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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Upper back and arm strength

Canadian Dancer

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I am constantly being told to work on the strength in my back and arms; are push-ups good for this, or would going to the gym be better?

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It depends on what you're doing. Remember, pushups build muscles that thrust straight ahead. Useful if you're going to slug your partner, but I don't think it's much used in classical ballet. Better to get a specific workout in Pilates for what you want to strengthen.

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We don't particularly recommend taking up Pilates from a video. What's needed is face time with a trainer who can deal with your particular situation and your particular body. Then the trainer can recommend books and videos for you to continue once you've learned how to do the exercise correctly.

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