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Let’s Get Physical: Great Workouts For Dancers

Dancing within itself is a great workout but did you know there are several different genres of fitness that can actually HELP you improve as a dancer? That’s right! With all the different kinds of exercises that exist, there are specific ones that can really help you grow in so many different areas! So, in today’s post we are going to talk about various types of fitness training and exactly how each one can benefit you as a dancer! Now don’t get me wrong, the types of workouts that can be beneficial to a dancer are in no way limited to the ones that I have listed. However, these are just my personal favorites that I wanted to share with you all today. Plus, you can also find videos for all workout genres listed on YouTube for extra convenience! So without further ado, let’s jump right in!

Workouts For Increasing Stamina 
Having strong stamina is very important as a dancer as we always have various amounts of classes, performances, workshops, etc.., and you really want to be able to hang in there! So, if you find yourself getting worn out easily, you may want to try workouts that help you increase your stamina. Two great workout regimens that really aid in this area are cardio workouts and HIIT workouts! HIIT workouts or “High Intensity Interval Training” is a mixture of cardio and strengthening moves that, when combined, create a workout that raises and lowers your heart rate which enables you to burn calories, as well as tone. The increase and decrease of intensity within HITT workouts trains your body to really roll with the punches and handle anything that may be thrown its way. Classic cardio workouts, such as running on the treadmill, kickboxing or my personal favorite, jumping rope, are dependable ways to toughen up your stamina because it really teaches your body endurance against physically demanding conditions. An answer to prayer for any dancer!

Workouts For Increasing Strength
If you’re having trouble with moves such as holding your developpes at a higher level, strength training is the way to fix it! Two of my personal favorites are Pilates and weight training. Pilates, a dance industry favorite, is pretty much a hybrid of strength training and yoga. It combines classic workout favorites, such as pushups and planks, with yoga moves like “Downward Dog” and “Child’s Pose”. The best thing about Pilates is that there is something for everyone and you don’t have to be crazy advanced to do it and enjoy it! Just throw on your best workout outfit and have fun! Weight training is another excellent way of increasing body strength and can be done simply by adding weights to exercises like sits ups and squats to give your workout more resistance. This makes your muscles work harder and makes them stronger as a result! And don’t worry Ladies, weight training will not make you look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, I promise! If you’re new to weight training, start out with light weights, around 5 pounds or so, and work your way to heavier weights as you get stronger. Never start out with heavy weight too early and give yourself time to improve. Remember slow and steady wins the race….and keeps you in one piece.

Workouts For Increasing Flexibility
The number one workout that is always suggested for increasing flexibility is of course, yoga! One of my personal favorites, yoga has a great reputation that is very well deserved. Not only does it increase your flexibility with all its unique poses, but it is also relaxing, graceful and teaches you how to focus on your breathing rather than the stretch itself. This in return makes stretching far easier because your mind is focused in a more zen place. Now, as dancers, of course we already have a pretty good range of flexibility, but yoga is in a lane all its own because it’s different territory than what we’re used to. I mean, you start on the floor and before you know it, you’re a pretzel for crying out loud. So, if you’re a new “yogi”, make sure you start with a class or video that is very beginner and increase the difficulty level as you improve. So, what are you waiting for? Time to grab your mat and find your center! Namaste.

There you have it! Some awesome workouts that have benefited me in my dance career and I hope you found one or two that you feel can benefit you as well! Have fun, be safe and remember…

Keep dancing!
-Lexi

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