No Gym, No Equipment, No BS: The Best Workouts for Dancers That Can Be Done Anywhere


It’s an age-old debate. Which will yield better results, weightlifting or bodyweight workouts? When searching for “workouts for dancers” on the internet, you’ll get a lot of mixed reviews on this topic. Not to mention a lot of misinformation about what workouts for dancers should look like. (For better clarification on that topic, give this blog a read.) 


As for the debate, there is evidence that shows that weightlifting will result in a faster progression toward your goals. There is even more evidence that shows that bodyweight training is effective at any point in a person’s fitness journey for burning fat, building muscle, and increasing mobility and flexibility. 

This study from the Polish Journal of Medicine showed that a ten-week bodyweight training regimen yielded and increase in strength, endurance, flexibility, and aerobic capacity!


Why is this good news?

Dancers are always on the go. We need the ability to work out anywhere without having to lug equipment around in our suitcases. Moreover, we need that workout to be effective. A dancer might find themselves working out on tour, working out while traveling, or even working out at home. That’s why bodyweight workouts are the perfect workouts for dancers. Because they give us the opportunity to continue progress on our physical goals- no matter where we are or how much time we have. 


 The International Journal of Exercise Science published a study stating that one of the biggest benefits of bodyweight workouts is that it improves your cardiorespiratory fitness with little time commitment! As a result, participants who performed an eleven minute bodyweight circuit just three times a week for six weeks, increased their cardiorespiratory fitness by an average of 7%!  


If you’re asking yourself, “What is cardiorespiratory fitness?” 

It’s the ability of the circulatory and respiratory systems to supply oxygen to the skeletal muscles during periods of sustained physical activity. If you ask me? Any workout that helps muscles perform better for longer during a class or show goes on the list of “good workouts for dancers” in my book. 


So, you’re on board to try some bodyweight workouts while you’re touring, or rocking that summer stock life. Now what? Well, instead of just giving you a list of workouts. I’m going to teach you how to build one for yourself.


First, when doing bodyweight training, it’s important to focus on your form and move slowly. This will increase your muscles’ time under tension–the slower you go, the more challenging.


Now, to build solid bodyweight workouts for dancers (or any athletes really) you’ll want to make sure you incorporate one exercise from four categories of workouts: Upper body, Lower body, Plyometrics, and Core. You’ll do 5-15 reps of each exercise for 4-6 sets total. 

personal training for dancers


Let’s take a look. 


1) Upper Body Workouts for Dancers

There are tons of options for no-equipment  upper-body workouts. Some of those include:


-Pike push-ups

-Tricep dips

-Eccentric push-ups

-Shoulder taps

-Scapula push-ups

-Hands elevated push-ups

-Feet elevation push-ups

-Diamond push-ups



Not sure if your push-up form is up for this? Give this two-minute read a glance and you’ll be pushing up in no time!


2) Lower Body Workouts for Dancers

Let’s take a look at some equipment-free lower body exercises:


-Sumo squat

-Pistol squat

-Pulse squat

-Split squat

-Hamstring curls (floor assisted) 

-Glut bridge

-Walking glute bridge

-Hip thrusts

-RFE split squat

-Frog Jump

-Cossack squat

-Duck walks (Only if you don’t have cranky knees!)


3) Plyometric Workouts for Dancers

Plyometrics are your explosive, controlled movements such as:

-Star jumps

-Mountain climbers

-Jumping jacks

-High knee runs


-Split squat jumps

-Clapping push-ups

-½ Burpees

-Jump squats

-Skipping (Yes, really!)


4) Core Workouts for Dancers

Every dancers favorite category! Yet, surprisingly, there isn’t a traditional crunch in sight!

-Dead bugs (Check out this list of Dead-bug variations!) 

-Hollow holds

-Russian twist

-Reverse crunch

-Plank saw

-Up-down planks 

-Side plank

-Leg lowers




There you have it. You have all the tools you need to build enough bodyweight workouts to last a year! Now you can workout while traveling, on tour, or even in your home on a rainy day and not have to worry about losing your progress. 


Not feeling a strength workout? Don’t sign up for that expensive cardio class. (Unless you want to) Running is free and has tons of benefits for dancers! Don’t believe me? Read this to learn all about how running is one of the best cross-training workouts for dancers. 


And hey, if you’re not feeling creative enough to put together your own workout, don’t sweat it. We have this blog with five home workouts for dancers already written up for you to try. 

Now go get your workout in and tell us what combo you used! Even better? If you build a workout, post it on instagram and tag us @dancerswholift. Then we’ll give it a try! And who knows, maybe we’ll repost the sweat session for others to enjoy!

Want to make your favorite gym exercises WFH friendly? Take a look at these posts!

Inverted Row

Hamstring Curl

Bicep Curls

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