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The Complete Guide To Callanetics Exercises And Why You Should Try It

Callanetics exercises are the brainchild of Callan Pinckney, a former ballerina. Pinckney danced around the globe for a number of years, before she returned to the U.S. in a wheelchair. She was suffering from back and knee problems. To cure herself so that she could make her comeback as a ballerina, Pinckney experimented with different workouts. She devised a way of using swift and precise movements that cured her physical problems.

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Soon, she started instructing others and also wrote a book titled, “Ten Years Younger in Ten Hours,” which released in 1986. The book became a massive hit! A lesser known fact is that Madonna is one of Callan Pinckney’s biggest fans, and incorporates Callanetics in her routine.

Suggested read: 10 best anti-aging exercises for a younger looking you

Exercise philosophy

Callanetic exercises are a relatively low impact workout program, which teach you to move slowly, yet precisely, so that all your muscles get into the groove. The moves are pretty simple; however, they are only effective in strengthening your muscles and toning your body. These exercises are extremely appealing since you do not need any special equipment; they increase body strength, flexibility, body alignment, and most importantly, body balance, that too without being too strenuous!


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Today, there a number of Callanetic exercise DVDs that you can order online. The original, however, teaches those workouts that Callan devised to heal her ailments and later for her students’ benefit. It, too, is called the “Callanetics: 10 Years Younger in 10 Hours.” She also released three other DVDs, which focused on specific parts of the body, namely, the legs, the abs, the hips, and the posterior. The latest of the Callanetic exercise DVDs are, “The Callanetics Evolution” and “Cardio Callanetics.” The evolution video deals with three diverse kinds of muscle pulsing, and also stresses on unique body alignment principles. Cardio Callanetics, on the other hand, is more energizing as it mixes ballet with yoga. It is a non-conventional approach to aerobics. Though initially, Callanetics did not focus on weight loss, it is now compatible with the intentions of shaping one’s body.

Appeal of Callanetics

As we already told you, pop star Madonna, among a number of others, is a fervent fan of Callanetics. The story of how it was invented by Pinckney, rings true for many people. Since it is a low impact workout plan, one can implement it right away. One does not even need equipment. It integrates a meditative component into the regime, which appeals to those who are looking for an exercise program that will not only calm their body but also their mind.


Most exercises and fitness regimes only focus on diet. Unlike these, in performing the Callanetics exercises, there are not any supplements that one can take. These workouts are comparatively simpler and also, safe to perform without guidance. There are no scientific studies to show that Callanetic exercises can actually help one reshape their body or even lose weight. We would suggest that before you embark on any fitness program, you consult a physician.

Here are 8 Callanetics exercises that you must try.

1. Pulsed crunches

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As one of the most effective Callanetics exercises, the pulsed crunches target the muscles in one’s stomach and abdominal region. To perform these, you need to begin by lying down on the floor so that you face the ceiling. Make certain your feet are well-grounded and hip-width apart. Now raise the knees. Placing your hands at your sides, with your palms down, slowly raise your head and your torso. While you lift them, ensure that your palms are firm on the ground, and so are your feet. Once you bend forward, stretching yourself to the maximum, hold the posture for two minutes. Now slowly revert to the initial position.

This was one rep. Perform 10 of these.

2. Plank

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If you are waiting for the perfect workout that will help you work on your core improving its strength, and also the endurance in your back region and abs, I am happy to inform you that your wait is finally over!

To begin the plank, get down on your fours. Now, slowly straighten and stretch your left leg backwards. Try to lift the knees off the ground. Then, lowering your body down on your forearms, pull in the abdominal muscles towards your spinal cord. You have to make sure that your back is straight when you perform this exercise, because the posture really matters. Your body should look like a straight line, from your heels to your head. Once in this posture, hold it for a minute or two. Repeat with the right leg.

This was one rep. Perform 10 for each side.

Suggested read: 10 awesome hip exercises that will help you tone up quickly

3. Double straight leg lower

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Double straight leg lower is the best Callanetic exercise when it comes to toning the abs. To perform this, start by lying on your back. Now, slowly bring the knees to your chest. Then, stretch your left leg in the direction of the ceiling. Next, extend the arms sideways. Make sure your palms are firmly placed on the floor. Also, the lower back must be aligned to the floor. Try to keep your neck and shoulder relaxed. We don’t want to strain them. Next, inhale while lowering your legs to the floor, without raising your lower back. Slowly exhale, and bring both the legs upwards. Straighten them.

This was one rep. Perform 12 of these.

4. Downward dog 

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The downward dog is a fantastic exercise to stretch the back, your hamstrings, and your shoulders. It also helps open up your chest by broadening them, and hence strengthens the torso and the core.

To perform the downward dog, get on all your fours first. Keep your knees a little more than hip-width apart. Place your palms on the floor shoulder-width apart. Now inhale slowly and curl your toes under the heels. Next, exhale and extend the hips upwards. Pushing your body backwards, straighten your arms and your legs. Your body should look like an inverted V figurine.

Next, spread the fingers and push your chest downwards. Make sure your tailbone points upwards while your lower heels are downwards. Hanging your head in this posture, breathe for half a minute.

This was one rep. Perform 15 of these.

5. Inclined push-ups

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The inclined push-ups are a multi-purpose workout. It works on various body parts like the arms, the chest, and the abdominal region.

You will need a mat and an exercise ball for the inclined push-ups.

To begin, kneel on your mat. Now face a low object, an exercise ball being the safest. Keep both your palms on the exercise ball. Keep your hands a little less than shoulder-width apart. Next, lean toward the ball from your hip. Shift the weight of your body on your toes. Make sure that your back is flat, forming a straight line from your heels to your head. Breathe in and try to pull your abs in the direction of your spinal cord. Now lower the body by bending your arms. Keep bending the arms until the elbows form a right angle. Exhale and slowly revert to the initial position, straightening your arms. Make certain that you do not lock your elbows because that can be risky.

After one rep, perform 10 more.

6. Extended-arm sit-ups

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Your back, the thigh area, and your leg muscles are in for a hell of a workout, my friend! Start by lying down on the floor; you should be facing the ceiling. Stretch your legs in front of you. Now curl up your body by stretching the hands till your feet. Next, try touching your knee with the forehead. Stretch only to the point that you comfortably can. Make sure you do not strain your body. Hold that posture for 2 minutes. Now revert to your original position slowly.

This was one rep. Try and perform 15 of these reps.

7. Bicycle twists

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The bicycle twists are effective on your knees, your back, and also your spine. Lie down on your mat. Keep the knees bent and shoulder-length apart. Your shins must form a right angle with the ground. Placing both your palms behind your head, keep your elbows outward, sideways. Next, slowly raise the upper body, twisting to a side. This will bring your elbow closer to your knee that is outside. Make sure the other leg is at a 45 degree angle with the ground. Hold that posture for 5 seconds or more, if you can. Now, slowly bring your legs back to the starting position. Twist your upper body in the other direction, that is, reverse. Repeat the same move with the other leg.

This was one rep. Perform 12 of these.

Suggested read: 12 life-changing Kegel exercises that will make your vajayjay happy

8. Inner thigh tightener

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No points for guessing, this exercise aids you to tighten your inner thigh muscles!

You will need a mat and an exercise ball for this exercise.

Start by sitting down on the mat and placing the exercise ball in front of you. Keep both your knees slightly bent. Now press the arches of your feet into the wing ends of your exercise ball. Make certain that your spine is relaxed and not strained. Now squeeze your feet against the exercise ball. Counting till 20, keep pressing harder. Once you reach 20, relax your legs.

This was one rep. Perform five of these.

The Callanetics exercises are simple and can be done at any time of the day, though they are most effective when you perform them on an empty stomach. They are sure to reap great benefits. But for that, you must be consistent.

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Article Name
The Complete Guide To Callanetics Exercises And The Best Ones To Try
Callanetics exercises are a relatively low impact workout program that help increase flexibility, body strength, body alignment, and body balance.
Riya Roy

Riya Roy

“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster.” This Isaac Asimov line, embraces my love for writing in the finest and most desperate way that it is and should be! I was tormented by the earnestness of the written word not very early in my journey. But once smitten, it has helped me devour life twice over; savoring the moment and indulging in its memories. As a flâneuse, I wander to understand the intricacies of human relationships. Realizing that, they are just different manifestations of the same feeling of love, has been my greatest learning. I seek to share its opulence through the words I type.