Health boost: top tip SMOOTHIES

Don’t we all just LOVE smoothies? And the healthier, the better- right?

This one was made of 1 banana, some ginger, spinach, raspberries, 1 tbsp of chia seeds and 1dl of water plus some lime juice- topped with mango and macadamia nut granola. Nothing but a health boost; magnesium, calcium, loads of vitamins to only name a few.

Take care xoxo

A typical workout

Finally! The awaited workout blogpost. Enjoy!

 

What do I do for a typical workout of mine?
Well, what’s for certain is that this depends: what day it is, timings, what I’ve done previous days and so forth.

Anyhow, this is an average workout I did the other day:

I ran from work which is about 3km as for my warmup. Then I used my foam roller to loosen up tensed areas, especially my legs. Then it was time for some plank: I did a set of planks for 10 minutes nonstop. I started with 3 minutes center plank, on both arms, then I did 2 minutes to the right, 2 minutes to the left followed by another minute of center plank, without stopping I did 2 last minutes of twist in push up postion- adversing each hip touching the ground.

After planks I went straight into a long set of core and back exercises:
• 50 crunches on the Pilates ball
• 20 small back lifts for the upper back on the ball followed by 15 bigger ones
• 20 leg drops with 1kg weights on each ankle, arms holding onto the sofa
• This is a tricky one: put your feet on the Pilates ball and go into the push up position, engage your abdominals and pull up your upper body to get the pelvis in line with your arms, like a handstand with the feet still on the ball. 5 pull ups like that followed by 2 push ups in between- repeat 3 times without stopping.
I did this set 3 times.

Then I did 16 front lunges and 20 lunges to the side, turned out.

My second set was as follows:
• 30 frog lifts on the tummy, heels together, followed by 15 with the right foot crossed with the left one and 15 with the opposite crossing.
• Glutes: lay on your side with both legs bent, open your top leg to the side- as much as you can: 30 times on each leg.
• Push up position on the ball: carefully lift each leg 10 times.
I only did this set twice as it’s quite intense- your legs will be burning that’s for sure.

With weights (1kg/foot) on my ankles I did another set but on the foam roller:
• 10 dips on the floor with each foot pointed, keeping the legs in a 90 degrees angle. 10 with flexed feet.
• 10 ‘biking’ slow with control + 10 faster.
• Sitting on the foam roller, not straight but with the core engaged, belly button attached to the spine. With 1.5 kg weights in both of my hands I went from 1st to 2nd position 8 times, then from 2nd to 3rd 8 times as well.
This set was repeated 2 times.

Keeping the weights on my ankles, I did 50+50 relevés in parallel. The first 50 with accent up and slow down, the second half going up slow and with the accent down.

After these exercises I did a floorbarre on the Pilates ball. I can’t remember exactly what I did that day, whether I was wearing weights or not. I always start with bridges though. 10+10 with parallel feet, first half rolling through the spine and the second half just keeping he back straight (nice & strong of course!). Then I stay up and stretch my legs, bend, stretch bend- you get the drill, 10 times. Then I do this in a position that’s not completely 180 turned out nor parallel but something in between. Lastly, I do a few bridges as turned out and opened as possible.

Then I do single leg bridges with stretched legs, 10 on each leg. I also do tendues: front and side. Demi ronde, grand ronde, fondue, rond de jambe en l’air and grand battement.

I alway finish my workouts with some stretching, feet, splits, leg in the hand and so on. Depending on how I feel I may also do feet exercises with a theraband and different arm workouts with the band. Some days of the week I put on my pointe shoes and do relevés.

This was it! My average time for a workout I would estimate to be around 1.5 hours. Sometimes I only do an hour and sometimes 3 hours. If I’ve done a longer workout one day, I usually keep it shorter the next day. If I’m sore anywhere I focus on working other body parts instead. My top priority is always core and abs!

Remember to drink plenty of water after a workout and fuel your body with the right nutrients: either snacks or a bigger meal depending on what time it is. My favourite snacks are nuts, apples, nectarines, carrots (with peanut butter hehe), porridge with fibre oats topped with berries.

I hope you guys enjoyed reading more in depths what I do for workout. Feel free to comment any questions down below if something’s unclear,

Take care and keeping working HARD!! Xoxo

Extensions- tips and tricks


Today's blogpost will be all about EXTENSIONS! I get tons and tons and tons of requests about this specific subject, on a weekly basis. So here we go:

Hi moa ❣ I just want to say that i fanatically read your blog whenever I find time , or while I stretch. I love it and you inspire me so much! Although those past weeks I am training a lot (at home, trying to strengthen and stretch) I feel like I dont progress… Do you have any tips, exercises to get those amazing extensions of yours? I would appreciate it so much if you reply when you have time ! Lots of love❣ 🌸💟

Hi! I've been following you for so long and I love your blog! I was wondering if you have any tips on extensions and hip flexibility/strength? Or if you could write a blog post on it 🙂

Hi Moa!❤️ I have a question for you… What is your secret for high extension?

Hey Moa!! I've been following you for so long but I've always wanted to ask, what are your best tips for extensions? Thanks in advance xo

Hello, how do you increase the range of your extensions? Btw, love you 😊

…..

(Thank you for all your sweet messages, it makes me truly happy to read)

Getting high(er) extensions is a matter of the balance between stretching and strengthening. You don't want to stretch too much as it can damage surrounding tissues or ligaments, or simply make you weaker. At the same time, if you work a lot with your muscles you need to combine it with stretching, to not end up getting stiffer as your muscles are increasing let alone decreasing the height of your extensions.

What mainly indicates your extensions is, for obvious reasons, the hip: moreover the iliopsoas. (Wikipedia=)

The iliopsoas (ilio-so-as) refers to the joined psoas and the iliacus muscles. The two muscles are separate in the abdomen, but usually merge in the thigh.

A typical iliopsoas stretch is in the lunge position, as I'm sure you're all familiar with. A good exercise to strengthen the muscles around your hips is to sit on the floor with both legs stretched in front of you, keep your back straight and core tight at all times. Don't let movements in the legs affect your back, your back stays strong. Always. What you should do is to lift each leg off the ground, as high as possible- remember to straighten the knees.- up, hold for a second, and down, up, hold, and down. You should do it not only turned out but also parallel, try to do between 10-20 per leg in sets of three. To increase this exercise and make it even harder: put weights on your ankles. The more you do it, the easier it will be and you'll be able to lift your leg even higher.

Other stretches are the famous splits; front and middle. When in front split, try to bend your back leg and grab your foot, press it down towards the thigh and you'll feel how it stretches along the front side of the leg. You can also do the front split but with the front leg in a 90 degree angle, then bend forward.

When in middle split, bend from side to side and try to aim to reach toes with the opposite arm. To get a better split you can lay on your back and open the legs towards the sides, to the floor. Add weights or ask a friend to gently press your legs down to the floor for an even better stretch.

Another great tip is to wear weights and do grand battements, front, side and even (more careful though) to the back. On the floor and standing up. I always do battements when warming up. It is a great way to warm up your hips, to stretch and to get your muscles and legs nicely warmed up and ready to do class. Do between 8-10 each leg and side, in sets of two or three.

My last tip for higher extensions is to do the well-known 'leg-in-the-hand' stretch. Simply, grab your foot with your hand and stretch your leg, try to bring it straight up and then let go, keep your leg for a little while and then slowly go down.

I hope this blogpost helped in some way or at least gave you tips or inspiration for future work. Remember: hard work beats talent if talent doesn't work hard! Although it is more than easy to get stuck with the one and only focus to achieve extensions higher than Svetlana's, keep in mind that, by all means, quality over quantity. Always. It's just as important that you know the exact correct posture and position for adagio & extensions in general as for how flexible you are. Think about HOW you do it.

Lastly, hard work will eventually give results. You won't see the difference in a day or two, it will come over time. In the meantime, be patient, always work hard, eat well, sleep well and enjoy what you're doing!

Eat, sleep, dance – repeat!

Take care,
Moa

Summer workout, how do I stay in shape? 


Okay so ummmm, don't we all wish we could just lay in the bed all day, doing nothing but eating, scrolling through Instagram while watching series- meanwhile you're body keeps getting stronger, more flexible and fitter than ever? For all I know, that's not how you stay in shape over summer. 

I can't even tell you have requested this blogpost has been. How do I stay in shape over summer? Or if you've been having a break off dancing until now and realise that you need to get in shape, where do you start? 

Firstly, my two top tips are- no matter what, try to always be generally active and drink plenty of water. Always. Being active as in; go for walks, run, bike, swim, play any sort of sport you like and so on. In addition to that, you obviously need to do strengthening exercises and stretch as well. Both are equally important. 

How long should an average workout be? An hour, at least. I would recommend to workout between 3-6 times a week, between 1-3 hours each time. Keep in mind that allowing your body to rest is just as important. It is all about balance, chilling in the sofa, eating candy is absolutely fine- but not all day everyday, right? 

I always start off my workouts and warm ups in general with using a foam roller, and roll through my whole body, inner/ outer part of my legs, calves, back etc. Then I do plank. Today I did 8 minutes in total, 2 in front, 2 right, 2 left and then 2 in front again. 

I usually continue with legs, some squats and lunges- front and side. Today, after this, I did a set of 50 crunches on the Pilates ball, back lifts and 10 push ups x3. This was followed by different core exercises. Then I spent a long time doing floorbarre on the Pilates ball- bridges,pliés, tendues etc. I also did turnout exercises, stretched split/ over split and finished off with loads of feet exercises (relevés and theraband). 

Today I worked out for almost 3 hours- time flies when you're having fun ;). An hour can be just as effective though and it is all a matter of balance, control and quality over quantity. 

I hope this gave you some ideas for your summer workouts and how to stay in shape. Don't hesitate to comment any question if something is unclear! 

Good luck 🍀💐

Combining dance & school, how do we do it?

Should I stretch or study? Study or stretch? Haven’t we all been there? If I stretch I won’t have time to prepare my shoes or finish the English essay.. but if I finish the essay will I have time to go through today’s corrections from class…? 

As you might have guessed by now, this post is about combining dance and academics, how do we do it?

My top tip is a classic one: be organised. Being organised will not only help you knowing what you have to do; when and where, but planning and organisation are keys to manage a busy schedule. Use your phone, notebook, computer or any other device you feel comfortable with, to write down dues, goals and to do lists. I suggest you keep everything in the same book, device or planner. So that in your calendar, for instance, you mark your exam dates for school as well as upcoming important events for dance. Doing it this way will help you anticipate your work and you’ll stay organised.

I personally prefer using my phone the most. In the app notes (where I’m writing this blogpost this exact moment 11.05pm 17/6) I write everythingggg. Especially during busier days filled with homework, meetings and ballet&dance stuff. I write what I have to do and structure it so I know what’s more important vs not so important.

Another thing I do in order to manage combining ballet and homework is to multitask. I LIVE for multitasking. I used to prepare pointe shoes while watching documentaries for school on my computer and stretch at the same time. Try to squeeze in as many things at the same time without loosing control. Easier said than done but keep in mind that quality always wins over quantity in most cases, be careful not to try and manage too many things at the same time.

Lastly, I want to bring up the fact that you need to remember that you’re only human. Although dancers are very inhuman most of the time, don’t get ahead of yourself. Relaxing is just as important as rest is and vice versa. It’s all about balance.

So as a summery: always stay organised. Try to write down everything you need to do. Know what to prioritise. Try to multitask but on a fair level, don’t overwork yourself or plan overconfidently. Be realistic. Stretch while watching TV, fix shoes when commuting to school or dance. Study during breaks. If you’re a night person, take an extra hour in the night for things you need to get done by that day, or as a morning person (me) wake up earlier to finish work.

Take care!! 

A visit to Old Delhi 

Spices. Richaws. Cows. Dogs. People. All squezzed up on narrow streets with way too many cables. What I am talking about is Old Delhi. 

My mom has joined this group of expats called 7 cities. Every Wednesday, they go on a tour, visiting different places in and outside Delhi, for sightseeing. Today Old Delhi was on the schedule and since I am here, I came along. 

We left our apartment a bit before eight. After driving for almost an hour, we got to the red fort parking lot, where we met with the others.

First out was walking along the sides of the red fort, which by the way were covered in marijuana plants, until we got to the richaws.

We shared a richaw in groups of four. Other stops during the tour were a mosque, crowded streets in Old Delhi, the spice market and we finished off with some Indian lunch (which mom and I had to rush from, to be in time for the appointment at the physio).

As you can tell by the photos above, Old Delhi was amazing. Though it was humid, around 40 degrees, loads and loads and loads of people it was really cool to experience the older part of Delhi. Almost as if we travelled a 100 years back in time. Just take a look at who that woman was ironing the clothes!

If ever visiting India and Delhi, going to Old Delhi is a must! To that end, only if you want to experience true Delhi 😉 

First ever pointe shoe class 

What can I say..? It’s every little ballerinas dream: to one day put on those magic shoes which will make you fly over the stage on only the top of your toes. What is the first pointe shoe class like? Does it hurt? How do you prepare a brand new pair of pointe shoes? For how long will they last? 

This blogpost will be all about pointe shoes with special focus on your first pointe class. To begin with, you need to have the right shoes. They should not be too wide, too narrow, too big or too small. It should feel as if a glove is holding your foot, giving it a gentle pressure without hurting. Unless your teacher is really strict and prevents you from wearing protection, which I think is rather rare nowadays, you should wear protection to reduce the pain. I use the ouch pouches from Bloch, I believe.

Dancing in pointe shoes may hurt; depending on what brand of shoes you are wearing, how used to it you are and the time you are dancing. For me, I did not have that much pain from using the Grishko ones but my Freed shoes always hurt a lot. Remember to try to keep your blisters as clean as possible, you don’t want any infections!

There are many different brand out there, Sansha, capezio, Grishko, Bloch, Russian pointe, gaynor minden and such. It is important that you’ve gotten professional help from people that really do know that the shoes chosen for you is a good pair. I got my pointe shoes when I was 10 and have been using Grishko 2007s the majority of my time on pointe. Though I’ve lately gone over to Freed II as they give my feet a nicer look.

Well, back to the first pointe class. I often get the question: What should I bring? To start with you should, unless your teacher says differently, be dressed just as you would be for a normal ballet class. Hair in a bun, tights, leotard, bring a water bottle and your soft shoes. It may only be a pointe class but bringing your soft shoes is always a good idea.

Before the actual class, make sure your shoes are nicely prepared and ready to use. Check with your teacher whether you should put wrist bands as well and what he/she would like the top of the shoes to look like. When at home, you want to make the fitting even better. After preparing them, start by stepping on the box before putting them on. This will soften them a bit. Another good thing to do is to put water on front on the sides of shoe. After that, put on socks to keep your feet warm. Start doing rélévées- parallel as well as turned out.

I can’t say any specific number of weeks/days that my pointe shoes last for. When dancing intensely in Freeds for example, they may only last a few classes while my Griskho shoes can be kept for a week or so. People that are not dancing that much and may only do it as a hobby might keep the same pair for months! It all depends on who you are.

This is pretty much it! The key things to keep track on is that the shoe is fitting your feet nicely. Always make sure you are completely warmed up before going en pointe and be careful that you always work through half pointe when dancing- this will prevent injuries as well as strengthen your feet. Additionally, to make the pointe work even better- keep doing foot exercises outside class. Rélévées in soft shoes, theraband exercises, flex/point, etc.

Good luck with your pointe shoes!! ❤