Strength Training and Ballet Dancers

In ballet, we’re all looking for that edge, what sets us apart from the next dancer. Some are born with fortunate genetics such as natural flexibility or a lean physique. For the rest of us who are not lucky enough to have these natural abilities, we must identify our weaknesses. Ballet technique alone is not going to save you.


Once you have identified your weaknesses, you can begin to address the problem.

Sometimes the answers can be found in ballet class. It’s true, there is no substitution for a good class, but there are other means to improving your weaknesses. Cardiovascular fitness, Pilates, and Strength Training…yes, Strength Training…are just a few of the methods that dancers are exploring these days to get the most out of their careers.


Strength Training was seen as taboo in the ballet world up until now. Older instructors will warn against it, saying that it will create short, bulky muscles. What some fail to recognize is that we as dancers have evolved, and the demands being put on our bodies are getting harder. Most ballet companies these days are also performing Contemporary works which can take a toll on the body if it is not properly conditioned.


Simple exercises can help tone and even out the muscle imbalances that dancers have from being too turned-out. If we work on strengthening the muscles in a parallel position, we can take some of the stress off the adductors, making for more efficient use of the leg in the turned-out positions.


I will touch on specific weaknesses and injuries in future blogs. Keep reading, and you can be on your way to a better ballet body. Remember; don’t try anything on your own without a proper assessment from a trainer specializing in dancers.


-Nikol Klein

Certified Personal Trainer

Professional Ballet Dancer

About Nikol Klein

Nikol Klein is former Professional Ballet Dancer turned Women's fitness expert. She currently works with Women all over the world as a personal trainer and Ballet Strength coach to dancers.

Posted on September 20, 2008, in Ballet Strength, Injury Prevention, Strength Training for Dancers and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. san diego personal trainer, oxana petrova


    I wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading your article. I also believe that people would benefit a lot from combining strength training, dancing and stretching.


  2. Good Article.Thanks for sharing it.

  3. First off, I am glad that you have decided to write this blog because I have been looking for a decent way to stretch and do strength training. Second, I have a problem where if I am lying on my side and I lift one leg, the part where the hip meets the leg starts to burn and I have to put the leg down. Do you know what this is, and if so do you know how to fix it? Thank You Very Much!

  4. Hello!

    My name is Tara, I am a personal fitness training student, and I am looking to work with dancers, primarily. I came across your website, and your blog, and I was very interested in what I saw. I was wondering if you had any type of advice for me, both as a student and a pre-professional. Any help you can give would be much appreciated.

    I guess some questions for you would be: how do I get started working with dancers, where do I go, who would I talk to. That sort of thing!

    Thank you so much!!!


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