The Best of Boutique Fitness

If you're looking to get in shape for spring, look no further: We've rounded up — and tested out — the best boutique workouts around. These are the classes you need to try right now.

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April 13, 2012 11:30 AM
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Courtesy of Ballet Beautiful

Ballet Beautiful

What is Ballet Beautiful? A system of exercises and stretches developed by Mary Helen Bowers that's meant to sculpt, tone, and strengthen the body, as well as increase flexibility. "I think that every woman has the ability to transform her body," Bowers says. "What I do with Ballet Beautiful is make the body really long and lean — it's a lot of strengthening through your center and core and your back and upper body for beautiful posture." The classes incorporate both standing routines and mat work on the floor.

What does it do? Bowers says that in just a matter of weeks, students  start to see a change — they'll walk differently, feel more lifted, stand up straighter, and feel tighter. The exercises are tiny and very targeted while still bringing up the heart rate, which helps to achieve the sculpted look.

How does it feel? While you're in class, it burns like crazy — you'll feel muscles working that you've never used before, especially through the glutes, hips, outer thighs, and deep through the abs.

How can you get the workout at home? Simple! Bowers regularly live-streams the classes she holds in her NYC studio on balletbeautiful.com, and has a series of DVDs as well. When it comes to her most important principles, Bowers explains that stretching is extremely important, and when it comes to posture, keep your back long, your shoulders back, and pull in through your stomach.

For more information and to live-stream classes, visit www.balletbeautiful.com.