Millie Mackintosh Reveals Her Ballet Barre Workout From Her New Book…

Millie Mackintosh has worked with top stylists, fitness trainers and foodies (like her BFF Madeline Shaw). And now the former MIC star is  revealing all her industry secrets in her hotly anticipated new book ‘MADE’, out today [interestingly on her and her husband’s second wedding anniversary and also the same day as he brings out his autobiography ‘Lucky’].

“I’ve made the advice accessible for everyone,” Millie tells LOOK. “I wanted to share what I’ve learnt over the years with other girls – from the perfect date outfit to working out at home.”

“Ballet barre is a combination of ballet and Pilates,” Millie says. “After six months of doing these classes I noticed that my bum had lifted. It’s improved my co-ordination, posture and flexibility too.”

Here’s three at-home exercises [you can use the back of a chair as a barre], devised by Paola Di Lanzo of Paola’s BodyBarre you can try yourself…

1. PBB Dancer’s Stretch

This full-body stretch is a great way of opening the hips and shoulders and is a useful one to do in between any exercise that uses the quads, such as the plie. It also strengthens the spine and releases tension in the ankle and foot, helping to prevent injury.

#1

Stand square on to – and a full arm’s distance away from – the barre/chair back. With your right hand resting on the barre/chair, bend your left leg back and hold onto the inside of your foot with your left hand.

#2

Inhale then exhale as you extend the left side of your body, sending your left foot up towards the ceiling. Make sure that you are pushing your foot into your hand. Extend the back of your neck as you gaze forwards. Hold the pose for 10–20 seconds.

#3

Repeat on the other side.

#4

To improve your balance, try the exercise with your right arm extended in front of you rather than resting on the barre/chair back, then repeat on the other side with your left arm extended in front of you.

Millie Mackintosh workout Millie Mackintosh: PBB Dancer’s Stretch

 

2. PBB Attitude Lifts Devant

This exercise works on the inner thighs and hips.

#1

Standing side on to the barre/chair back and with your right hand resting softly on it, place your feet in first position (heels together and feet turned out) and raise your heels off the floor to demi pointe (the balls of your feet).

#2

Raise your left arm in fifth position (above your head and with your hand curving in).

Millie Mackintosh workout Millie Mackintosh: 1. PBB Attitude Lifts Devant

 

#3

Keeping your right leg long and lengthened and pulling your knees up to stabilise you, slide your left foot forward, toes pointed, and lift into‘attitude’position. Your lifted leg should be well turned out and bent at around 90 degrees. Your free arm should be lowered to second position (stretched out level with your shoulder and hand).

#4

Tap the toes of your left foot back down to the starting position, then repeat the exercise 15–20 times, ending with 15–20 upward pulses. Make sure you keep the knee of your lifted leg turned out at all times.

Millie Mackintosh workout Millie Mackintosh: 2. PBB Attitude Lifts Devant

 

#5

Repeat on the other side.

3. PBB Grand Plié In Second Position On Demi Pointe…

This exercise – stretching from a deep knee bend (grand plie) on the balls of your feet (demi pointe) – is good for toning your thighs, glutes and calves.

#1

Standing side on to the barre/chair back and with your right hand placed lightly on it, step out into second position (feet more than a shoulder width apart), raising your heels off the floor to demi pointe (the balls of your feet). Be sure to keep your feet and knees turned out, each knee tracking the big toe.

#2

Place your left arm in first position (at thigh level with your hand curving in).

Millie Mackintosh workout Millie Mackintosh: 1. PBB Grand Plie In Second Position On Demi Pointe

 

#3

Bend your knees so your thighs are parallel, or almost parallel, with the floor and keep your pelvis in neutral (without tipping it up or down).

#4

As you rise up, straightening your legs, draw your inner thighs in, pull your knees up and squeeze your glutes. Your free arm should rise to fifth position (above your head with your hand curving in) as you lift, and lower back down to first position as you bend your knees again.

#5

Repeat 15–20 times, finishing with 20 small, downward pulses.

Millie Mackintosh workout Millie Mackintosh: 2. PBB Grand Plie In Second Position On Demi Pointe

 

#6

Repeat on the other side.

#7

As an optional extra to work the shoulders and biceps, repeat the exercise on each side holding a 1–1.5kg weight in your free hand.

By Emma Firth

MADE: A  book of style, food and fitness by Millie Mackintosh is published by Ebury Press, £16.99. Photography by Dan Kennedy.