Posted by Sep 15, 2018 in Blogson
Dance is one of the most fast-paced, demanding and dynamic activities your body can do– for this reason, dancers are world renowned for both their athletic prowess and their physical beauty. Dancing not only strengthens and tones your body, it transforms your posture and adds grace to even the most mundane of movements. Whether you are hitting the ballroom or your living room, there are simple exercises that you can do almost anywhere to gain the long, lean muscles needed for dance. Read on for Elite Dance Studio’s guide to strength training for dancers… Leg day edition!
Among dancers, ballet training is known to be among the most grueling– but the results are undeniable! Most people grow up knowing ballet dancers are the pinnacle of graceful strength, so why not follow their example? Ballet or ballet-inspired exercises and stretches are ideal for adding flexibility and strength to your lower half.
SQUATS & LUNGES
Squats and lunges have become popular across all kinds of popular fitness. It is for good reason! These exercises isolate and strengthen your quads, calves, hamstrings and glutes– basically your butt and legs, essential muscles for strong dancers. Another great feature is that they require no equipment, relying entirely on your body weight and proper posture. From your backyard to the office: try a set or two of squats and lunges anywhere!
This next exercise does require one thing besides a willing participant: a wall! Sit against a wall with your legs planted evenly at a 90-degree angle and you will feel the burn in no time. Wall-sits are a classic conditioning exercise for dancers, building both muscle strength and endurance. Like squats and lunges, these can be done almost anywhere and they support the lower trunk of your body.
LEG LIFTS & RAISES
Staying with the theme, other popular exercises among dancers are leg lifts and raises. Leg lifts can be done lying on your back by raising each leg, making sure to keep it straight while tightening your abdominal muscles. Leg or calf raises can be done on a stair, low bench, curb… Anywhere really! Simply stand with your heels hanging over the edge and stand up on your tiptoes, keeping your back, legs and core in a straight line. As with all of the above, a dancer’s posture– head up, shoulders back– will add to the impact of the exercise.
All dancers train their core (abdominal muscles), but it may be hard for the layman to understand how that helps your legs. Strength should originate from your core, as it will add power and explosiveness to any motion. A well-trained athlete knows that strong abdominals will lengthen your entire body and allow your legs to become more toned, among other benefits.
The outline above is just a starting point for anyone seeking to pursue strength training for dancers, whether they want to dance professionally or not. Elite Dance Studios caters to students of all skill levels, focusing on the fundamentals of building a dancer’s body– and the joy of dance most of all! Contact or visit us today for more information.