If you’ve been coveting the long, lean lines of a dancer or choreographers, you should know that there is more to a dance workout program than just dancing. Of course, dancing is a big part of the equation – after all, it’s a serious cardio workout to burn calories and one of the best full body workouts there is – but dancers also spend plenty of time in the gym to earn their toned physiques. It also goes without saying that diet is a major component of what it takes to look that fit. However, if you’re hoping to take your workout routine to the next level and add in some tried-and-true dancer moves, regardless of your fitness level, you might be surprised to find that you don’t need to break out your tap shoes in the dance studio to do a dance workout routine. Here are seven step-by-step dance workout dance moves you can add to your routine right from the comfort of your own yoga mat in addition to your Figure8 routine. Before you start this home workout, you should do a warm up of simple stretches to get your body prepared to have a high-intensity and high-energy dance party (workout plan).
Single Leg Hip Bridge
Torch the glutes and strengthen your hip flexors with this move! Lie face up on the ground with one foot planted firmly on the ground and the other leg extended diagonally towards the sky. Your palms should be extended out to the side at about a 45 degree angle with your palms face up. Press your left foot into the ground as you lift your hips up, pressing them towards the ceiling as you squeeze your glutes. Lower your glutes back down to the ground. Do eight to ten reps, then switch sides. To make the exercise more challenging, place your grounded foot on a core ball or medicine ball. To make the exercise less challenging, plant both feet on the ground and perform a regular hip bridge.
Side Plank with Leg Lift
You’ll work the core, upper body, and lower body when you add the side plank with leg lift into your routine! To start, get into a plank position with your hands on the floor, directly underneath your shoulders, and your feet extended behind you, body lifted. Lift one arm and rotate toward that side, lifting your arm up so that it is perpendicular to the floor and your feet are stacked on top of one another. You can bring your bottom knee down to help stabilize yourself or work with both legs lifted. Lift your top leg up until you feel a squeeze in your outer hip, then slowly lower it back down. Keep your core pulled in and engaged.
Opposite Arm and Leg Raise
This core torcher, usually called a bird-dog in yoga, will have you starting in a tabletop position – on all fours with your knees underneath the hips and hands underneath the shoulders, pressing into the floor. Lift and extend your right arm to shoulder height as you lift and extend your left leg to hip height. Hold briefly, then return to tabletop position. Perform the same movement on the other side. To make the movement more challenging, touch your opposite knee to your opposite elbow as you pull the arm and leg in towards the body. To make the exercise less challenging, work with just your arms or just your legs.
Torso Twist with Extension
This move will start toning your total body. Start in a plank position with your hands placed on an elevated surface, like a bench. Extend one leg, then bring your knee towards the opposite wrist as you lower down into a pushup, wringing out the torso. Reverse, pressing back up as you extend the leg behind you and return to a plank position. Repeat on the other side. To make this exercise more challenging, try adding a resistance band into the mix by placing it just above your knees. To make the exercise less challenging, move your hands to a higher surface, like a countertop, instead of a bench.
You won’t need any equipment besides a yoga mat to perform toe touches right in the comfort of your own home, even in the middle of your living room. Get started by lying flat on your back with your legs lifted toward the ceiling so that you have your feet hip-width apart. Extend the arms long and crunch up with your upper body, reaching towards the toes. Lower down and repeat the movement. To make the movement more challenging, try to hold briefly at the top as you reach for your toes before slowly lowering back down. To make the movement less challenging, bend your knees slightly (this can also help with tight hamstrings).
Plank Balance Challenge
To perform the plank balance challenge, you’ll only need a small object (a can of soup, a water bottle, whatever) and a yoga mat. Start in the plank position with your hands directly underneath your shoulders and core engaged. The object should be underneath the center of your chest. Grab the object with one hand and move it to the top of your mat. Shift your bodyweight and grab the object with your other hand, returning to the starting position. Next, pick up the object with your original hand and move it backwards, towards your torso. Move it back to the starting position with your other hand. To make this movement more challenging, try using a heavier weight. To make it less challenging, decrease the range of distance that the weight is moved.