Split photo of a ballerina in two different poses, dressed in white bodice on the left and black tutu on the right

When we asked Guest Editor Lily Aldridge about her favorite fitness routine, one thing was clear over and over – she is obsessed with Ballet Beautiful. Whether teaming up with her model squad for tendus or breaking out her stretches solo, Lily credits Ballet Beautiful as her main fitness squeeze.

The NYC-based fitness studio is spearheaded by gorgeous New York City Ballet alum, Mary Helen Bowers, one of our own personal fitspirations. This beauty is the one responsible for Natalie Portman’s award-winning Black Swan moves, Lily’s gorgeous gams, as well as the strength + elegance of the people who flock to her classes each week from all corners of the world.

We (and Lily!) adore Mary Helen for her kindness, grace, and refreshing perspective on fitness. You don’t need to be Big Apple bound to take advantage of Mary Helen’s expertise: she leads classes each week in her stunning, sun-drenched NYC studio, which you can join in at home through Ballet Beautiful’s live online classes. Here are Mary Helen’s top three standards when it comes to maximizing your workout like a prima ballerina:

Working out should make you look and fantastic. The right workout makes you healthy and strong, from the inside out! Here are three quick tips for maximizing your workout:

1. You don’t have to be a professional ballerina to train like one.

The world of professional ballet can sometimes seem intimidating and elite. Ballet Beautiful is the opposite. This is a targeted and transformative workout designed to help anyone, anywhere, train and sculpt lean gorgeous ballet muscles, and a dancer’s beautiful posture and physique.

2. Challenge yourself and try new things!

There are so many parallels between exercise and healthy eating. For starters, variety is key! It’s incredibly beneficial to try new exercises and stretches within our program to keep the muscles challenged and fully engaged. I’m a huge believer in targeted exercises and the importance of how each individual muscle is engaged while working out. For best results I always recommend a mix of our targeted mat exercises along with our more dance-y cardio and standing work. The combination gives supermodel like results!

Love Ballet Beautiful mat work? Try our cardio and standing series to mix things up and take it to the next level! Obsessed with Ballet Beautiful Swan Arms? Don’t miss our new Swan Arms Cardio DVDS which also incorporate ballet-inspired cardio work, extra stretching and fun workouts like Abs with Swan Arms.

3. Commit to a minimum of 3 hours per week

No matter how great a workout is you won’t be able to see results if you only practice once a week. When it comes to fitness I completely understand the time crunch the so many of us are under and how hard it is to set aside an hour every day. The Ballet Beautiful program is divided into many smaller Blast workouts that can be subdivided and done in pieces throughout the week. Flexibly is important in the modern world – I want to help people do what they can, when they cam. Just remember, in order to really see a difference in your health and physique it’s imperative to set aside at least three hours each week to train and work the body.

With Lily, we typically train three to four time per week for 40-60 minutes…often when her daughter is napping! To me this is the perfect maintenance pace. It’s a manageable amount, even for a busy working mom and allows you to not only maintain results but see changes, too. Before a big event like the VS Show, we will step up the intensity and duration of workouts to take it to the next level.

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