Barre workouts, Zumba, hip-hop cardio and other dance-inspired workouts have become really popular over the last year. It’s no wonder because dancing is a great workout that burns a lot of calories in a short amount of time…plus it’s fun! Just ask the NBA Rockets Power Dancers (at left)! So, maybe you have the dancing part down but aren’t seeing results in the shape or tone of your body? Don’t worry – all you need to do is add in a little strength training to strip off any excess fat. I’m the trainer for the Power Dancers and they get in tons of cardio through all their practices and performances. So, when they meet with me we focus more on strength training and do workouts similar to the one below.
Dance-Inspired Strength Training Workout
I’ve put together a dance-inspired strength training workout to target, tone/strengthen many of the areas used in dance including glutes, hamstrings, core and back. I recommend that you mix in this workout 2-3 times a week in addition to your cardio or dance workouts to get stronger, more toned and lose body fat. Strength training also helps to prevent injuries!
*Mix in 10 minutes of cardio in between each set. This can be on the treadmill, outside (run, walk, bike), another machine at your gym, dancing, jumprope or any other exercise that keeps your heart rate in the 70-80% zone. Repeat this circuit so that you do 3 sets and get in a total of 30min cardio (not counting warmup).
Warmup Cardio 5 minutes
#1 Pushups (not pictured). Do 10-20.
#2 Plie Squat (add weight to make it harder).
Do 15-20 and you can ad a bicep curl or upright row. Start with feet wider than your hips and point your toes outward slightly. As you lower down, dig in with your heels and don’t let your knees go past your toes. Slowly straighten your legs and return to the start. To make it harder you can do a few with your heels raised to activate your calves (see left)!
#3 Triangle Pose with a Triceps Kickback.
Align heels at a 90 degree angle then take a big step out with your right foot. While keeping legs straight (don’t hyper-exend), slowly lean over until your back is parallel to the floor. Add in a tricep kickback with dumbbells (5-10lb in each hand) and do 10 reps. Switch legs and repeat for 10 reps on the other side.
#4 Standing Kickback.
Hold on to a wall or chair. Extend your leg behind you and slightly point your toe towards the ground so you are leading with your heel (works glutes more). Keep abs tight and don’t arch your back. Aim for 30-50 each side. To make it harder, wear ankle weights.
#5 Bridge Pose.
Lie on your back with knees bent. Ankles should be right under knees. Slowly raise your core off the floor starting with your hips and ending with your upper back or shoulders. Squeeze and hold your abs and glutes while you hold the position for a count of 5. Slowly lower down and repeat for 10-15 reps.
#6 Toe Touches.
With legs in the air, reach up like you are touching your toes and get your shoulder blades off the ground. To make it harder hold a weight. Do 20 reps.
#7 Scissor Kicks.
On your back (place hands under hips to avoid arching back) alternate lowering your right and left heels towards the ground. Don’t let your feet touch the ground and don’t arch your back. When your leg is lowered to the ground, pause and hold for a count of 5 and then switch.
Start on all fours with your elbows right under shoulders. Walk both legs back to form a straight line with your body and hips should be flat. Press back through heels and hold for 30-60 seconds.
*ADD 10 minutes of cardio (see above). Then, repeat this whole circuit 1-2 times.