5 Simple Workouts Dancers Should Do Every Day
Workout #1: Yoga / Stretching
Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility, and breathing to boost physical and mental well-being. There's no doubt that strength and flexibility are crucial to improve one's dancing. Therefore yoga is at the top of the list for a dancer's daily or weekly workout. However, if you're not totally ready to jump into yoga yet, just start stretching! A 30-minute stretch session each day, with each stretch lasting a minute to 90-seconds, will tremendously help your flexibility. Stretching will help your muscle groups to expand, and will also improve your endurance - all things that will make you a better dancer! Once you've added yoga or stretching to your workout routine, you will notice that your jumps, landing, and steps all look smoother. You will also be able to twist and contort your body more and more as you continue to stretch daily. But it's important to be consistent to avoid muscle cramps, and also to avoid over-stretching: if it hurts, ease up.
Workout #2: Cardio
When dancing, especially energetic styles of dance (I'm lookin' at you, Jive), you need stamina to get through a choreography. Cardio can also help you feel lighter when dancing, as you learn to regulate your breathing even when moving at a fast pace with a lot of force. Getting your daily run or jog in, whether outside or on a treadmill, is a great addition to any workout routine for dancers.
Workout #3: Squats and Lunges
Squats are another great workout to improve your strength while dancing. This workout will allow dancers to strengthen their thighs, legs, and gluts. Squats and lunges don’t just increase strength, but also flexibility and balance. These exercises help dancers jump higher and have stronger landings, due to increased strength in the quads. A good tip is to start with your body weight, then slowly add weights.
Workout #4: Sit ups and Crunches
Again, strength is important for dancers, especially core strength ("Use your core!" -- every dance teacher ever). A strong core keeps everything connected and balanced, and improves posture. Sit-ups and crunches are the best and easiest way to work out the core area. These exercises also help strengthen your hips and arms — your entire body benefits from sit-ups and crunches, since strong abdominal muscles also help keep your spine in place.
Workout #5: Plank (static or active)
Planking is one of the best exercises for dancers because it works almost every muscle in the body. When you’re standing on your hands or elbows in a push-up position, your abdominal and back muscles are doing major work to keep your hips from dropping. There are also surrounding group muscles, such as the quads, chest, and glut muscles, that help this process as well. There are different types of planks that you can try such as the side to side plank, the side plank with hip drops, the bridge plank, the straight plank, mountain climbers, and the side plank with reach.