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- American ballet dancer, fitness professional, author
Get immediate-arm-gratification from Mary Helen Bowers, the ballerina-turned-celebrity-trainer responsible for the toned bodies of just about the entire Victoria’s Secret catalog.(Video: Yahoo Health)
When it comes to cultivating long, lean muscles, Mary Helen Bowers is your girl. She’s the ballerina-turned-celebrity-trainer responsible for turning Natalie Portman into an Oscar-winning dancer for Black Swan, and toning her many celebrity clients (think: Zooey Deschanel, Liv Tyler and just about the entire cast of the Victoria’s Secret catalog). Now, she’s sharing her cult-favorite moves with Yahoo Health in a summer video series. First up: 3 ballet moves for sleek, defined arms to look and feel spectacular in a tank top.
Move #1: Dips
Start sitting on a mat or the floor, with your feet planted hips’ distance apart in front of you and your hands planted behind you, fingers facing your feet. Lift up, pull in with your stomach, and open through your chest. Want to make it more challenging? Lift your heels up to balance on your toes (pointe shoes not required!). Bend your elbows and stretch back up for one or more set of eight reps. Sit back down and stretch over to your right, then over to your left.
Move #2: Swan Arms
Pull in tight through your stomach, keeping your neck long, squeeze your shoulder blades together and extend your arms out to either side. Bend your elbows and stretch behind you, repeating for eight reps.
Move #3: Port De Bras
Circle your arms out in front of you and lift one arm over your head, bringing the other out to the side. Bring your arms back out in front of your, then repeat with the other arm. You can add one- or two-pound weights for more difficulty. Start with two sets of 8 reps per side, working your way up to 3 or 4 sets.
Fit these exercises in at least 3 days per week, or more often for faster results.
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