As a dancer and dance teacher, I often get asked what type of exercises do I work on to keep my body fit, lengthened and strengthened. If you’re looking to tailor your workout goals to a “dancer’s body”, check out this quick workout and some dance-minded tips that will help you get there!
Here is a 20 min morning workout to get you feeling strong and lean. All you need is a yoga mat and a Theraband. Feel free to modify repetitions as necessary.
- Plank: 1 minute
- Crunches (25 reps)
- Straight Leg Reverse Crunches (25 reps)
- Accordion Crunches (25 reps)
- Cobra Pose: 15 seconds
*Perform this sequence 2 times.
- Side Plank: 30 seconds on each side
- Theraband Reverse Crunch: 25 reps
Wrap the middle of your theraband around both your feet and grab the ends of the excess in both of your hands between your legs. Lay your back on the ground and lift your head and as much of your shoulders as possible (crunch position with your upper body). Your legs should be completely parallel. Straighten your legs while holding onto the theraband and then bend them into your chest again.
- Theraband Leg Lifts: 10 reps
Keep middle of theraband around the bottoms of your feet still keeping your legs parallel and as close to 90 degrees as possible. Point your toes while still keeping your toes flexed so you maintain control of the theraband. You may keep your back and head rested on the mat. While holding the edges of the theraband at your abdominals, lower both your legs as low as possible while maintaining the parallel position of your legs.
- Sun Salutations: 10 times
- Downward Dog Pose: hold for at least 10 breaths
- When choosing exercises to add to your workout routine, keep in mind the lengthen and strengthen rule. Disciplines such as Pilates, Yoga, and Theraband exercises are the easiest way to be sure you are sticking to exercises that will build long, lean muscle and avoid building bulk.
- Be sure to get an adequate amount of cardio in. Be careful with using machines at the gym and stay away from building bulk by doing more reps with less weight rather than smaller reps with heavy weights. For cardio, begin by alternating short, high-intensity bursts of sprinting with light jogging.
Adding these exercises to your routine will help you gain lean muscle, flexibility, endurance, energy and put you in a positive mood! I wish you success in your dance fitness adventures. Don’t let fears or insecurities stop you from getting into your groove and showing the world what you’ve got. Stay tuned for my next blog post on how you can choose the right dance class just for you.
And remember: it’s all in good fun and good health!
Nina Chong is a professional dancer, choreographer, and dance teacher born and raised in New York City. Her dance experience spans to several forms of dance including flamenco, tap, jazz, and hip-hop. Nina trained seriously as a ballet dancer and scholarship recipient at both Ballet Hispanico and The Joffrey Ballet School New York, and has recently returned from 5 months in Israel spent with Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company. She is currently dancing and teaching private dance classes around New York and is available for both dance fitness and serious ballet training sessions. She has her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance Performance from Belhaven University, and is currently a company dancer with DalioArts and a Guest Artist with Rennie Harris Puremovement.
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