Bench workout, conditioning for dancers

Workout Wednesday: The Bench Workout

Have you ever gone to the gym and looked around in absolute horror because the gym is packed?  Today’s bench workout was created for days just like that, because all you need to accomplish this workout is a bench (or any other sturdy elevated surface). 

So go grab a bench or a box or, if you’re at home, a coffee table or couch! 

This bench workout is straightforward, with the same number of reps for each exercise and a brutally quick 30 second rest between sets.   

So stop gawking at all the people and let’s dive in. 

 

 

personal training for dancers

 

 

 

1) Bulgarian Split Squat

Kicking off today’s workout is the Bulgarian Split Squat! To perform this exercise take about two steps away from the bench then, rest the top of your right foot on the bench behind you. Keeping your hips square and your chest lifted, bend your front knee slowly. Then, grounding through the front heel, return to standing. 

Perform twelve controlled reps on each leg. 

**Rest 30 seconds then, immediately move on to the next exercise.** 

2) Single Leg Hip Thrusts

Next up in our bench workout are single leg hip thrusts. Sit on the ground perpendicular to your bench with your back resting against the side of the bench. 

Lift yourself up so your sports bra line, is leaning against the edge of the bench. (Your body will be working as a seesaw, with the bench as your fulcrum.)

To ensure you’re in a good position, lift your hips and walk your feet out so, when your hips are lifted, you’re in a tabletop position. Then, lower your hips back down.

Now that you’re in position, lift one foot off of the ground. Bracing your core, squeeze your glutes and press into your grounded heel to lift your hips up. You should strive to have your body in line at the top of the thrust. Then, slowly lower down. 

Perform twelve reps on each leg. 

**Rest 30 seconds then, immediately move on to the next exercise.**

3) Push-ups

This portion of the bench workout targets that upper body! For these elevated push-ups to place your hands on the bench. Make sure you engage your core so your lower back doesn’t sway and your booty doesn’t float up toward the ceiling!

*Hint* If you’re needing help with your push-up form, check out this form breakdown!

Perform twelve reps. 

**Rest 30 seconds then, immediately move on to the next exercise.**

4) Tricep Dips

How ya feeling? You are almost through your first round of today’s bench workout! Finish strong!

For this exercise, sit on the side of the bench and place your hands on the bench on either side of your hips. Then, walk your feet out and scoot your booty off the bench. Your knees and hips should be around 90 degrees. Finally, bend your arms to lower your booty toward the ground. Exhale and extend your arms to push yourself back up. 

Do not let your booty touch the ground! That will give your arms too much of a rest at the base of the exercise!

Perform twelve reps. 

**Rest 30 seconds then, immediately move on to the final exercise in the round.** 

5) Feet Elevated Bridge

To finish off our bench workout lay on the ground perpendicular to your bench. Place your heels on the edge of the bench. 

Once you’re in position, brace your core, then, squeezing your glutes, and grounding through your heel, press your hips up toward the ceiling.

Make sure your core stays braced! Pushing your hips too high can cause your back to arch, taking the pressure off your glutes and pinching your lower back.

As you lower, think about pulling your hips toward your heel to keep from releasing your spine. 

Perform twelve controlled reps.

**Rest 30 seconds then, return to the first exercise.**

Finish it:

To finish today’s bench workout you must complete five total rounds. And yes, the rest between rounds is just 30 seconds. 

It’s brutal and it will definitely get your heart rate up. But more importantly it get you in and out of that busy gym efficiently while accomplishing an effective workout session!

What’s not to love?

When you’ve finished the workout, let us know how it goes! Visit us @dancerswholift on Instagram and Tiktok

Wanting more workouts like this? Tune in here every Wednesday for a new workout! 

thoracic extension stretch

Technique Tip Tuesday: Kneeling Thoracic Extension Stretch

Today, I want to talk to you about upper thoracic extension and a stretch for it that you may not know. 

 What is “Thoracic Extension”??? 

That’s a great question, I’m glad you asked.

Thoracic extension is the ability of your thoracic spine to move freely between rounded, flat, and even arched.

The thoracic part of our back is the longest part of our spine including the vertebrae between the neck and the lower back.

The thoracic spine is capable of multiple movements in different planes, as it can help flex and round the body forward, extend, rotate, and laterally flex (side bend). Thoracic Extension is important, not only for proper posture, but also to prevent neck, shoulder, back, and even hip pain.

However, the primary movement of the thoracic spine is rotation. The other movements — flexion, extension, and side bending — are considerably smaller in range in comparison to the movement of the lower neck (cervical) and low back (lumbar) areas.

In dance this mobility within your thoracic spine helps with spotting, épaulement, contractions and spine isolations.  In the gym, thoracic extension is important for the health and safety of your overhead lifts. 

But, if you sit hunched over at a desk all day, stand with poor posture, or even sit looking at your phone with a hunchback, these are all things affecting your “thoracic extension.” You see, like any muscle or joint, the longer your spine stays in that curved position, the more it wants to stay there. 

So how do you ensure that hours editing self-tapes, typing at your side hustle, and days spent looking at your phone train your thoracic extension into extinction? 

Simple, you stretch it!

Here is a rundown on how to do a Kneeling Thoracic Extension Stretch.

First

To do the Kneeling Thoracic Extension and Lat Stretch, kneel in front of a bench or box and place your elbows up on the bench about shoulder-width apart. Kneel far enough from the bench that you have room to sit back and drop your chest through your arms to extend your spine.

Second

With your elbows on the bench, sit your butt back and relax your chest and head over, pressing your chest toward the ground so that you feel a nice stretch down your triceps and lats as well as through your thoracic spine. Try to extend your back as much as possible as you drop your chest toward the ground between your arms.

**Helpful cue: Try to get your biceps by your ears as you extend your spine.**

Finally 

You can either hold here and breathe, relaxing deeper into the stretch as you hold, or you can perform repetitions. If you take the second option, make sure you try to stretch further each time you repeat the stretch.

**This stretch can also be done standing, but make sure you find a countertop, ledge, or bar thats the proper height for you!**

Want a visual of this stretch? Check out our form video, here

Trust me, this thoracic extension stretch does more than just help to mobilize your spine. It also feels *incredible.* It’s the perfect stretch for your ten minute break at work, or as a way to wake up in the morning!

What do you think? You willing to give it a try? 

We hope you will. And in the meantime, don’t forget to tune into the Dancers Who Lift blog every Tuesday for a new Training Tip!

injury recovery tips for dancers

Injury Recovery 101: The Do’s and Don’ts for Getting Back on Stage Faster

Sustaining an injury as a dancer can be brutal, both physically and mentally. However, as professional athletes, injuries are going to happen. And while injury recovery looks different for every injury and every dancer, there are a few actions you can take to help your body and mind along the process. 

Because whether you sustained an acute injury like an ACL or Achilles tear, or suffered as a stress fracture slowly developed over time, being pro-active about your recovery will get you back on stage faster. 

Now, this list is by no means a comprehensive guide for healing. Only your doctors and physical therapists and give you that.  However, this list of “Dos and Don’ts” will help you thrive throughout your injury recovery journey within the plan your doctor and PTs have put in place for you. 

So, do you want to know what you can do to speed up and support yourself while recovering from an injury?

To the list!

 

 

mindfulness for self-care, mental health support for injury recovery

 

 

  • DON’T Keep Going

The first and hardest lesson dancers need to learn about being injured is to stop dancing when the injury arises. Whether you hear a pop or you’ve “tweaked” something that’s bugging you, just stop. 

Dancers struggle with this because we were taught to “just keep going.” Although we are athletes, we were trained with the “show must go on mindset.” But by “keeping going” we are putting ourselves at risk for even greater injury. 

So whether you are bleeding through your pointe shoes, or dancing on a “tweaked” knee, just stop.  

I promise, you will thank yourself for preventing further injury to whatever is hurting.

**If you read this and said “Yeah, but I’ve always been fine, I know my body” this bullet point was specifically written for you.**

 

  • Go to the Doctor – Get a Good P.T.

Once you’ve stopped, go see a doctor or physical therapist. There they can asses the injury and create an action plan for your injury recovery. The faster you find out what’s wrong, the faster you can start healing. 

As far as finding a good physical therapist, read reviews or ask a friend for a referral.  You want to make sure you are working with someone who understands your needs as an athlete and dancer. 

 

If you know what’s going on, and don’t need to see a doctor, follow the proper rest protocols. 

For example, if you sprain your ankle during petite allegro, stop. Once you’ve stopped, rest it, ice it, add compression, and elevate it!

 

  • Eat well

Nutrition is a huge factor in injury recovery. Eating a diet full of nutrients, plenty of protein, and fiber promotes healing. 

Don’t make the common mistake of underfueling your recovery. Now is not the time to “cut” to prevent weight gain. You’re body needs all the fuel it can get to heal whatever is broken. Instead, ensure you’e getting plenty of protein, antioxidants and vitamins through a healthy and balanced diet.

Besides, healing burns calories!

In fact, depending on the type of injury, you might need to adjust your macro split. Studies have shown that during injury recovery, about 55% of total calories should be delivered as complex carbs like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans. 

Eating for recovery also means watching your alcohol intake. Alcohol has been shown to exacerbate muscle loss during immobilization. So, during injury recovery,  consider cutting out alcohol or at the very least, consume mindfully. 

 

  • Incorporate Resistance Training (Based on Doctor Clearance)

Whether you’re early on in your injury recovery journey or late in the game, incorporating resistance training will be critical to rebuilding and recovering. 

Resistance training can be used to both strengthen the injury itself and strengthen any imbalances around the injury that might’ve led to the initial injury or could contribute to re-injury.  It’s critical to your injury recovery that you follow whatever physical therapy exercises you’ve been given between sessions. 

 

That’s why I recommend finding and excellent physical therapist or personal trainer (or both)! 

In fact, did you know our very own Amber Tacy started her personal training journey by working in a physical therapy office? It’s true!

It’s one of the reasons Dancers Who Lift is so passionate about providing training that aides in injury prevention and takes personal interest in their dancers to create plans built around their individual needs. Want to learn more about that? Read about Amber’s journey to creating The Embodied Artist Academy here

 

  • Work with a Mental Health Professional:

As humans who are passionate about moving our bodies (and might even do so for work) being unable to do so can impact our mental health immensely. 

Between the lack of physical activity (known to release happy endorphins) and the temporary detachment from your performance community, injuries can leave dancers feeling low mentally. 

 Add on to the the possibility that the injury may have happened while dancing, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for anxiety and stress. 

 

Working with a mental health professional throughout your injury recovery can help you navigate these feelings and get you ready to dance even faster. 

Even after athletes have fully healed, hesitance to return to sport is common. From the fear of re-injury to the mental hurdle of trusting your body again, it’s normal to need help getting over these mental barriers. 

 

So, if you’re finding yourself facing a long recovery, get yourself professional external support so that when you’re body is ready, your mind will be also. 

 

  • Be Patient:

Dancers are famous for pushing through injuries.

And I’ll be honest, a lot of that is not our fault. Unlike professional athletes who are praised for “making a comeback,” dancers are taught that we are replaceable. And often, dancers are taught that to be injured makes you “injury prone,” “damaged goods,” or even “unreliable.” 

However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth! Research shows that most athletes actually report feeling stronger, more dedicated, and more physically focused after experiencing a long season of injury recovery. 

 

And while no dancer wants to be in the audience very long, returning to dance before you’re body is ready can lead to re-injury.  

The reality is, injury recovery takes time and rushing back to dance before your body is ready can make that recovery time even longer. 

Can you imagine spending months in injury recovery, working to strengthen, build confidence, and gain clearance to dance again only to re-injur yourself and have to start all over again?

It’s highly possible. Depending on the type of injury, it can make you seven times more likely. That’s why it is so incredibly important that you listen to your doctors and physical therapists before you start dancing gain. 

This is not meant to scare you. This is a reminder that one class, audition or show, is not worth sacrificing your body. Ever. 

 

  • Feel Everything: Healing is HARD

Injury recovery is incredibly challenging mentally, emotionally, and physically. Take the time to feel all of the emotions. 

Whether you’re feeling angry, sad, frustrated, exhausted, or even depressed, all emotions are valid and need processing in order for you to get back on that stage feeling confident and strong. 

 

Just remember, this isn’t forever. 

A good way to process those feelings is to keep a journal. It’s a habit that’s scientifically proven to increase mental health and we’ve seen the benefits of this in our coaches and athletes first-hand! New to journaling? Try these journal prompts to get you started. 

 

  • Remember, In general, all is not lost:

In the midst of not ignoring your feelings, remember that all is not lost. All of the hard work you put in before your injury does not just disappear. All of the networking did and audition successes you had are not suddenly for nothing. 

 

You will dance again. Casting directors will welcome you back. And you might even be stronger than before. 

One study raised a beautiful point. During recovery athletes have an opportunity to improve and grow in ways they might not when healthy. I’ll leave this quote for you because it is *chef’s kiss.* 

“While a successful injury rehabilitation process is crucial, it is important to consider how we can harness that time to not only help the athlete return to their pre-injury baseline ability but also leverage it as an experience of personal growth to aid in even further wellness and development. In fact, researchers have suggested that after enduring the challenge of a long rehabilitation period, many athletes report being more dedicated, focused, and mentally and physically stronger than they were pre-injury.” -National Library of Medicine. 

 

Helping You Amidst Your Injury Recovery

Whatever your injury, I hope this list provides you with the information to create a game plan for your injury recovery journey. 

And remember, while this list focuses on how to aide your recovery and get you back on your feet faster, take your injury recovery one day at a time. Not every day will be a slam dunk, and that’s okay. 

The important thing is that you remember that taking the time to rest and heal is as important as showing up to class. 

If you’re needing some help remembering that, know that you have a community right here at Dancers Who Lift ready to support you.

Joining Body Mechanics gains you access to our entire community filled with hundreds of dancers who are going through the same worries, struggles, and reaching for similar goals. 

If that feels a little too official right now, that’s okay too. Reach out to us at dancerswholift@gmail.com. We love connecting with and getting to know dancers and fitness lovers alike. 

Most of all, good luck in your recovery. Keep going, you’ve got this. 

quick ab workout, workout, workout for dancers, ab workout

(Hollow) Hold, Please!: A Quick Ab Workout for Dancers

Whether you’re looking for an abdominal finisher to your workout or only have 10 minutes before your audition group is called, having a quick ab workout in your back pocket is never a bad thing.

That’s why today’s Workout Wednesday post is designed to light up your deep core muscles and get you ready to tackle any challenge. 

Take this quick ab workout with you to auditions, pre-show warm-ups, or add it to the end of a lifting session for a brutal finisher. I promise you won’t want to miss out on this one. 

 The Outline:

For this quick ab workout you’re going to perform three exercises, then take a 20 second rest. 

To complete the workout perform 5-6 rounds. 

Ready?

 

 

personal training for dancers

 

 

 

Set One: Knees To Elbows x 10

For this exercise, set up as if you are going to do a Dead Bug, bracing your core in the same way. Here’s a “how to” for reference! The only difference is that you’ll hold your hands against your head, so your elbows are pointing toward you knees. 

Then, contract your abdominals to pull your elbows and knees together. Make sure you are actually engaging your core and not just rounding your shoulders and neck. A good cue for this is to imagine pulling your sternum toward your knees rather than your elbows!

Perform 10 reps then move on to the next set!

Set Two: Hollow Holds x 10

Next up in this quick ab workout is hollow holds! Lay on your back with your arms extended by your ears and your legs straight. Brace your core then, Martha Graham style, scoop your core to contract letting your shoulders come off the ground and legs lift. Hold here for three seconds, then release. 

Perform 10 reps then move on to the final set!

Set Three: Hollow Starfish Holds

Finally you get to live out your Patrick Star dreams! Lay on the ground in an X. Then, perform the same exact type of contraction as the traditional hollow holds to lift your limbs and shoulders off the ground. Hold this position for three seconds, then release. 

Complete 10 reps, then rest for 20 seconds!

Finish Strong!

Once you’ve completed 5 to 6 rounds you’re done and I’m sure your core will be screaming! 

 

Did you like today’s quick ab workout? Follow the Dancers Who Lift Blog and tune in every Wednesday for a free workout!

 

 

Practicing Emotional Self-Care: Common Mistakes High-Performance Humans Make

Self-care is a hot topic these days, and for good reason. Practicing emotional self-care can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness, and increase your energy. 

That’s why lists of self-care products from at-home spa accessories to essential oil diffusers have people convinced that if they just “treat themselves” their emotional well-being will increase. And, while a relaxing bubble bath complete with face and hair mask, can do wonders for your emotional state, it’s not the only thing you should be doing to regulate your emotions. 

The National Institute of Health defines self-care as the ability to care for oneself through awareness, self-control, and self-reliance in order to achieve, maintain, or promote optimal health and well-being.

Based on this definition, to fully engage in self-care will require you to do things that might not be as appealing as that bath. That’s right, the age-old “dedication is greater than motivation’ mantra applies to your emotional self-care as well as your physical fitness. 

Unfortunately, a lot of high-performance people have no idea that they are missing out on so many opportunities for emotional self-care. 

How many times have you said,

“I’m sorry I’ve been M.I.A.. When I get busy I forget to reach out.”

Or what about,

“I just turned the TV on to zone out and mindlessly scroll.”

How about this one,

“I just got so busy I forgot to eat.”

Listen, we’ve all been there. But these are all elements of emotional self-care that often go unprioritized even though using a wide array of emotional self-care practices can result in greater resilience and lower levels of distress. 

Now, at this point, you might be asking “Okay, so there’s self-care and emotional self-care…what’s the difference?”

In short, there really isn’t one. You see the way to care for ourselves directly impacts our emotions. That’s why it’s so important to practice all kinds of emotional self-care–not just the ones that feel luxurious. 

So what are the most common mistakes when it comes to emotional self-care?

I thought you’d never ask.

 

Not Exercising Regularly:

Okay, Okay, I know what you’re thinking, “Of course, the fitness website is pitching that exercise is emotional self-care.” 

However, the fact is the National Institute of Health emphasizes that regular exercise has a positive impact on mental health and encourages mental health professionals to recommend a regular exercise routine to their clients. 

You see when people get stressed, depressed, or overwhelmed, hitting the gym is usually the first thing that gets removed from the “to-do” list to alleviate their schedule. Unfortunately, working out or even going for a walk would likely do wonders for alleviating the emotions they are experiencing. 

So next time you’re not feeling it, try the ten-minute rule. Do some form of exercise for ten minutes. If after that you’ve had enough, fine, go take a rest. But most of the time, getting started is the hardest part and once you’ve gotten moving, you’ll want to finish your workout. 

Not feeling like you have enough time to work out? Check out this 16-minute workout designed for someone on a time crunch!

 

Being Unintentional or Inconsistent About Food:

One of the biggest mistakes high-performance people make is being unintentional and inconsistent with how they fuel their bodies. Food is incredibly important to your emotional well-being. So it should go without saying that being intentional about how you fuel your body is a big part of emotional self-care. 

Why is food so linked to our mood? Let’s talk about Serotonin. 

Did you know that about 95% of your serotonin is produced in your gastrointestinal tract? And the production of serotonin and other neurons are impacted by the “good” bacteria in your gut biome? That’s why what you eat is so important for regulating mood in addition to energy.

Furthermore, studies have shown that diets high in sugar are correlated with a greater risk of depression and other mood disorders, while other studies show a diet high in vegetables, fruits, grains, seafood, and lean meats can significantly decrease symptoms of depression.

So, how can we be more intentional about our food?  

First, don’t give yourself an opportunity to crash. Everyone has busy days, but ensuring that you can have breaks for meals or pack healthy snacks to consistently keep your brain fueled will make a huge impact on your emotions throughout the day. Not to mention, it’s another way of practicing emotional self-care by showing up for yourself.  

Next, be intentional about what it is you’re eating. I get it, popping into Starbies and grabbing a croissant and a latte might be quick, easy, and affordable, but it might also have you experiencing a large sugar spike and crash later in your day.

 Instead, pop into a deli and grab a turkey sandwich. It’ll still be affordable and (if necessary) you can eat it on the go.  But you’ll have the added benefit of a lean protein to keep you fueled until your next meal.

 

Failing to Prioritize Relaxation:

This next one is the most common among high-performance people because productivity is such a huge part of our culture. But the practice of embracing intention relaxation is an important part of emotional self-care. Yes, this is the category where you get to bring out those spa kits we talked about earlier if you enjoy relaxing that way. 

The most important part of this relaxation is that it is intentional. There is a big difference between sitting down in a comfy blanket to watch your favorite movie with a loved one and turning on Gilmore Girls for the gazillionth time to play in the background while you doom scroll. 

How did I know? Let’s just say I have a tab at Luke’s Diner as well. And listen, having a “comfort show” is not a bad thing. But it can be when it becomes a way to numb or dissociate. So while this can be a way to zone out, or have “company” while you clean, it’s not an intentional form of relaxation.

One of the best rules of thumb for restful emotional self-care is to do something that requires you to be present during your rest. Instead, drawing a bubble bath while you listen to music, download a mindfulness app and go through a meditation, or take time to journal with a cup of warm tea. 

 

Having Poor Sleep Hygiene:

It’s no secret that shutting down at the end of the day can be a challenge, especially for performers who are working high-energy jobs late into the evenings. But getting quality sleep at night is directly linked to improving your mental health. A great way to improve your sleep is to practice good sleep hygiene

So, what are some examples of good sleep hygiene? 

Good sleep hygiene looks like having a fairly consistent routine that prepares your body’s nervous system for sleep by helping it wind down. This can look like doing a skincare routine, putting on comfy pajamas, having a sleepy time tea, and turning off screens thirty minutes before bed. It can also look like ensuring your bedroom is a relaxing space to be in, whether that is putting your folded laundry away and out of sight or investing in quality bedding that keeps you comfortable all night. 

My favorite sleepy-time routine? In the winter I make a “bedtime hot coco” complete with 10 grams of protein, zinc, and magnesium to help my muscles relax. It tastes just like the real thing and makes for a perfect bedside sipper while I read my book. 

In the summer I opt for a mock-tail made of 100% Tart Cherry juice, pomegranate juice, a squeeze of lemon, and topped with sparkling water. The Tart Cherry juice is a known sleep aid and the perfect sweet and sour to replace a nightcap. 

 

 

mindfulness for self-care

 

 

 

Forgetting to Practice Gratitude:

It’s so easy to go through our busy days, go to the gym, cook dinner, go through our routines, and go to bed without considering what we’re grateful for that day. That’s a shame because studies have shown that practicing gratitude is correlated with experiencing fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety. 

Practicing gratitude as a form of self-care can look like keeping a gratitude journal

 

Neglect Their Goals or Compromising Priorities:

Imagine, for a moment, that your best friend promised to meet you somewhere important and they no-showed you. You likely wouldn’t be pleased and might think twice before relying on them again. When you break the commitments you make with yourself, you’re teaching yourself that you are unreliable. Conversely, when you say “I promised myself ___, and now I am following through on that promise” you’re teaching yourself that you can be relied upon. 

Setting goals and showing up for yourself daily is an excellent way to practice emotional self-care. Goals give us something to focus on and work toward that is outside of our circumstances. They give us a sense of ownership over our lives and choosing to not give up on our goals is an important way of showing up for ourselves and increasing healthy self-reliance. 

A good example of this is choosing your goals over the expectations of others. For example, visiting relatives can sometimes be stressful when working toward a fitness goal. Whether it’s choosing not to have seconds, going to bed early, or taking an hour to yourself to get some exercise, it’s often challenging for people to understand why we won’t compromise “just for this trip.”  

And sometimes, compromise is important. But allowing yourself to be the only one who chooses when to compromise is an important practice of self-care. 

 

Isolating Themselves: 

Does this sound familiar? 

“I’m so sorry I forgot to text you back! I’ve just been so swamped!”

How about, “I’m sorry I haven’t called you back. It’s been a tough season and I just haven’t felt like talking to people.”

We all have seasons like this. And we do need to listen to our bodies and set boundaries for is privy to what information. 

However, it’s important to make sure we aren’t isolating ourselves from the people who can offer us encouragement or support when we’re struggling. Isolation can be a slippery slope away from community and accountability. 

If you are feeling like you want to limit your extroversion, that’s okay! But I encourage you to find a therapist or trusted friend you can speak to when things feel especially bleak. 

Practicing emotional self-care can be a rewarding practice of discipline on top of being incredibly beneficial for your recovery as an athlete. 

So which one of these practices will you try today?

Want some guidance about where might be the best place to start? Reach out to us here and ask about Body Mechanics, our personal training program designed to give you the tools to do it on your own. 

home workout, workout for dancers, personal training for dancers

Do it Twice: A Home Workout for Odd Chunks of Time

Just because you might be doing a “home workout” doesn’t mean you’re at home or that you have a lot of time. Whether you’re squeezing in a workout between rehearsals and auditions or trying to keep moving throughout a full work from home day, sometimes you need something that can be split up throughout the day. 

If this isn’t your first time on the Dancers Who Lift Blog, you likely know that accumulated exercise throughout the day can be as effective as a traditional 30-40 minute gym session. That means squeezing in half your workout before rehearsal and the other half of your workout after an audition can give you the same results as blocking out an hour after your long day to hit the gym. 

Not sure how that might work? That’s okay! We built a “Do it Twice” workout for you so you don’t even have to think about it!

So, get out your planner and look at your day. Identify two chunks of time you can use to complete a “half-workout.”

All set? Here’s the breakdown:

This home workout can be done anywhere as long as you have your body! You’ll complete one round of this circuit during your first chunk of time, then repeat the circuit during the other chunk of free time. 

Yes, it’s that simple.

 

 

personal training for dancers

 

 

Here’s the Circuit:

Set 1: Bodyweight Squats

The most important part about this portion of your home workout is to ensure your form is locked in. Check out this highlight reel chock full of squat tips if you’re feeling unsure about this. The most important thing to remember is to engage your core, keep your chest lifting and send your hips back as if you’re about to sit in a chair. Then, push through your feet to stand.

Perform 50 bodyweight squats then move on to set 2. 

Set 2: V-sits

Next up in this home workout is 20 V-sits. You can perform these with your knees bent or, for an added challenge, straight legs. Remember to keep your core braced and don’t let yourself “sink” into your lower back. Rather, think of lifting up and out of your hips to prevent this.

*Oh, I almost forgot: relax those shoulders! Tensing up your neck and shoulders won’t make contracting your core any easier!*

Set 3: Walking Lunges

Woof! After this we are halfway through our first circuit! How are you feeling?

Next up we have walking lunges. Alternate legs for a total of 40 reps (or 20 reps per leg). Keep your chest lifted and your core engaged. Don’t let your knees rest on the floor during reps and push through your front heel for optimal hamstring and glute engagement. 

Set 4: Plank Up-Downs

Okay, I’m going to be honest. Plank Up-Downs are hard, but I know you can do this. Get yourself into a plank position. Let your shoulder blades flow down your back, keep your hips in line with your torso, and press up, out of the floor, through your hands. 

Keeping your hips as level as possible, drop down to one forearm then the other. Then, press up to one hand then the other. That is one rep. 

Perform 2o reps. 

Set 5: 15 Second Plank Hold

Once you’ve completed your plank up-downs stay put! Hold a strong, supported plank position for 15 seconds. 

You’re almost there! You’ve got this!

Set 6: 3o Jumping Jacks

Give those wrists a break and hop onto your feet! It’s time to finish the first circuit of your home workout with 3o jumping jacks.

Now, when you do your jumping jacks I want you to actually do jumping jacks.

Visualize your arms like wings. Spread them on the up then, visualize your lats pulling them closed on the down. Doing jumping jacks like this will engage your back and, as a result, get your entire core working. 

And again!

Once you’ve completed this circuit go about your day until your next chunk of time. Then, repeat this entire circuit to complete the workout. 

Wanting to up the ante? Do this circuit as many times as you like throughout the day. But be warned, you don’t need to do more than two sets to reap the benefits of this home workout.

 

Did you enjoy this home workout? Log into the Dancers Who Lift Blog every Wednesday for a free workout that’s sure to get your heart racing and your muscles pumping!