This page has a variety of total body workouts that focus on the different elements of fitness I believe are important for vintage dancers. These are: cardiovascular/muscular endurance, strength, power, speed, flexibility, balance, coordination, and agility. I will post links to workouts or provide my own short video recap of workouts to explain the fitness elements incorporated, how to do the movements correctly, and to explain why those movements are important to our dancing. Some workouts will require equipment, but many will not. And since so many dancers find themselves on the road more than they are at home, I will be sure to list many workouts that can be done anytime, anywhere.
Pilates is a method of exercise that consists of low-impact flexibility and muscular strength and endurance movements. Pilates emphasizes proper postural alignment, core strength and muscle balance. Pilates is named for its creator, Joseph Pilates, who developed the exercises in the 1920s.
A Pilates routine generally includes exercises that promote core strength and stability, muscle control and endurance, including exercises that stress proper posture and movement patterns and balanced flexibility and strength. Check out the following link for additional information: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/pilates-for-beginners/art-20047673
5 min warm up and core
Today’s Wednesday Workout is a short warm up routine that gets your heart rate up, engages your core, and stretches out some key muscles groups we use for dancing lindy hop.
New York City Ballet Workout | Volume 1
Today’s Wednesday Workout is brought to you by the New York City Ballet. Ballet is not only a beautiful art form but a technically challenging and athletically demanding dance. The New York City Ballet has posted their daily workouts so non-ballet dancers can also develop their own core strength, flexibility, and coordination similar to these dancers. This is one of my regular workouts, since I have not yet been able to fit ballet classes into my weekly schedule. Try it out! I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Footwork Agility and Plyometrics Workout
Work on your footwork and speed with this fun plyometrics/agility workout. Do each exercises for 30 second, take a one minute break and then repeat for 2-4 rounds.
Strength and Balance Workout
This workout focuses on improving strength and balance by targeting key muscle groups while incorporating balance stability work. After a warmup and stretch, do three rounds of 15 repetitions for each of the following exercises: calf-raises, biceps shoulder press, push-ups, one-legged deadlift, ab crunches, front-side lateral shoulder raises, and bicep/triceps curls. The workout ends with a good cool down that that you can use anytime after a dance or workout. Pick a weight that brings your muscles to fatigue/failure at the 12 and 15 reps mark. If you do this workout over a three - four week period, track the weights you use and increase the weight each week! You'll be amazed at your improvement! Video edit credit: Jennifer Lind
7 Min Burpee Challenge + 4 Sets of Wallsits
For reps: 7 minutes of burpees. You can modify this workout by just kicking out into a plank position (cut out the pushup) and coming back to standing (cut out the jump). After you complete the workout, take a three minute break, then complete 4 sets of either :30 sec or 1:00 wallsits with a corresponding time break in between each set. Be sure to warm up and cool down at the end with good stretching!
This workout hit so many things: speed work, strength, power, and balance! Balboa folks, these shoulder and balances exercises will also be great for you. If you have access to a gym/equipment, try it out! Here are the details:
50 double unders (or singles) 50 crunches or ab mat sit ups (not shown) 4 sets of 15-20 reps of single leg lunges (switch legs each set and different arm exercises: first set-bicep curls, second set-lateral shoulder raises, third set-overhead tricep extensions, fourth set-upright rows) 3 sets of 10-20 jumps overs (depending on your fitness level) 2 sets each of bosu ball lateral and back shoulder raises. If you want an extra burn—finish out the Crossfit Annie workout (40 double unders/singles, 40 sit-ups/crunches, 30 and 30, 20 and 20, 10 and 10). Happy Wednesday!
After a warm up—
Run four sets of :30 sprints followed by :30 of rest using the song Tempo and Swing. Then complete four sets of 5 push-ups, 10 crunches and 15 air squats!
POWER AND CORE - NO EQUIPMENT
This workout focuses on increasing your explosive power and core strength. After completing a basic warm-up and stretch, run one mile then complete three rounds of each of the following exercises: 10 decline pushups, 10 box jumps, 10 one-leg step-ups, 10 rainbow leg core pushes, one 10 second V-hold, and 10 toe touches. Then finish up with a mile run home! Enjoy
BASIC WARM UP ROUTINE
Here's a basic warm-up routine you can do before workouts or dance practices.
30 Minute Flow Yoga Practice | Yoga with Patrick Beach
Are you feeling sore from your workouts this week or stiff from holiday travels? Then try this 30 minute Fluid Yoga Class and follow up with 5-10 Wall Walks in the next video or on our Core Exercise page. You'll get a great workout by lengthening your body and strengthening your shoulders and core in one short session.
CORE AND ENDURANCE - NO EQUIPMENT
No equipment is needed for this workout that focuses on your core and endurance. After a short jog and basic warm-up sequence: Complete a 2 mile run at a medium pace, then complete 7 rounds of 7 V-ups and 15 air squats. Take a break and then complete three rounds of each of the following exercises: 10 push-ups, 10 triceps dips, 10 one-leg squats, and 10 back-extensions. Be sure to cool down and stretch after!
Core Exercise-Wall Walks
Wall Walks are a great core exercise to strengthen your shoulders, core, and wrists, and improves your balance when you are upside down.
Spell Your Name Workout
Here's a quick body weight workout you can do anytime, any place. Spell you name in exercises and see what a great workout you can get! I haven't posted a video on burpees yet, so if you need an exercise demo, go to Reebok Crossfit One's page here.
Power and Interval Runs - Requires Equipment
Warm up: 500m run, basic warm up, stretch glutes, hamstrings, calves, and shoulders Workout: (if you are new to working out, cut the number of reps and distance in half) 50 toe taps, 400m run, 40 sledge hammer swings, 200m run, 30 tire flips, 100m run, 20 ball slams or kettle bell swings, 50m run, 10 10-sec handstand holds or handstand pushups (HSPU)
Be sure to cool down and stretch after your workout. I would recommend doing the 20 min Tight Legs Yoga routine from Yoga By Candance the next day to loosen your body back up. This yoga video is posted right after this one, along with a new weekly workout schedule.
TUESDAY PM: 40 MINUTE INDOOR CYCLING CLASS
Spin Classes are indoor bike classes that incorporate low-impact, high-intensity cardio circuits on a "spin bike." Biking is a great cross-training tool and cardio alternative, because it strengths your legs, ankles, and tendons without the added strain from high-impact movements, and it also increases your cardiovascular output by increasing your heartrate in specified intervals. If you have access to a gym or a spin bike, give one of these workouts a try!
Here's another workout week from the beginning of my training season to use as an example and see how these workouts fit into a dance training schedule. Each week I aim for three total body workouts, 4-5 yoga sessions, 1-2 core specific workouts, and 1-2 rolling/mobility sessions in addition to my dance training. Hope that helps you design your own workout plan as well. The workouts on this list will be posted below.
WEEK ONE WORKOUT OVERVIEW
Here is a basic overview of one of my weekly workout and off-season dance schedules to give you a snapshot of how each of these fitness blocks come together. Each week, I incorporate dance training, mobility work, and total body exercises in my daily/weekly routines. The workouts shown below are organized by the way they are listed in this schedule.
This page has videos of specific exercises you can do to improve your movement in many of the popular aerials being done today. When I am learning a new aerial or feel particularly bad at one, I break down each element of what my body is doing from start to finish and turn it into a repeatable exercise that I can incorporate into my workout.
LEADERS EXERCISE - KETTLEBELL SWINGS
Kettlebell Swings are a common exercise found in most Crossfit workouts and online programs. This exercise teaches leaders and followers to activate their posterior chain of muscles, which has a direct correlation to basing for aerials.
FOLLOWERS EXERCISE - AERIAL LANDINGS
Box Jumps are a great way to practice landing from an aerial. This video explains the mechanics of a box jump and how to practice them in a workout or on their own.
LEADERS JUDO EXERCISE - SLEDGE SWINGS
Sledge Hammer Swings are a great way to practice the body position for a judo flip. You can purchase a sledge hammer at Home Depot or other hardware store. Tires you can find on Craig's list for free or very cheap. Here is a link to a slow-motion video of a judo: https://youtu.be/T4ozefIJfo8
FOLLOWERS EXERCISE - HOLLOW ROCKS
Hollow Rocks are a great core exercise for body control and position strength. These are a regular part of my core exercise routine.
LEADERS PANCAKE EXERCISE - TIRE FLIPS
Tire flips replicate the position of the beginning of pancake or flap jack aerial. Tires are really easy to find on Craig's list for free or super cheap. Definitely worth the investment.
FOLLOWERS EXERCISE - RAINBOW LEG LIFT
This is one of the exercises I used while preparing for Camp Hollywood 2017. In the floor rainbow, the follower is the base and the leader is the flyer. If you want to see this aerial in action, check out the Camp Hollywood 2017 NJC Open Strictly.
FOLLOWERS EXERCISE - V HOLD
This exercise is good for followers who want to work on their A-frame position strength.
Mobility & Flexibility
This page has video recaps of tools and methods to keep your body pain-free and moving the way you want it to move. This goes beyond yoga and stretching, although I still incorporate those into my daily fitness routine. This page will give dancers the tools they need to address joint and muscle issues before they become chronic injuries and will highlight the latest trends in mobility and flexibility throughout the fitness and dance communities.
Whether you just returned from a dance event, a workout, or need a midweek stretch routine to loosen up your body, this stretch sequence will leave you feeling refreshed and recharged! It was perfect for me after an amazing weekend at the California Balboa Classic! Give it a try!
UPPER BODY MOBILITY - FOAM ROLLER
This video focuses on increasing mobility in our upper body with a foam roller. Mobility in our upper back improves our body position and posture when we dance. It also decreases the chance of injury in our shoulders when we workout.
LOWER BACK PAIN - LACROSSE BALL
This video teaches you how to use a lacrosse ball to prevent lower back pain and increase hip and back mobility. The importance of the psoas muscle is addressed, as well as the impact this muscle has on our body and dancing.
FOAM ROLLING OVERVIEW AND QUADS
The video provides an overview of foam rolling - what is it and why it is important for dancers - and then focuses on how to roll out your quadrecepts.
SHOULDER MOBILITY - PVC PIPE
This video focuses on shoulder mobility and opening up the chest. Many dancers suffer from tight chest muscles and rounded shoulders. This mobility sequence, along with the correct shoulder exercises, can help remedy this problem.
HAMSTRING FLEXIBILITY - 26 MINUTE YOGA VIDEO
Tight hamstrings? Try this Yoga by Candance video to help address the muscle groups contributing to this tightness.
20 Min Yoga for Tight Legs
This yoga routine is a go-to video for me after a cross-training weight workout or a long day at a dance event. Definitely save this one to your favorites.
Pre-Run Warm Up Yoga Video - 20 Minute
This is a great pre-run, pre-dance 20 min yoga flow. I do this routine at least one a week.
20 Minute Yoga Video for Splits
This is one of the 20 minute yoga videos I do on a weekly basis. It's a great video for opening up your hips and lengthening your hamstrings.
This page has video recaps of core exercises and short workouts that will improve dancers' core strength, body awareness, and coordination. For me, everything comes down to this!
Mad Hat Core
This is a special Lindy Focus Edition core routine done to the song Hoodle Addle by my good friends the Mad Hat Hucksters.You can get this song and their album at themadhathucksters.bandcamp.com today! We have crunches, mountain climbers, pushups, planks, and more in this routine! You don't want to miss it!
This is a great core exercise to strengthen your shoulders and wrists, as well as improve your balance when you are upside down.
CORE ROUTINE 1
25 reps each: Hollow Body to Dead Bug, Rainbow Leg Lift, Plank Leg Lift Crunch, Chair Side Plank, V-lift, Crunch Ball, Superman/Banana
CORE ROUTINE 2
25 Reps Each: Bent Knee Crunch, Hollow X, Russian Twists, Side Plank Leg Lifts, and Windshield Wipers. This routine is great for the follower's position in a K-flip, swivels, and shoulder strength.
This is a great beginning core routine with two main exercises - the Alphabet Soup and weight crunches.
CORE EXERCISE - FLUTTER KICKS
Try this exercise for 50 or 100 reps.
V-UP SIT UPS
This is a short, how-to video on the V-Up. Try for 25 reps and work up to multiple sets of 25 reps.
The V-hold is a great exercises for your shoulders, hip flexors and core.
BASICS OF CRUNCHES AND SIT-UPS
This video provides a quick overview of the basic crunch and sit-up, as well as how to do crunches on a balance ball. Try to do 25 reps each and work up to multiple sets.
This page has video recaps of balance exercises, tips, and website suggestions of tools that can be incorporated into your daily routine and will improve your overall center of balance. Many of the moves and tools discussed here will also be used in the Total Body Workout section of workouts.
Here's some information and tips on how to put the balance ball to work for you and your training.
The balance disc is a great workout tool to help increase the difficulty level of your workouts and challenge you overall center of balance. I use it on a daily basis both in workouts and daily life.
Mental Health & Performance
The purpose of this page is to list articles, tools, and blog-type posts that will address many of the mental barriers that keep us from performing well, whether on or off the dance floor. This includes the mental challenges we face when recovering from an injury. I believe mental training and discipline are critical components of any dancer-athlete’s successful competitive dance career and should be treated with same level of respect and attention we give to the physical side of our dancing.
BRILLIANT THINGS HAPPEN IN CALM MINDS
Headspace is a digital service that provides guided meditation sessions and mindfulness training. As I committed to being more mindful and present in 2017, I saw the incredible impact meditation had on my dance and professional performance. With just 10 minutes a day, this program has taught me how to identify and release tension in my body, focus my mind on the present moment (and dance step), and to quiet the internal voices that keep me distracted and stressed.
Each day, the phone app delivers a new guided meditation based on teachings that Andy Puddicombe, Co-founder of Headspace, learned during the ten years he spent studying meditation and mindfulness in monasteries across Asia. The first series, Basics, is completely free and teaches the basics of meditation and mindfulness. After that, via subscription, Headspace offers hundreds of hours of original content tailored to the specific needs of each user. The app can be found online and downloaded to your phone. This, along with a 20 minute online yoga video, has become part of my morning routine that I do not like to go without.
OVERCOMING NEGATIVE SELF-TALK
Overcoming negative self-talk is critical to being a successful competitor and an emotionally healthy person. When we don't win or compete as well as we would like, we often find ourselves somewhere in this flow chart, beating ourselves up for being a "failure" and a "bad dancer." If we are not careful, this disappointment can lead to apathy toward improving our dancing and/or competing. Check out our blog post on The Dark Side of Competing: Overcoming Negative Self-Talk to learn more on how to break this negative emotional cycle.