Power Pilates teacher Taylor Sambola breaks down the moves to help you get powerful jumps (Photography throughout by Kelly Pratt)

How to Use Power Pilates to Get Powerful Jumps

As you may have learned firsthand from your shin splints and furniture run-ins, it's nearly impossible to replicate some aspects of your dance training in a small bedroom or on a concrete driveway. But all is not lost in your quarantined quest to perfect your grand allégro.

Pilates is one of the best low-impact cross-training tools for dancers, thanks to its combined focus on strength, alignment, and flexibility. Taylor Sambola, certified Power Pilates teacher and professional ballet dancer, breaks down four exercises to develop the muscle strength and coordination needed for explosive jumps, without aggravating your joints—or your downstairs neighbors.

Exercise 1: Side Series

Lie on your side with your hips and upper body stacked along the back edge of your mat, and your legs slightly in front of you. For added resistance, tie a TheraBand above the knees; just make sure the band isn't wrapped around any bony landmarks, but right above the knee cap.

Exercise 2: Footwork Series

Lie on your back with your legs in tabletop position, and your heels together in first position. Engaging your abdominals, raise your head high off the mat. Keep your arms hovering at your sides.

Exercise 3: Hamstring Curls

Lie on your stomach with your hands at the base of your head and your legs extended in line with your hips.

Exercise 4: Full Body Overhead

Lie on your back with your legs extended and arms outstretched overhead, keeping your shoulders down and back engaged. Raise your legs as you lower your arms to the mat.

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