When thinking of a dancer’s body the majority of people think about them being long, lean and toned. Dancers are also flexible, strong and have good posture. You would think that to have a dancer’s body you would need to do some form of dance, this is not necessarily true, you can get the same results from doing other forms of exercise.

What you want to do is concentrate on exercises that are going to increase your strength, flexibility, balance and also improve your posture. The exercises below are going to help you get that dancer’s body.

So without delay, we have provided the workout first and extra info and videos for each exercise and the stretches at the bottom.

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Warm Up

3-5 mins: walking, jumping-rope, high knees, jogging on the spot etc.

Cardio

30-60 mins: dance aerobics, zumba, swimming, running, jogging, cross trainer – the choice is yours.

Exercises

Rest 60-90 seconds between each set/exercise.

Reverse Lunges: 15 reps each leg 2 sets Plié Squats: 20 reps 3 sets Curtsy Squats: 20 reps each leg 3 sets 1 Leg Shoulder Bridge: 20 reps each leg 3 sets Triceps Push Ups: 10 reps 2 sets Downward Dog Push Ups: 10 reps 2 sets Superman: 12 reps 1 Leg Circles: 10 circles each leg (5 each direction) 2 sets Criss Cross: 20 reps (2 elbows to knees counts as 1 rep)

Cool Down

5-8 mins walking, rowing machine, cross trainer etc

Stretches

For lengthening muscles and improving flexibility perform a stretch for each of the muscle groups used.

Hold each stretch for 20 secs. Increase flexibility by holding for 20 secs then increasing the stretch a little further and hold for another 10 secs.

Exercise Disclaimer

In the interest of your safety, it is important to check with your physician before beginning any exercise program and to exercise according to your fitness level and capabilities. If you have any questions, please seek the guidance of a health professional.

Now, for more details on the various parts of the workout and videos on how to do the exercises see below.

Warm Up

Before you start make sure you’ve done a 3 – 5 minute warm up – jogging on the spot, jump-rope, high knees etc. We’ve talked about how important it is to warm-up, so get that blood pumping.

Cardio

Dancers are very active and require a high level of stamina. The cardio aspect of this workout will help you work on increasing your stamina as well as lose body fat – revealing those lean toned limbs that you will be working on in the next part of the workout. To get the most of your cardio in a shorter amount of time try high intensity interval training.

Exercises

Rest 60-90 seconds between each set/exercise.

If you find completing the amount of reps difficult for any of the exercises reduce the number of reps and add a rep each time you do the workout until you reach the specified number. You could also do drop sets, e.g. first set 20 reps, second set 15 reps, third set 10 reps. If it’s too easy add weights.

Reverse Lunges

Plié Squats

Curtsy Squats

Able to add another move? Take the curtsy squat to the next level by adding in a développé.

1 Leg Shoulder Bridge

Not challenging enough? Try rising up onto your toes.

Triceps Push Up

Downward Dog Push Ups

Superman

1 Leg Circles

Criss Cross

Cool Down and Stretching

Time to transition down to a lower intensity and gradually lower your heart rate back down to near resting.

Stretches

Stretching is considered part of the cool down process and will improve your flexibility and help lengthen the muscles (think long and lean limbs). It is an important part of a dancer’s workout and should always be performed after any workout. All stretches should be held for approx 20 seconds. If you want to increase your flexibility hold the stretch for 20 seconds and then, once the tension has eased, slowly increase the stretch a little further and hold for another 10 seconds – this is known as a developmental stretch.

Calf Stretch

Quad Stretch

Hip Flexor Stretch

Adductor Stretch

Abductor Stretch

If you don’t want to hear the explanation of the abductors (may be of interest for dancers, runners or others who are having issues in this area) you can skip to 2:00 to see the stretch.

Back Stretch

Glute Stretch

Hamstring Stretch

You may already have your own variation of stretches, so perform the ones you prefer for the relevant body part, remember to do any standing stretches before sitting stretches and sitting stretches before lying stretches. This is so you are not constantly jumping up and down from one position to another raising your heart rate all over again, instead of winding down and relaxing.

Most importantly, have fun!

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  • Macarena

    Thank you for de workout! I’m a dancer and i did this on my holidays and it really worked!!!

  • Cassandra

    How often should this be done? Every day? Every other day?

    • We’d aim to do it every other day, with high-intensity (e.g. hill sprints) or low-intensity cardio (e.g. jogging) on the alternate days, and importantly, remember your rest and recovery days too!

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