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Ballet Talk for Dancers
ashleyMVB

Exercise for smaller butt

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ashleyMVB

I have a slim waist & upper body, but my butt & legs are bigger. I feel like I don't look very proportionate, and wanted some suggestions on exercises I can do to make them smaller. I have quite a bit of muscle in my upper legs, & don't want to gain anymore (making my legs bigger). Any help is appreciated! :sweating:

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Clara 76

Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, ashleyMVB!!!!!!

 

Just a bit of official business before we offer some suggestions-

 

You've posted in the Health & Nutrition forum, which is absolutely the right place for this type of question, so no worries there!

 

However, this forum, as well as the Pointe Shoe area, and just a few other places here, have specific rules meaning that if you were hoping for advice from your peers, then I will need to move this question to an appropriate place. Here, you will have the help of our Medical Moderators who are medical professionals in their "day jobs", as well as we Teacher-Moderators.

 

Would you like our input, or the advice of your peers? If you would like me to move this question for you, please let me know whether you fall into one of our Young Dancer categories- either YD ages 13-16, or aged 17+, or are an adult ballet student. :thumbsup: It might also be helpful to know how long you've been studying ballet, and to give us an idea of which method you are studying, as well as your typical weekly ballet schedule including how long each ballet class is.

 

We'll help you get this figured out!! :blushing:

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ashleyMVB

I'd love to hear your input! Also, I'm 19 years old & have been studying ballet for about 11 years. I took quite a break (almost 3 years due to college classes & whatnot) & I'm just starting back. I am currently taking 5 hours per week (unfortunately college classes are getting in the way of taking more). :(

Edited by ashleyMVB

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rlyons

I'd like to hear advice on this issue too: slim, fit on top, bigger thighs and butt.

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Victoria Leigh

I moved this to the Adult Ballet Students forum because I think that our new member will get more exercise information here.

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Serendipity

Pulling up properly and using the glute muscles properly in ballet classes can be more than enough if you have enough classes a week.

 

I can't say as I have ever tried to do extra exercises just for thighs and buttocks, even though I do a gym workout four times a week in addition to ballet classes 5-6 days a week. Spot-reducing doesn't work. Overall aerobic/cardio helps tone the body along with training that includes weight-bearing exercises of some sort (body weight counts as weight-bearing, so ballet is weight-bearing exercise, btw).

 

One thing my kinesiologist ballet teacher said to us at college was that if you neglect other areas of the body, only working on legs, for example, that they can stagnate. Overall body training is needed if you want to advance your strength and toned look. Then she had us do the equivalent of the Jane Fonda Workout before we went to the barre in every class.

 

I know genetics plays a big part, as well. I look at my family and see the little ones - one will have a larger posterior like her mother, the other has a thinner one, like her father. No amount of exercise will fully reduce the first child's posterior, no matter how hard she works. Her mother is at a healthy body size and it's still there. Mother's mother is the same.

 

That's just personal experience. I've been working on my body for three years now with good results, good trainers at the gym and quite a few good ballet teachers. I attribute much of the body toning to ballet, though, rather than the gym exercise.

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ashleyMVB

Thank you! :( I'll try your suggestions & talk to my instructor as well!

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Je Suis Aimee

I am of this body type myself and it drove me crazy - very small boned, thin arms and torso, but thicker bum and thighs, and thin calves. I HATED it. I say it in past tense because even though I used to work out like crazy, ballet is the only thing that has transformed my body in a way that has left me in awe.

 

I study and read a lot about health and fat loss, and I am of the firm opinion that there is nothing you can do to lose girth in a particular area; anything that claims to do so is nonsense. You have to work your entire body.

 

My advice regarding this whole thing would be:

 

1. Be patient, because to see results takes a good while. When I really ramped up my ballet schedule, I think that was the start of the transformation. But it took at least 6 months before I was like wow, I'm starting to look different!

2. Eat as healthily and naturally as possible, and in proper portion sizes. I don't believe in cutting anything out of one's diet; only in avoiding junky processed foods. Like I've heard many a trainer say, no amount of exercise will help you if you don't control your nutrition.

3. Probably most important of all, I've found that you really have to push yourself - and I mean a LOT - in terms of exercise to cause a change, especially if you're already thin. Not in how much exercise you do but how you do it - you have to really exhaust your muscles. In ballet, reallly focus on technique and doing it precisely, and really push yourself to improve every time. That in itself is quite the workout. And I highly recomment cross training with cardio and strength training exercises. For myself I currently take 4 hours of ballet per week and exercise another two or three extra hours at home.

 

Good luck!

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Redbookish

Thing is, as Aimée so rightly says, you can't "spot reduce," and the tendency of your body shape is largely genetic. But within those boundaries, focussing on good ballet technique, with excellent teaching, will help you to hone your body. You won't e able to change your skeletal or muscular foundation however!

 

Have a look at the Stickies at the top of this forum: Clara's excellent Sticky on Alignment, and the general Sticky on "Improve Your Ballet." These will give you some ideas about the basic ways that you can start to use and move your body in the most beneficial way possible. But the changes will be holistic, not spot reductions!

 

So I'd say (for what it's worth) that it's about working overall to improve your ballet, and thinking about that, not about reducing or changing specific bits of your body.

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Clara 76

Proper alignment & control over turnout does wonders! If one is tilting or tucking the pelvis, the wrong muscles are overused, causing bulkiness. Another thing that adds to bulkiness is if the work in ballet class is not balanced correctly, so say, 64 slow developpés would do it!

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ashleyMVB

Thanks everyone! :shrug:

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Garyecht

Spot reducing is pretty much impossible as the conventional wisdom goes. Basically females with age tend toward the “apple” or “pear” physiques. The good thing about the pear physique is that such people tend to live longer than do apple physiques.

 

For females, building muscle through exercise is very difficult. Testosterone is important for any kind of muscle growth.

 

Long ago I knew a female who had wide hips and narrow shoulders. I had suggested to her that rather than try to spot reduce she do an all-around exercise program and add some semi-serious bodybuilding for the arms and shoulders so that she would look more symmetric. She took me up on the advice. I didn’t see her again for well over 10 years. In that time she had gained 5 pounds, but looked much much more symmetric.

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Je Suis Aimee

That is pretty much what happend to me. When I started exercising harder, I gained about 5 lbs. I noticed fat loss around my hips, upper thighs, and glutes, and meanwhile, my calves increased in size and I gained a lot of muscle definition in my quads. I am very pleased with the results. I think what really had contributed to that asymmateric look was that prior to ballet and pointe, my calves were so thin and undefined.

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dancepig

Garyecht - you've given me an idea - now if I could just find a leotard with shoulder pads! Think TV show "Dynasty". :P But seriously, that does make a lot of sense, to just have balance in body proportions. However, I know if you do a lot of jumps and quick movements in class you'll make bulkier muscles than if you do what Clara recommended - 64 sloooow developpés. Our teacher has us do a lot of slow developpé type of movements, she says it helps to elongate the legs. Now - where did I put those shoulder pads..... :blink:

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Serendipity

I agree with your teacher, Dancepig. With slow developpes, at least, if you know what you're doing, you can control which muscles you are working. That's harder to do with all those jumps - you're using quads more for jumps, (from my experience - at least, as of this writing - and hoping to practice to use other muscles instead!), so we can get somewhat bulkier with jumps. I couldn't jump for a year because of my ankles and my leg muscles slimmed nicely (or so I've been told) with developpes and releves, et. al. I find it a bit difficult to see what I've been told only because my mind still holds the "old me" in it! *sigh*

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