Last month, we shared a set of exercises for dancers and non-dancers to keep themselves strong and fit at home. Keeping the health of our students and the positive response to our last blog in mind, we decided to add a few more short, simple, strengthening exercises. You won’t need any props except a mat. We recommend doing these before your ballet class – and let us know if you feel a difference!
The Side Leg Lifts
Lie on your side resting your head on your arm, making sure that your top hand, shoulders, hips and feet align in a straight line. Lengthen the top waist and leg down so that the hips and feet align on top of each other (see image 1 vs image 3), and keep the stomach lifted. Raise the top leg parallel to the floor, and perform a small, 2-inch pulse up and down with the leg. Begin with 50, and work up to a hundred pulses. For dancers, this is a great exercise to strengthen the outer hips.
The Inner Thigh Lift
Lie on your side resting your head on your arm, making sure that your top hand, shoulders, hips and feet align in a straight line. Bend the top leg and place it on the floor in front of you, with the knee at a 90 degree angle. Raise the underneath leg, lengthening the top waist to keep the top hip in line with the bottom hip. Perform a small pulse movement up and down with the leg. Start with 50 pulses, and build up to 100. Strengthen those inner thighs!
Lie on your stomach with the arms outstretched at shoulder height, forehead resting on the floor. Keeping the head on the floor, raise the arms up, maintaining the width across the shoulder blades (see image 3 for incorrect pinched shoulder blades). Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 5 times. Work to repeat 7, and then 10 times. Strengthen that upper back!
Lie on your back, with the legs bent hip distance apart, and the feet on the floor, also hip distance apart. Slowly raise yourself up by curling up towards the right side, reaching the left arm across the right knee. Keep the feet and knees still. Slowly roll back down through the spine, all the way to the floor. Repeat on the other side. Start with 10 on either side, and work up to 30, then 50 on either side. No workout is complete without a bit of core work!
Do you want more exercises to stay strong from home? Join DanceFit on Wednesdays and Saturdays on Zoom – for dancers and non-dancers. Get in touch with Thejaswini on 98452 80377