20 minute workout for dancers

The 20 Minute Workout

Sometimes all you have is an hour. Add to that the need to shower after your workout and suddenly your workout time has shrunk even more! Never fear, introducing:  The 20 minute workout!

The challenge of this 20 minute workout is to perform as many rounds as possible within 20 minutes with as little rest as possible. 

This may sound easy. After all, it’s only 20 minutes right?

Well, let’s see how you’re feeling at minute 12, shall we?

Alright, no more stalling. Set a timer for 20 minutes and let’s go!

 

 

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The 20 Minute Workout:

Set 1: Push-ups x5

This might sound like a low number, but trust me, when you’re on round 8 you’re going to thank me. Remember, you want to keep your core engaged, hips low, and elbows should be at a 45-degree angle from your body. Not ready for a full blown push-up? Check out these alternate forms for all levels!

Perform 5 reps, then move on to the second set. 

Set 2: Squats x10

Make these air squats (body weight) or add a dumbbell or two for an extra challenge! Remember to keep your chest lifted, and initial your squat by sending your hips backwards like you are sitting in a chair. 

Want some tips of squat form? This highlight reel is chock full of videos and how-tos!

Perform 10 reps, then move on to the final set.

Set 3: Plank (30 seconds)

On your forearms or on your hands, the choice is yours! Either way, keep your shoulder blades flowing down your back and your tush low. For an added challenge add a core contraction by imagining that your toes and elbows are pulling your yoga mat together. 

Hold for 30 seconds, then start over at set 1. 

Repeat the cycle until your timer goes off, resting only as needed (and as little as possible). 

How many rounds did you complete?

Ding, ding, ding!

Time’s up! Your 20 minute workout is complete! 

How many rounds did you complete? 6? 10? 15? 

Let us know! Tag us @dancerswholift or leave a comment below!

Want more workouts like these? Tune in every Wednesday for a free workout! 

 

Did you like today’s blog? Check out these quick reads you might also like: 7 Epic At Home Core Exercises (That Aren’t Crunches!), Leaping For Joy: A Dancer’s Guide on How to Jump Higher, The Protein Needs of Dancers.

b-stance squat

Training Tip Tuesday: The B-Stance Squat

Welcome back to Technique Tip Tuesday! Today we are introducing you to the B-Stance Squat!

Different types of squat stances will change your rang of motion and therefore change the weight load experienced by your muscle groups. This can be beneficial for building stability and single-leg strength. 

So, what the heck is a B-stance squat and how is it different than a regular squat?

B-stance simply means we are shifting the weight distribution in our feet from an even 50/50 to a 80/20 (sometimes referred to as a staggered stance). 

What does this mean? Basically, we are adding more load onto one leg to build additional strength.

To do this, you simply shift your weight to one of your legs, then step the other leg back  so you are resting on your toes like a kickstand. This leg is just there for balance support, not for large amounts of load bearing.

This is the perfect stepping stone to warm-up for, or build strength, before going all in on a single-leg exercise. 

B-stance squats offer you stability because you’re not required to balance on one leg, meaning you can often increase the weight on these faster than a single-leg exercise. This is the perfect stepping stone to warm-up or build strength before going all in on a single-leg exercise. 

As a result, b-stance squat is super beneficial if you are working toward a single-leg or pistol squat, or just need to change up to your regular squat routine. 

Can you do the b-stance with other exercises?

Yes! B-stance works with glute bridges, hip thrusts, deadlifts, and Romanian deadlifts. Pretty much any exercise that also has a single-leg counter part can be performed in a b-stance. And this is great news because, as we’ve mentioned, b-stance is a perfect stepping stone on your journey toward single leg exercises!

Still can’t quite picture it?

Check out this demo video explaining a couple different ways you can incorporate a B-stance Squat into your training!

valentine's day workout

You Make My Heart Race: A Valentine’s Day Workout

Valentine’s Day is a holiday that you may or may not love to participate in. But whether you’ve found your “swolemate” or not, the day is likely filled with a couple sweets, evening plans, and maybe a glass of wine or two. And no matter what those evening plans are, it means you’re going to need to get your workout in quickly before you don your Galentine’s onesie or Little Black Dress. 

Never fear! We’ve brought you a super fast, high intensity Valentine’s Day workout sure to get your heart racing-no “swolemate” necessary. Even better? You don’t even have to go to the gym to complete this Valentine’s Day sweat sesh!

 

 

personal training for dancers, valentine's day workout

 

 

You ready to seal your fate? 

This Valentine’s Day workout only consists of one exercise. That’s right, just one. But you get to choose which exercises will be your date for today’s workout.

Date number one: Split Squat Jumps

Date number two: Reverse Lunges

Have you chosen your date for today’s Valentine’s Day workout? 

Good.

Here’s the workout. 

Set a timer for 10 minutes. (Yes, this is a micro workout. No, it is not easy.)

Every minute on the minute perform 15 full, clean, reps.

Rest the rest of the minute.

Repeat. 

After the 10 minutes are up you will have accomplished 150 reps of either split squat jumps, or reverse lunges. 

Bonus? You can swap out the exercise and do this again the next time you are crunched for time! That is, if you can still walk after this!

Looking for more workouts like this? Tune into the Dancers Who Lift Blog every Wednesday for a free workout!

If you like our Workout Wednesdays, check out some of these other blogs below. I think they’ll be right up your alley!

Suggested for you: The Stair Down: An Adjustable Stair Workout , Training Tip Tuesday: Kneeling Thoracic Extension Stretch , Get Strong Anywhere: The Best Travel Workout Equipment for Busy Dancers on the Go

Training Technique Tip: Mixed Grip Deadlift

Training Tip Tuesday: Mixed Grip Deadlift

Have you ever gone for a heavy deadlift and found that the thing holding you back is not your leg strength, but your grip strength? I want to enlighten you with the magical deadlift technique of the Mixed Grip Deadlift!

What is a mixed grip deadlift you ask?

A mixed grip is a form adjustment used to accommodate grip strength when deadlifting heavy weights. To perform, simply grip the bar with one hand pronated (overhand) and one hand supinated (underhand) on the barbell. Then, perform your deadlift as normal.

Can’t quite picture it? Check out this video for a demonstration!

Using a mixed grip is great when you are still working on your grip strength but want to continue to challenge your lower body. It’s also a great tool when lifting Personal Record weights. This is because the alternating grips creates torque and prevents the barbell from rolling in the palms. 

Many dancers find a mixed grip deadlift to be a great option since their lower body is so strong but grip strength doesn’t come as naturally for them.

 

 

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However, use mixed grip deadlifts wisely.

Alternate which hand is over hand and which hand is underhand to avoid creating muscle imbalances. Additionally, continue using a regular, overhand grip for lifts well within your grip strength. Both of these tips will ensure your grip strength continues to improve while allowing you to perform heavier lower body lifts. 

So, what do you think? Will you try a mixed grip deadlift next time you increase the weight on your deadlifts?

I hope you will! And If you do, let us know how it goes @Dancerswholift on Instagram and Tiktok.

Want more tips for reaching your fitness goals? Give these blogs a read: Building Power with Poise: Dumbbell & Band Workout for Dancers, The Do’s and Don’ts of Strength Training for Dancers, Protein Packed! How To Eat More Protein Daily

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. 

 

 

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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!