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the workout I (sometimes) do

If you are like me and struggle to fit going to the gym into your already overflowing schedule, may I suggest my most favorite workout that I try to do often (but if we’re really being honest, often is very sporadic. I’m currently in an off-cycle, but I’m all inspired to get back to it. Could be something to do with the summery clothes that are beginning to make an appearance).

Before I tell you what it is, let me explain my exercise criteria:

1. It has to be doable at home. As much as I like the idea of going to a gym to work out, it just doesn’t work out (ha!).

2. Running is okay, and I do take the dog for a run maybe twice a week, but I can go for about 1.5 miles before I’m just over it. And my lungs are, too.

3. My workout goal is toning. Not necessarily building huge muscles or developing endurance or even losing weight. I just want to firm up and prefer the long, lean look of a dancer.

Which leads me to the workout I love the most:


That’s not me. I wish it were, but … no. That’s my ballet instructor, Mary Helen Bowers.


She is a former New York City Ballet dancer who has developed a beautiful, simple method for toning muscles, increasing flexibility, strengthening the center and improving posture.¬† Yes, please to all of those. It’s called Ballet Beautiful.

Before you dismiss the workout because you’d rather not put on a leotard and stand on tippy toes, hang on. Leotards, tutus, pointe shoes and buns are not required (although they are very pretty and I secretly wish I was a real ballerina). The workouts are all done at home either from a dvd or online and all you need is just a small area, maybe a yoga mat, bare feet and regular work out clothes.

There are a few options for workouts: Ballet Beautiful Total Body Workout, Ballet Beautiful Body Blast or Ballet Beautiful Sculpt & Burn Cardio Blast. I wish I could commit to the 60 minute Total Body Workout (it’s so good!) but I don’t always have an hour to spend. So most of the time, I opt for one or two of the 15 minute Body Blast videos. I seriously feel like I can see results after just a few sessions. There are previews of the workouts on the links you can watch to get a feel for what they are like. I bought the online version, so I just log into my amazon account, press play and follow along from my ipad or computer – makes it super easy.

So if you’re looking for a way to sculpt your arms, strengthen your core and trim up your legs before we’re fully engulfed in swimsuit season, Ballet Beautiful is it.

(I sound like a sales person. I’m not. I just really like the videos. Now if I could just keep going with them …)

Images via instagram.

22 thoughts on “the workout I (sometimes) do”

  1. I just found one of these on amazon prime a couple weeks ago and I love it!!! Who doesn’t want to look like a dancer? Not that I’ll ever get there but…. ;)

  2. I did this workout yesterday. Oh my!! Who knew such pain could be inflicted on your body while laying down for an entire workout? It was so intense, but so fun at the same time!! And, I felt completely “ballet beautiful” afterwards. Thanks for the recommendation.

  3. I recently added to my list of things to do ‘join ballet’ but haven’t made the time for it yet..this really inspires me and I’m glad to hear it’s not as intimidating as it sounds! My favorite exercise is yoga and the ballet studio near my home offers ‘adult ballet’ and yoga, and I’ve done the yoga but need to go back for the ballet next…wish me luck, and thanks for sharing!


  4. love ballet beautiful. as one who workouts at home as well, i’m always happy to find something new. these are challenging, elegant and sweaty all at the same time! a great workout obsession. :-)

  5. love ballet beautiful. as one who workouts as home, i’m always happy to find something new. these are challenging, elegant and sweaty all at the same time! a great workout obsession. :-)

  6. Ballet barre classes are my favorite!!! I do go to a studio but occasionally I will do a video at home.
    Tones so many muscles at once so it is super efficient. Stretching the muscles you have just worked create beautiful long and lean muscles. Keep at it!!

  7. I love these! I also found Barre3 DVDs that are similar. I used to dance religiously in my younger years and these always take me back to dance class days :)

  8. Long time reader, first time commenter :) Just had to say -Thank you! I have been looking for something I could do at home, so I followed your link to Amazon and found that as a Prime member, her videos are free for me to view on their Instant Video feature and I did my first work out today. Love it.

  9. Thanks I can’t wait to check out these barre workouts! Another great online workout from home option is The Gymbox. I use my ipad and the workouts are awesome!!! New classes go live each week. Helps keep me motivated!!!

  10. Oh my gosh how funny I have Ballet Beautiful Body Blast because they said that’s what Natalie Portman did for her role in ‘Black Swan’.

  11. Just bought it! Totally needed something like this, the ab workout in the trailer looked really challenging. She kind of sounds like you!
    Thanks for the recommendation.

  12. I recently purchased some barre3 classes and DVD’s that seem be similar. Next week I attend my first class. I am super excited! I have Amazon prime and I am definitely going to check this one out. Thanks for the recommendation.

  13. Oooooooh! I grew up in ballet, and I, like you, don’t have time for the gym. I prefer to run or workout at home. Thanks for sharing this, it sounds perfect!!! And, it sounds super fun!

  14. I recently started taking yoga classes and mentioned to my husband that I would love to take a ballet barre class. I always wanted to but kept waiting until I could look good in a leotard first. So now that I’ve gained another x pounds I’ve decided enough is enough. If I keep waitig for perfect before I start doing things I’ve always wanted to do well……. I wouldn’t ever do anything. ( I used to do barre work at home with my daughter when she was home and taking ballet. I still have a portable barre.) thank you so much for this suggestion!! I have Amazon prime too!

  15. Thank you for sharing this! I have wanted to do some Barre workouts and I just can’t find any within my price range and close to me. The 3 set on DVD covers the cost of one local ballet workout class. I bought them and I’ll let you know how I’ve liked them after using them a few times.

  16. This is so great! The warm weather has me motivated get toned, and I was ready to order a Barre workout video.. I’m definitely going to look into these options. Thanks for the great post!

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