Workout Wednesday: The Lateral Workout

A Lateral workout is fantastic for protecting your body against injury and keeping your body mobile. It improves your stability and, for dancers, is exceptional for helping you build a solid core without limiting the mobility of your limbs. 

Today’s lateral workout is quick- just 18 minutes! So no excuses, let’s get after it!

The Lateral Workout:

Curtsy Lunge x6/side:

First up in our lateral workout is the curtsy lunge. This exercise can be done with bodyweight, a pair of dumbbells, or even a kettlebell. Please, choose whichever weight feels the most challenging without sacrificing your form. 

Start by standing holding your weight in each hand. (If you are using a kettlebell, use a goblet hold.) 

Then, simply step your right foot behind your left foot and lunge (like you’re curtsying!)

Press through your front heel to return to standing. 

**Perform 6 reps on the right, 6 reps on the left, then immediately move on to the next exercise**

Lateral Raise x12-15/side

Grab a pair of dumbbells or stand on a long band. Either way, you’ll want to ensure the weight is light!

To perform a lateral raise, you’re going to think back to your port de bras. 

Stand with your knees soft and your core braced, holding your weight in your right hand. 

On an exhale, lift your arm until it is in line with your armpit. Be careful not to lift directly to the side, instead, keep your wrists slightly in front of your shoulder. It should feel (a little bit) as if you straightened your arms while holding them in second position. 

When you lift, similarly to your port de bras, don’t lift my raising the shoulders up by your ears. Instead, imagine you’re lifting your arms like wings from your back. 

Slowly lower down and repeat for 12-15 reps. 

** Complete 12-15 reps per side, then, immediately move on to the next exercise**



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Side Plank with Lift x6/side

Next up in our lateral workout is the side plank…with a lift for some extra spice. 

For this exercise, get into a side plank supported by your elbow.

In this position, make sure your neck stays long and your shoulders stay down. The range of motion may also be a bit smaller for this exercise so no cheating by letting your hips drop between reps!

From this position, lift your hips toward the ceiling, then slowly return them to a neutral side plank position. Be careful not to let your hips tip forward or backward!

**Perform 6 reps on each side then, immediately move on to the next exercise**

Kick through x5/side

The Kick through is an excellent lateral workout that really trains your mobility. 

Begin by putting yourself into a bear plank

From this position, kick your right leg through your left arm and leg. As you do this, try to keep the hips as close to the same level as possible.

Then, again keeping the hips on the same level, return to the bear plank. 

**Repeat for 5 reps on each side then, immediately move to the next exercise**


In-out squats x10-12

And we’ve made it to our final exercise in our lateral workout circuit!

This exercise may seem simple and fast, but dang does it pack a punch!

In-out squats move your muscles closer to exhaustion by training them in an isometric hold…kind of.

For this exercise you’re going to imagine your head is underneath a shelf and it must remain there. 

Put yourself into a standard squat position.  Go as low as you can with the knowledge that you’re going to maintain this depth for a little while. 

From this depth, jump your feet apart (out)  and then back in without letting your depth change (remember you’re underneath a shelf!)

And remember, keep your chest lifted- it’s still a squat after all!

**Perform 10-12 reps, then rest for 30 seconds before starting the circuit over again**

Complete the Workout

To complete this lateral workout, perform 5 rounds of this circuit, resting for 30 seconds between rounds. 

I know, it’s killer. But we believe in  you!

Let us know how the workout goes by tagging us on Instagram at @dancerswholift! And tune in every Wednesday for a free workout!


Don’t want to wait until Wednesday? Give these a try in the meantime: Full Body Thirty Minute Workout (aka perfection!), Keeping Things Cool: The Benefits of Deliberate Cold Exposure for Dancers, Training Tip Tuesday: The B-Stance Squat

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