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Tight Abs and Tush: Ballet-Inspired Moves

Moves that require balance and stabilization to fire up your glutes and make your core sizzle.

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Backsides of two girls
Denise Crew
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About This Workout

Catch the latest cinch-sation: a mash-up of ballet-inspired resistance band moves from ChaiseFitness studio in New York City that has become a big hit for its suck-it-in effect. "Because these exercises require balance and stabilization, they fire up your glutes and force your core to work double time," says Rachel Piskin, a former New York City Ballet dancer and a cofounder of ChaiseFitness. Grab a resistance band and join Piskin for a sample that will tone your trouble zones in 20 minutes flat.

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Double-Heel Plie

Targets abs, butt, thighs, and calves

  • Holding a resistance band, stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly; fold band in half, then grasp an end in each hand.
  • Raise arms to shoulder level in front of you, pulling ends of band to create tension, and lower into a plié squat.
  • Maintaining plié position, pulse up and down a few inches for 5 reps, then lift both heels off floor and pulse up and down for 5 reps. Lower left heel to floor and pulse for 5 reps with right heel lifted; then lower right heel and lift left heel and pulse for 5 reps.
  • Return to start and repeat. Do 2 sets.
  • MAKE IT HARDER: Pull arms farther apart to create more tension in the band.

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Flying Eagle

Targets arms, abs, and butt

  • Holding ends of band in each hand, stand in middle of band with right foot and bend left leg behind you 90 degrees.
  • Raise arms out to sides, pulling band as you lift bent left leg behind you.
  • Lower arms to sides and left leg to bent start position and repeat.
  • Do 10 to 15 reps; switch sides and repeat. Do 2 sets.

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Bridge Kick

Targets back, arms, abs, butt, and hamstrings

  • Lie faceup on floor with knees bent, feet flat, holding ends of resistance band in each hand.
  • Lift left leg, knee bent 90 degrees, and loop center of band around sole of left foot (like a stirrup).
  • In one motion, push through right heel to lift butt off floor as you extend left leg and bring arms out to sides, pulling band (wrap band around fists to create more tension if needed).
  • Lower butt to floor as you bend left knee and bring hands back toward center.
  • Do 10 reps; switch sides and repeat. Do 2 sets.

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Knee-Up

Targets arms, abs, butt, and legs

  • Holding a resistance band, stand with feet hip-width apart; fold band in half, then grasp an end in each hand.
  • Raise arms to shoulder level in front of you, pulling ends of band to create tension; step right leg back into a staggered stance, both knees slightly bent.
  • Keeping left leg bent, bring right knee into chest, then quickly step right foot back and repeat.
  • Do 15 reps; switch sides and repeat. Do 2 sets.

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Standing Attitude

Targets abs, butt, inner thighs, and outer thighs

  • Standing with feet shoulder-width apart and toes turned out slightly, tie ends of band to form a small loop. Place knotted band around calves, then place hands on hips.
  • Bending knees slightly, lift right leg in front of you about a foot off floor, toes turned out, so there is tension in band.
  • Pulse right leg up and down a few inches for 20 reps.
  • Bring right leg behind you, pointing toes, and pulse leg up and down a few inches for 20 reps.
  • Switch legs and repeat. Do 2 sets.

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Side Leg Lift and Reach

Targets abs, obliques, butt, inner thighs, and outer thighs

  • Lie on floor on left side, left elbow under shoulder, and loop knotted band around calves, then extend right arm overhead.
  • Lift right leg up, creating tension in band, and bring right elbow in toward right hip as you do a slight side crunch.
  • Keeping right leg lifted throughout, reach right arm overhead, then repeat crunch.
  • Do 20 reps; switch sides and repeat. Do 2 sets.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, October 2013.

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