It seems like a lot of people have been asking how to get a dancer’s body, and my answer is this Dancer’s Body Workout! The truth of the matter is, while Barre exercises and classes borrow heavily from ballet dance moves, these are moves that dancers practice to improve their dancing… not their physique. While arabesques look cool, they don’t really burn calories or tone muscle.
If you want to get that toned dancer’s body, then you’re going to have to do the strength exercises that dancers use. Dancers mainly use bodyweight exercises to stay fit, and are big fans of “as many as you can, as long as you can”. This is because dance is all about endurance- the ability to hold and endure difficult, precise positions without breaking form. Exercises like to ones below are used to improve plies, releves, turns, leaps, and flexibility, and will also tone the whole body.
The Dancer’s Body Workout:
Planks: Get in your center plank and hold it for as long as you can. 1 minute rest. Get in a right-side plank and hold as long as you can. 1 minute rest. Get in a left-side plank and hold as long as you can.
Wall sit: Sink into a wall sit position with your back flat against the wall, your thighs parallel to the floor, and and your feet together. You can put your hands wherever you’d like (I like to hold them above my head), and hold the wall sit for as long as you can.
Calf raises: One set is 10 calf raises on both feet, 10 on your left foot only, and 10 on your right foot only. Do 3 sets of calf raises, stopping to stretch your calves for 15 seconds in-between each set.
Handstand: Get in a handstand against the wall, and hold as long as possible.
Russians: Starting with your feet together, bend your knees then spring straight up as a practice hop, land, and use your momentum to immediately push off the ground into a Russian leap. Do 2 sets of 10 Russians (yes, you have to do a practice hop before every single one).
Grand plie in second position: Get into second position and grand plie, so that your thighs are parallel with the floor. From here, pulse up and down slightly while holding your arms out to the side at shoulder level. Do 2 sets of 50 pulses.
Bridge: Get into a bridge position and hold as long as you can. For added difficulty, raise your heels off the ground.
High knees and heel kicks: Alternate between one minute of running in place with high knees, and one minute of running in place while kicking your heels up to your buttocks. Repeat for as long as you can.