Each day, a dancer must strengthen his or her body. Every odd day is the time to work on upper body, and every even day
is the time to work on lower body. This is the routine I try to do every day. I thought I would share, as I have found it
to be EXTREMELY useful when I am in class. This routine pinpoints each area that must be strengthened and will teach you how
to do so.
Note that the number of repetitions varies depending on the dancers sex, age, weight, and strength. The
sets and reps given are only those which are guides; if you feel more or less are adequate for your body type, feel free to
modify. Also, remember to stretch each muscle! This will create a balance within each muscle of flexibility and strength,
a priority for all dancers. A 10 minute warm up must precede this workout, and a 5 minute cool down must follow.
Days - Upper Body
Pecs - Start at 2 sets of 10-15 repetitions of push ups, and build from there. If you are not able
to do push ups, mimick the same movement up against a wall, allowing your weight to fall upon the wall.
Muscles - Go down onto your knees, body upright and stomach against a wall. Put your hands on your butt, and slowly begin
to roll through each vertibrae. Keep your body in line with the wall. Move your hands to your ankles if you can reach. Hold
for as long as one minute, and slowly roll back up.
Forearm - Squeeze a tennis ball (or anything round and squishy),
tensing and releasing, for one minute on each hand.
Abdominals - Turn on some music (3-4 mins long) with counts of
8. For 16 counts, do 16 sit ups (the ones where you don't go all the way up off the ground). Make sure your upper body curls
upwards and not forwards as to keep your spine in line. After, for 16 counts, touch your right knee with your left hand, and
then your left knee with your right hand. Feel your abs clench. Repeat both these sets for 8 counts, then for 4 counts each,
then 2 counts, then 2 counts. Roll onto your side and do side sit ups for 8 counts on each side. Repeat this until the song
ends (or if you aren't strong enough yet, repeat with short breaks in between).
Obliques - Sit with your legs crossed.
Raise your arms, bent at the elbows, parallel to the floor and to your sides. Twist towards your right side, then left. Repeat
8 times, and take a break. Do one more set of 8 reps.
Arms - Grabs some weights and put on some music (3-4 mins long).
Dance around with exagerated arm movements for the duration of the song.
Even Days - Lower Body
the exercizes, jog up and down a set of stairs (or mimmick the movement if you don't have stairs) for one minute following
Calves - Do 2 sets of 30 releves, more if you are more experienced and less if you find this difficult.
- Trace the ABCs in the air, only moving your ankle. Do two sets.
Arch - Point as hard as you can for about 3 seconds,
and then flex only your toes for 3 seconds. Repeat 10 times. Do 2 sets.
Turn Out Muscles - Lie on your side with your
knees bent. Place your hand on your butt cheek. Raise your top knee towards the ceiling, and only your top knee. Do not move
any other part of your body. Do this until you cannot move your leg any further. Repeat 20 times. Repeat on the other leg.
Leg - In second position, do 35 grande plies.