Sculpting Strength and Flexibility: Dumbbell and Band Workout for Dancers

Dancers understand the importance of strength and flexibility and balance like few others do. The harmony of muscles moving in synchrony, the posture held with poise, and the leaps taken with precision, all stem from a foundation of physical strength and flexibility.

This dumbbell and band workout is designed to specifically meet the requirements of dancers. It aids in sculpting a dancer’s physique while ensuring functional strength is developed.

Ready to get started?


1. Hip Thrust

  • How to perform:
    • Sit on the ground with your back against a bench, feet planted firmly in front of you, and a dumbbell on your hips.
    • Lift the hips by pushing through the heels, squeezing the glutes at the top.
    • Lower down with control and repeat for as many reps as possible.
  • Benefits:
    • Glute Activation: Hip thrusts target the glutes intensely, helping with lifts, jumps, and overall posterior strength.
    • Core Stability: The movement engages the core, essential for maintaining dance postures and turns.

Super Set 1

Shoulder Press (3×12)

  • How to perform:
    • Sit or stand with a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height.
    • Press the weights overhead until arms are fully extended.
    • Return to the starting position.
  • Benefits:
    • Upper Body Strength: The shoulder press targets the deltoids and triceps; crucial for arm movements and port de bras when dancing.
    • Postural Enhancement: Strong shoulders aid in maintaining upright postures and a strong back.

Step Up (or Reverse Lunge) (3×10/leg)

  • How to perform:
    • For step-ups, stand in front of a bench or platform, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Step up onto the platform with one leg, then the other. Step down in the same sequence.
    • For reverse lunges, begin standing with a dumbbell in each hand. Step back with one leg, bending both knees into a lunge. Push back up to the starting position.
  • Benefits:
    • Leg Strength and Stability: These exercises target the quads, hamstrings, and glutes, key muscles for dancers. Increases strength and flexibility at end ranges of motion. 
    • Coordination: Enhancing the coordination between legs, which is essential for intricate footwork.


Super Set 2

Bent Over Row (3×12)

  • How to perform:
    • Holding a dumbbell in each hand, bend slightly at the hips so the torso is leaning forward.
    • Pull the weights towards your hip, squeezing the shoulder blades together.
    • Return to the starting position.
  • Benefits:
    • Back Strength: Strengthens the upper and middle back, crucial for maintaining dance postures and building a strong core.
    • Arm Engagement: Also engages biceps, forearms, and shoulders.

Lying Dumbbell Hamstring Curl (3×12)

  • How to perform:
    • Lie face down on a bench with legs hanging off the edge. Place a dumbbell between your feet and secure it.
    • Curl your legs up, bringing the weight towards your glutes.
    • Lower back down with control.
  • Benefits:
    • Hamstring Activation: Targeted strengthening of hamstrings, helping with leaps and stability.
    • Posterior Chain Engagement: It ensures a balanced muscle development.

Super Set 3

Lateral Raise (2×15)

  • How to perform:
    • Holding a dumbbell in each hand by your side, stand with a straight torso.
    • Lift the dumbbells to the side until they reach shoulder height.
    • Lower them with control.
  • Benefits:
    • Deltoid Development: It sculpts and strengthens the shoulder muscles, enhancing arm lines and creating strong port des bras.

Seated Band Abduction (2×30)

  • How to perform:
    • Sit on a chair with a resistance band wrapped around your thighs.
    • Keep your feet flat and push your knees outwards against the resistance of the band.
    • Bring them back in with control.
  • Benefits:
    • Hip and Glute Activation: Specifically targets the outer glutes and hip muscles, aiding in hip strength and flexibility.
    • Joint Stability: Strengthens the muscles around the hip joint, reducing the risk of injuries.

Strength and Flexibility


To conclude, this combination of dumbbell and band exercises not only refines a dancer’s physique but also ensures that they have the functional strength and flexibility and balance necessary for their art. By following this routine consistently, dancers can look forward to improved performance, stamina, and a reduced risk of injuries.

Dance on with grace and strength! And don’t forget to save this post for easy reference at the gym!

Did you like this workout? Check out the Dancers Who Lift Blog for more workouts, nutrition tips, and more!

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