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Here’s the secret to lunges that strengthen *and* lengthen


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Photo: Instagram/@balletbeautiful/@elizatulipierson
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For anyone who’s dreamed of becoming a ballerina but never made it into pointe shoes, there’s Ballet Beautiful, the workout program that borrows ballet’s concepts of lengthening and strengthening. And wellness-focused celebs—like Natalie Portman (in preparation for Black Swan, no surprise), Karlie Kloss, and Miranda Kerr—vouch for it.

HIIT class lunges are great for strengthening your front quadricep and butt, but Ballet Beautiful founder Mary Helen Bowers argues that they can also “thicken and shorten the line of your legs.”

In a new YouTube tutorial, Ballet Beautiful founder Mary Helen Bowers demonstrates the technique that makes a ballet lunge different from a standard lunge exercise. HIIT class lunges are great for strengthening your front quadricep and butt, Bowers says, but they can also “potentially thicken and shorten the line of your legs.”

If your goal is to lengthen your body, try Bowers’ graceful take on the lunge: Turn out your toes and keep your weight forward, with your knee over the toe of your standing leg. Extend your other leg behind you, and bend forward at your waist with one arm reaching toward the floor and the other raised to the ceiling while pulling your core in tight.

Watch Mary Helen Bowers demonstrate the ballet lunge in the video below.

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After you’ve perfected the ballerina lunge, try Adriana Lima’s “rainbow” move and Shakira’s exercise for a toned butt and a strong core. 

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