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Video transcription

Hi, my name is Sarah Shoemaker, and today we're going to be talking about how you warm up and prepare before a ballet class. The materials you need for this are quite simply just a space to practice and a ballet barre. When preparing your body for a ballet class it's very important that you move gently and carefully as you warm up in preparation of the exercises you're going to be doing. You don't want to do anything too quickly that's going to jar your body in any way. I'm going to show you a way to do a crunch that I find very effective. You're going to find a million different people saying a million different ways to do the proper sit ups and crunches. So you really have to find the one that works for your body that's most effective. For me I found that even just engaging my abs in a subtle way, as long as I was breathing properly and pulling my abdominals tight, that and motion was enough for to feel an effect. So, the proper breathing in a sit up or crunch is to exhale when the muscle is, is activating. So, inhale when you're at the rest point, exhale as you come up. Inhale again as you're down, exhale as you're up. So for me I place my arms gently on my head but I don't pull my head. I just place my fingertips on my head and exhale and inhale down. And the most important thing is that you're pulling your stomach tight as you're doing this exercise. Once again, just like we did with sit ups and crunches, a push up, there's going to be a million different ways that you can approach it. It's very important to use your back muscles when executing a push up. so you might want to place your hands directly under your shoulders and have your elbows tight to your body. But you could also let your elbows release a little bit away from you as long as you're feeling that you're pulling down in your back and really activating your traps, your lats, everything that's going to pull your shoulders down and back. What we don't want to do is create strength that's going to bring your shoulders up or create mass up here. So for girls I tend to advise this style of push up, where you're on your knees and creating a plank like position. You don't want to let your pelvis sag and you don't want to be too pushed up in to a curved shape as well. But try to be as flat as you can. And I keep my hands directly under my shoulders and then I very slowly pressure down and pressure up, always pulling my back down and trying to keep my neck long. I never fully straighten my elbow, so that it locks, but again keeping it slightly bent will keep strength building as you're doing even the top and the bottom of the push up. You're never at rest. And exercise that you can do that starts to warm up your spine, in addition to starting to stretch your hamstring is a simple roll down and roll up at the barre. You start by just dropping your head, letting that curve continue down each vertebra, until you're all the way down. And then you'll feel this activate your hamstring stretch, and then roll right back up. Again, that starts to warm up your spine and get your hamstring. Another exercise you can do is to warm up your hips. You can do something standing or on the ground. What you could do at the barre would be something called battement en cloche which is essentially is just a swing. It goes across the body and releases up. You could also simply just lay on your back and start to move your hips in the hip socket and that will also start to bring some blood in to the joint. And of course in dance, we have to warm up our feet and ankles or we'd be in a lot of trouble. So you just want to do some really big foot circles, going both directions to warm up your ankle joint. So those are some ways in which you can properly prepare your body for a ballet class.