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Ballet Moves You Can Do in Your Desk Chair

July 8, 2014

Ballet Moves You Can Do in Your Desk Chair

July 8, 2014

Fitness is definitely having a moment in fashion. Since many of us here at Fashionista are also fitness buffs, this suits us just fine. All summer long we’ll be featuring different trainers who will showcase their signature workout moves via GIF. Best of all, we’re dressing them in some of our favorite activewear brands — both well-known and up-and-coming — to provide a double dose of inspiration. Welcome to Fashion #Fitspo.

The studio/trainer: Rachel Piskin and her mom Lauren, who are a former professional ballerina and figure skater respectively, co-founded ChaiseFitness. Their thoroughly unique method is a hybrid of ballet and pilates, all of which is done on a signature “chair” (which is nothing like your grandpa’s La-Z-Boy, trust me) and using bungee cords for resistance. Classes have names like “Ballet Bungee” and “Cardio Chair.” Model Anne V is a fan of the method. Convinced yet? 

The moves: Because we realize you don’t have access to all of ChaiseFitness’ fun toys, Rachel customized a workout that can be done on your lowly desk chair. Just make sure it’s stable and not rolling all over the place before you attempt the moves. She recommends doing 2 sets of 20 reps (make sure you do 20 reps on each side for the movements that work one side at a time). 

Triceps Knee Marches (works triceps, glutes, core): 

• Hold on to edge of chair with elbows bent and feet out away from chair and knees bent at 90 degree angle. Your butt and knees should be at the same level.

• March right knee upward as you straighten your arms, then lower back down to starting position. Alternate right and left.

• Make sure your elbows bend directly behind you, not out to the side. Don’t let your shoulders shrug up to your ears. 

Attitude Lifts (works glutes, calves, core):

 • Hold on to chair back with left hand, arm slightly bent. Round right arm over head while  standing on left leg. 

• Bend the left knee, then cross bent right knee to the back.

• Lift left heel and right knee up simultaneously. Return to starting position, adding a slight twist of the upper body to the left every time you lower down.

• After you do 20 reps, hold for 8 counts at the end. Repeat on the other side.

• If this is too difficult and you need to modify, keep your standing foot flat instead of elevating when you lift the opposite knee. 

Attitude Tilts (works core, obliques, glutes, thighs): 

 • Stand arm’s length away from chair. Hold on to chair with straight left hand. 

• Round right arm above head while hovering over chair, and bend your body to the left. Lift right leg straight out to hip height.

• Bring your right elbow to your right thigh as you bend your right knee. Keep the right leg at the same level the entire time; don’t drop it. Release back to starting position.

The clothes: Athleta, the Gap-owned company which is eager for some of Lululemon’s activewear business, is really killing it this season. Prints are statement-making without being obnoxious, and the fabrics are lightweight enough for an outdoor summer workout. Rachel wears: Zig Zag Relay Capri, $74; Double Dare Bra in Aloha Yellow, $42; Speedsetter Tank in White, $44.