The other half of me: Link here! Thank you for reading. 🙂
The other half of me: Link here! Thank you for reading. 🙂
In weightlifting it’s about contractions with the muscles. Examples are: Tightening, squeezing, static holding and rarely locking out the arms.
In Ballet, it’s about the extension. Example: Locking out to a degree; lengthening, reaching; stretching outwards with the body long through the neck, arms, through the knees and ankles.
In weightlifting it’s about how many calluses you build on your hand – it’s a sign of respect and work ethics. In Ballet, it’s about how you carry your grace through your hands and how you group your fingers together in poise.
In weightlifting it’s about strapping your wrists tight for the most important lifts. In ballet, it’s about keeping the wrists flexible and allowing the wrist to go limp while you have graceful curvature of the fingers.
In weightlifting it’s about never rounding your back. In Ballet, it’s about rounding your back.
In weightlifting it’s about arching the back. In Ballet, it’s about the tailbone being tucked underneath for straight back alignment and not what textbook fitness call “happy cat.”
In weightlifting it’s about engaging your core. In Ballet, it’s about pulling “inward” through the center.
In weightlifting it’s about static stretching. In Ballet, it’s about a combination of stretching from dynamic and ballistic, while searching for angles that work best for you in stretching even if seems like you’re coming out of alignment within a single stretch (evidently with the know-how of not hurting yourself).
In weightlifting it’s about muscles being timed and under tension. In Ballet, it’s about moving your body as effortlessly as possible allowing the body to move freely with zero muscle tension.
In weightlifting it’s about muscle bellies. In Ballet, it’s about body lines.
Of course whether I explained things correctly or not isn’t what this entry’s about since these are my experiences and how I personally perceive them to be.
I hope you found my observations to be as interesting as I found it interesting to reflect.
New entry. Here’s the link.
Ballet Training thus far has been a really interesting journey. It’s about 4 months (or a little more) and I’ve grown to take immense pleasure in Ballet Beautiful (and other Ballet Conditioning work I’ve come across). I always liked Ballet, but I can appreciate it more now that I perform Ballet-inspired movement (and some actual Ballet exercises).
Ballet has been very tricky in some areas like getting the form down. There’s a lot going on most of the time – movements come from all angles and are done simultaneously at the same time. For example: Picture yourself balancing on one leg while the other leg is in midair lifting up/down/sideways/bending or performing large circles while you swaying your arms up/down/side/waving. It’s challenging and the focus needed has to surpass 100%.
There’s a lot of balance and concentration involve, but it’s all good because I’m a special kind of woman who’s built for this with my work ethics. I have the capacity to push myself beyond my mind’s or body’s limitations especially since I have to deal with burning arches and aching cores throughout each exercise. Not to mention dealing with borderline cramping even if you’re simply bending or stretching to one side or backwards without arching the spine.
There’s also the act of practicing stability and working through a super intense muscle burn along with having super muscle control. What I enjoy the most is getting through the first exercise sequence of 4 sets in counts of 8’s at a rapid pace because the exercises are so difficult particularly Ballet Beautiful that for you to finish without pausing is a HUGE accomplishment. And although there’s a lot to learn I’m keeping my mind and body open as I carry on flexibility in every technique and exercise I approach.
I benefit from using different muscles than what I’m used to. The techniques and exercises I’m performing have further enlightened my sense of physical awareness for instance engaging the center. I currently pull in through the center even when I do dishes or take a shower. Back then the only time I engaged my core was during a weightlifting session since it’s very important to do when you’re Deadlifting, performing the Military Press and Barbell Squatting. Sometimes I think my core is lacking, but I think the only reason why I think this is because of the fat on top. There’s nothing wrong with my core – it’s much stronger than I give it credit for.
There’s also the ease of gaining lower back, hip inner/outer, glutes and ankle flexibility. As is, there are positions (including Yoga) where I couldn’t get the top of my foot flat and now I’ve made gains where I can flatten my foot another centimeter or a full inch – which is outstanding as FUCK! To get this foot and ankle where I want it to be has been a mission. I’ve been given the wrong information from stupid surgeons saying if I can’t make any gains in 6 months to a year from the accident then I won’t be able to make any improvements. However, since Ballet Beautiful I’m making tiny gains after a year and naturally this makes me very happy. Plus I’ll take any miniature gain I can get.
There’s the minimizing of cellulite behind the back of my upper thigh right under the glutes and no matter how many lunges I’ve done in the past that’s been something hard to knock off when you have extra weight on. I have extra weight but the cellulite is still minimized like some kind of magic trick. The best part is (although I don’t need it) I’ve received an even higher instantaneous butt lift at the same time my cellulite is disappearing. In the beginning I was scared of losing my curves with Ballet Beautiful, but I haven’t lost any – it’s all being enhanced.
As far as the flexibility is concerned, well I’m back to the flexibility and have even surpassed the flexibility in certain poses (including yoga). Holy crap! You don’t even understand how awesome this is for me as I used to stretch intensely for an hour, and sometimes overstretch to the point where I would actually hurt my muscles and couldn’t stretch for a week or more. I used to think I have to stretch at least 5 times a week in order to get to where I want to be (one of the goals is a front/middle split), but it’s not true. Ballet Beautiful is magical when it comes to simply just performing exercises and having you become flexible within the process where lengthening happens literally overnight. I will say – better flexibility also means better sex. (I apologize. I had to throw this in here.)
I love exercises that are different and difficult. So it intrigues me very much to perform exercises that have a lot of internal and external rotations. I’m carving out the larger muscles I’ve built over the years simply by building all the small muscles and vice versa. This creates an even better and more efficient foundation. I like having to create and work for better isometric contractions. I like that there are new rules I have to learn like rounding my back during exercises or going through a full extension through the knee as opposed to never locking out like weightlifting and bodybuilding.
I like leveling up my fitness and I enjoy cross-training again. I like being introduced to a whole wide world of new muscles. I like feeling as if with less weightlifting – I’m allowing my body to become more symmetrical. I’m decreasing size (mass/bulk) and even bodyfat at a pace I didn’t think would be possible with my exceptionally low thyroid and such. And did I mention my posture? It’s also changed immediately!
Just like weightlifting – ballet exercises give me the feeling of constant motion in physical existence as well as completeness in the present moment within the body. To close this long entry I’m still learning everything I’m sensing from head to toe with Ballet Beautiful. This is one reason why trying to write about my Ballet Training has been different as I feel these entries don’t flow as well as I wanted to. I digress.. I believe I’ve exceeded the phase of novelty, so this isn’t a phase I’m going through and I’m into ballet-inspired workouts which is not to be confused with actual dance ballet and such.
Happy Training everyone!