Generosa in Susan Stroman's TAKE FIVE…More or Less. Photo by Lindsay Thomas, Courtesy PNB.

Steal Angelica Generosa's Workout Secrets, Plus Her Favorite Music for Ab Work

Pacific Northwest Ballet soloist Angelia Generosa uses cross-training to tackle the company's varied repertoire.

Cross-training philosophy: Pacific Northwest Ballet soloist Angelica Generosa kicked up her workout regimen a few seasons ago when she was first dancing "Rubies," along with a lot of contemporary rep. "I realized that I couldn't afford to get hurt," she says. "I had to take time to take care of my muscles, so they could recuperate and feel good for whatever PNB asked me to do." Now in her seventh season, Generosa acknowledges that just stretching before class isn't enough. "Maintenance is really important. Know what you need before and after class."

At the gym: She starts any workout (or busy day at the studio) with a 10-minute elliptical or bike warm-up. Generosa developed tendonitis in her left knee a few years ago, so this prepares the joint for more strenuous activity. Then, she'll do 20 to 45 minutes of cardio on the treadmill or elliptical; upper-body work, like arm circles while holding 10-pound free weights; ab exercises; and stretching, especially her quads after running.


Easing into the day: During the season, she arrives at least 30 minutes before class to stretch, roll out and warm up her knee. Back-strengthening exercises, like five slow reps of the cobra pose, keep a previous sacroiliac joint injury in check. She also lies with her back flat against the ground and both legs in tabletop, and lightly taps one foot at a time to the ground for 15 to 20 sets. "It activates my core, so I won't be wonky and maybe hurt myself."

Heating things up: During her off season, Generosa stays active with gym visits and hour-long sessions at CorePower Yoga three times a week. The heated class mixes flowing yoga sequences with abdominal work. "It helps me stay limber and definitely gets the blood pumping," she says. "I also like sweating it all out."

Backstage during The Nutcracker. Photo by Lindsay Thomas, Courtesy PNB.

Pre-class playlist: "I'm into Imagine Dragons right now," says Generosa, who uses their music as a soundtrack for ab work. Beyoncé is another top choice.

Juicy stretch: Generosa's favorite yoga pose is reverse warrior. "It feels great on your sides, your back and also your arms. And that low lunge feels really good."

What Fuels Her

Thinkstock

Breakfast: toast with avocado and a scrambled egg on top

Snack: PNB's lunch break isn't until 2 pm, so Generosa brings a banana, a chocolate chip Clif Bar and trail mix.

Lunch: She'll eat leftovers or grab something from the nearby grocery. "I like to make my own salad, or sometimes they have mini meals, like a fruit and hummus plate or a protein bowl."

Dinner: Generosa usually cooks. Homemade veggie pasta with cheese and extra vegetables is a recent favorite. If it's a performance day, she'll have something heavier, like steak and fries.

Latest Posts


Paul Kolnik, Courtesy NYCB

NYCB's Maria Kowroski Reflects on the Challenges, Joys and Mysteries of Balanchine’s "Mozartiana"

The first time I was called to learn Mozartiana, I didn't think I would actually get to do it. It's a coveted ballerina role in the company, and I was still early in my career. But I got to dance it once or twice, and then not again for many years. The ballet isn't in our repertoire that often, so each time we've performed it I've been at a different level as a person and as an artist.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

Ask Amy: How Can I Overcome My Fear of Pirouettes on Pointe?

I have a terrible fear of falling when doing turns on pointe. I sometimes cry in class when we have to do new turns that I'm not used to. I can only do bad singles on a good day, while some of my classmates are doing doubles and triples. How can I get over this fear? —Gaby

Keep reading SHOW LESS
xmb photography, Courtesy The Washington Ballet

The Washington Ballet's Sarah Steele on Her At-Home Workouts

Ballet at home: Since she's not preparing for any immediate performances, Steele takes ballet barre three to four times a week. "I'm working in more of a maintenance mode," she says, prioritizing her ankles and the intrinsic muscles in her feet. "If you don't work those muscles, they disappear really quickly. I've been focusing on a baseline level of ballet muscle memory."

What she's always working on: Strengthening her glute-hamstring connection (the "under-butt" area), which provides stability for actions like repetitive relevés and power for jumps. Bridges are her go-to move for conditioning those muscles. "Those 'basic food group'–type exercises are some of the best ones," she says.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks