Posted by on Oct 9, 2017 in Blogs

strengthening exercises to help your ballroom dance arms

You dance with your whole body – not just your legs, yet many dancers forget to work on building muscle and toning their arms. Why do dancers need strong arms? You not only need them to perform lifts or other difficult choreography, but strong arms will also help prevent injury and improve your posture through scapular stability. Now that you know why you need strong arms, let’s move onto how you can get them! Join Elite as we highlight some popular exercises that will help you strengthen and sculpt your arms.

Remember to always work at your own pace and adjust exercises as necessary to accommodate for any previous injuries.


Push-ups are a great exercise because they activate almost every muscle in your body – especially your shoulders, chest, biceps and triceps. Push-ups are hard, so don’t worry if you aren’t able to do full ones right away. There are a ton of great variations that will accommodate every skill level! A few of these variations are highlighted below:

  • Standing Push-up With Elastic Resistance. Attach an elastic band to the wall and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Wrap the ends of the band around your hands and push your arms forward as if you were performing a push-up on the ground. Make sure to keep your hands in line with your shoulders.
  • Standing Push-up Against a Wall. Standing an arm’s length away from a wall, place your hands flat against the wall. Press your body into the wall, replicating the push-up motion. To increase the intensity, try placing your arms lower on the wall or place your legs farther back.

Tricep Exercises

Your triceps are located on the back of your upper arm and, unfortunately, are a muscle group that is usually not worked enough. Here are a couple tricep exercises for you to try:

  • Tricep Dips. Place your hands shoulder-width apart on a secured surface behind you. Extend your legs out in front of you and slowly bend your elbows until your elbows are at about a 90 degree angle. Return to starting position to complete one rep. Make sure your back stays close to the bench (this prevents injuries)!
  • Overhead Tricep Press. Grab a weight (5-8 lbs is a good place to start) and hold it vertically above your head. Slowly drop your arms behind your head, keeping your elbows close to your ears. Return to starting position to complete one rep. Be sure to keep your abs tight and your shoulders relaxed and away from your ears.
  • Tricep Kickbacks. Grab a set of hand weights and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hinge your body forward on a diagonal and lift your elbows behind you at 90 degrees. Extend your hands backward to straighten your arms. Return to starting position to complete one rep.

The Butterfly

The butterfly exercise works to strengthen and lengthen your bicep muscles. Doing this exercise will help create striated muscle definition in your upper body. To complete this exercise, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and extend your arms out to either side at shoulder height with your fingers spread out. Pump your arms forward for 60 seconds and then downward for 60 seconds. If you’re ready for an extra challenge, try holding some light weights while you do these movements.

Bring your new found strength to a dance class! Elite offers a variety of private and group classes for beginner to experienced adults.