetics equals 24 hours of aerobic dance. Follow these steps to learn the basic steps to perform Callanetics.
- Skill level:
Understand the basics of Callanetics. Know that all the movements are no more than ¼ to ½ inch and done very slowly. Always breathe naturally. The key to Callanetics is curling up your pelvis. Never force a stretch or motion and relax as you work your body.
Do warm ups before the exercise. An example of a Callanetics warm up is the swing. Stand with your feet apart. Stretch your arms up and bend your knees a little. Tighten your buttocks and curl your pelvis up. Lower your upper body towards the floor while bending your knees. Swing your arms back and forth in this position as you move your knees up and down gently. Slowly curl back up.
Try a leg exercise such as a plie. Stand facing and holding onto a piece of furniture with your feet turned out to the sides. Stand on the balls of your feet with your heels together. Slowly lower your torso straight down by bending your knees. Raise yourself back up. The slower you do the plie, the stronger your muscles will become.
Stretch. Try a sitting stretch. Sit on the floor with your legs together in front of you with pointed toes. Rest your hands on the front of your thighs. Slowly round your head and shoulders, aiming your nose and shoulders towards the top of your legs. Relax your body. This will stretch your lower back and hamstring muscles.
Perform pelvis exercises such as a pelvic rotation. Sit on your heels. Keep your knees together, stretch your arms over your head and clasp your hands together. Lift your buttocks three inches off your heels. Move your right hip to the right side as far as you can. Curl your pelvis up and then release it as you move your left hip over to the left side as far as you can. Then move your buttocks to the back to complete the circle.
Tips and warnings
- Always work at your own pace.
- The steps above are a brief overview of the Callanetic exercises. To fully learn how to do Callanetics, watch a Callanetics video, attend a class or read one of the books.
- Consult a medical doctor before beginning any exercise program.