Trendy ballet style workouts barely have any effect on fitness levels, says former member of the New York City Ballet
Thanks to the promise of long lean muscles, ballet style workouts have become essential for those looking for a dancer’s physique. However, the effectiveness of these classes is up for debate.
According to Brynn Jinnett, owner of the Refine Method studio in New York’s Upper East Side and a pro dancer herself, taking the occasional ballet class will have no effect on fitness or weight loss for the average person.
Speaking to Page Six magazine, Jinnett criticised sedate barre workouts, saying, ‘We have women who come and say they’d rather do barre classes because they can walk out and their hair hasn’t been messed up’.
The thinking behind Jinnett’s own studio workout is that the toning exercises that keep already-trained dancers in top condition will not work to change the physique or fitness level of a typical gym-goer by themselves.
Popular ballet-style exercise regimes focus on using the body’s own weight as resistance in order to stretch and tone muscle, rather than traditional cardio and weight training.
However Harvard educated Jinnett, who also appeared in the hit film Black Swan, took a different approach and went to Mike Boyle of the Boston Red Sox for advice on pulling non-dancer bodies into shape.
The result led to the addition of kettleballs and weight lifting in her classes. Jinnett says ‘For me to recognise that as a woman you could lift weights and perform sort of more masculine exercises – and that that was the key to looking leaner and better overall – was a surprise for me.’