Burn 800+ calories with this ballet-inspired full body workout

Full body workout + ballet = LOADS of calories burned in the daintiest way possible

ballet-inspired full body workout
(Image credit: Rhea Sheedy / Ballet Fusion)

Had one too many servings of Christmas dinner? Doing this ballet-inspired full body workout can help you burn off some of the excess calories. This home workout doesn't require much equipment either; what's needed will be discussed below. Ready for some post-Christmas exercising?

According to the British Nutrition Foundation, "research shows that with the extra calories consumed across all of the celebrations during the festive season, we can gain on average around 1kg (roughly 2lbs)." There is no need to panic, though: not overeating definitely keeping the pounds off but even if you let yourself go for a bit, you can easily get rid of the excess fat by doing a bit more exercising in the following days/weeks.

ballet-inspired full body workout

(Image credit: Rhea Sheedy / Ballet Fusion)

We asked Rhea Sheedy, Royal Academy of Dance-trained instructor and founder of Ballet Fusion, a fitness fusion company built upon traditional ballet techniques with elements of pilates, yoga and fitness, to put together a unique workout for the readers of T3.

Her 60-minute ballet-inspired circuit, combined with a long walk, will help the average 70-kilogram woman burn 840 calories – the estimated amount contained in a Christmas dinner. Better still, this workout uses little to no home gym equipment; all you need is a pair of running shoes and a yoga mat.

Make sure you warm up before the workout and as part of this workout, go for a BIG walk outdoors. That 90 minute brisk walk at the end of the workout can burn off an extra 400 calories.

Please note that all calories stated below are estimates only. The amount of calories burned during a workout depends on your sex, age, physical condition, metabolic rate and so on.

Ballet-inspired full body workout

Sauté jumps

(5 minutes = 47 calories)

Stand with your feet turned slightly out in first position. Bend the knees and then jump - straightening the legs in the air and pointing the feet. Land in first position, bending the knees and repeat.

Rhea's tip: Do this in trainers - especially if on a hard floor!

Lunge to Arabesque Lift

(5 minutes = 25 calories)

From a standing position, step your leg forward lowering your body so your rear knee remains parallel to the ground and your front knee doesn’t go beyond your toes. Keep your core engaged.

Straighten your front leg and, leaning forward slightly, lift the back leg - squeezing the glute. Lower back to the ground and repeat.

Pliés and Squats

(5 minutes = 34 calories)

Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes turned outwards. Bending from the knees, lower the hips down in a deep plié,  keeping the spine straight and bottom tucked in before straightening back into the starting position.

Turn the heels back so toes are pointing forwards. Squat, pushing the hips back and engaging the abs before straightening the legs. Repeat each set four times.

Glute Bridges

(5 minutes = 37 calories)

Lie on your back with your feet against the floor and arms resting beside your side. Lift your glutes and hips off the floor until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Squeeze your bottom at the top before lowering back down to the starting position.

Ballet-Inspired Mountain Climbers

(5 minutes = 49 calories)

Start in a plank position with your hands under your shoulders and feet hip-width apart. Make sure your back is flat and core is engaged. Pull your knee into your chest, controlling the movement and keeping your toes pointed.

Push up (Press up)

(5 minutes = 49 calories)

Get down on all fours with your hand placed slightly wider apart than your shoulders. Your knees can be touching the ground for extra support.

Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the ground, keeping your elbows tucked in at your side. Push yourself back up and repeat.

Russian Ballet Twists

(5 minutes = 49 calories)

Sit on your bottom with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Lean slightly back, keeping your spine straight and shoulders down.Bring the arms to 1st position - palms facing your belly button. Lift your heels and point your feet so only your toes are connected to the floor.

Turn your body to the side, taking your arms and head with you and return to face the front. Repeat to the other side. 

Lowering Leg Beats

(5 minutes = 31 calories)

Lie on your back with feet pointing towards the ceiling. Cross one leg in front of the other and point your toes. As fast as you can, beat the legs to swap from front to back, keeping them as straight as you can. Whilst beating, start to lower and lift the legs - keeping the spine connected with the floor and abs engaged.

Ballet Burpees

(5 minutes = 49 calories)

From a standing position with your feet parallel or turned out at the corners, bend your knees & push your hips back in a squat. Place your hands on the ground in front of you. Jump your feet back to land in a plank position. Make sure your back is straight and abs are engaged.

Jump your feet back to the starting position and relevé (a strong rise) on to the balls of your feet as you straighten your legs - squeezing your abs and glutes. Bring the arms overhead to 5th position keeping the shoulders down. Lower your heels and push back down into a squat for your next rep.

High Knees

(5 minutes = 47 calories)

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and raise one knee to your chest while keeping your back straight and core engaged. Raise the other knee to your chest, alternating legs at a running pace.


(10 minutes = 38 calories)

Finish by warming down with a stretch - targeting your shoulders, arms, hips, glutes and legs.

Brisk Walk

(90 minutes = 397 calories)

Choose a path you enjoy and get outdoors for a brisk 90-minute walk.

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Get Fit for 2021!

This is part of T3's Fit for 2021 programme, which will be running throughout January. We aim to bring you tips on diet, lifestyle and exercise that will help you shape up for what is certain to be a difficult year. One thing we can guarantee: it WILL be better than last year. And hopefully we'll help you get the most out of it. 

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for T3.com and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.