NBA Dancer Workout

Since I’m the personal trainer for the Houston Rockets Power Dancers, I get asked all the time about their workouts and what a typical workout is for an NBA cheerleader or dancer. Right now, the girls are actually working out quite a bit with 2-3 days of dance practice, plus 2-3 games per week and then on top of that they have 2 workouts a week with me. So…no wonder they are in great shape, right!? Think you have what it takes to workout like an NBA Dancer? Try the sample workout below to see if you are pom-pom ready!

One night a week I do a cardio and abs workout with them (they do the treadmill, ellipticals or bike) and then the other night we do a weight training circuit workout that keeps their heart rate up. This is good to build their endurance and keep them in top shape for the games. For the circuit workout, we do a variety of strength training moves to target upper and lower body. I think a lot of people would be surprised to find out that they actually do weight training because some dancers fear that weights will make them “bulk up”. Well, take one look at the team and you’ll know that’s not the case. The girls always tell me they love the weight training and they can tell it helps them with their leaps, jumps and other moves that they need strength and power for. For most of their workouts, we use free weights ranging in size from 5-15lbs and occasionally we will hit the weight machines and so some heavier weight training on the leg press, etc. Weight training is important to keep your body fat down, get a lean shape and also keep you strong and toned. Another area that I focus on with the girls is balance. We do many exercises on the BOSU ball, balance disks and sometimes just standing on one foot.

Below is at typical workout that I put them through up at Fit Athletic Club. I usually have 2-3 girls at each station and then they rotate after about 2 minutes at each spot. During that time, I have them do 12-15 reps of each exercise with a rest in between (unless it’s cardio or no weights). I also have them run stairs sometimes in between each exercises or as part of the circuit to keep their heart rates up so they burn more calories during the workout.

RPD Circuit Workout

*Warmup walk/jog on the treadmills for 5-10minutes.

1st Circuit (2 minutes each):
-Kettlebell Swing (10-15lbs)
-Squats on the BOSU (0-10lbs)
-Pushups (sets of 15-20 reps w/rest in between)
-Overhead Shoulder Presses (sets of 12-15reps with 8-15lb weights)
-Stair Running

2nd Circuit (2 minutes each):
– Bent over rows (sets of 12-15reps with 8-12lb weights)
-Deadlifts (sets of 12-15reps with 8-15lb weights)
-Plyometric jumps on the step with 6 risers underneath
-Bicep Curls while standing on the flat side of BOSU for balance (sets of 12-15reps with 8-15lb weights)
-Overhead tricep extension and/or tricep kickbacks (sets of 12-15reps with 5-12lb weights)

Ab Circuit (1-2 minutes each):
-Low back extension + twist (for obliques) on the stability ball
-Crunches on a balance disk
-Oblique crunches on the BOSU ball
-Russian twist with 5lb kettlebell
-Forearm planks (1-2 of them for about 2 minutes each)

We do a variety of stretches but really target hamstrings and IT bands for flexibility. I also have them use the foam roller about once a week to target all the leg muscles and their upper/mid back.

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