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.
And if you want to print this workout out:
Now, for more details on the various parts of the workout and videos on how to do the exercises see below.
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.
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.
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.
Able to add another move? Take the curtsy squat to the next level by adding in a développé.
Not challenging enough? Try rising up onto your toes.
Cool Down and Stretching
Time to transition down to a lower intensity and gradually lower your heart rate back down to near resting.
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.
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.
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!