Fitness Tips From Professional Dancers

By Tiffany Tse for Shape.com

How do professional dancers keep those lean, mean physiques? Sure, they dance for a living (and burn off hundreds of calories while doing so), but they also work hard at maintaining their perfectly toned figures. We asked four all-star dancers to share their best fitness tips that you can use at home or at the gym, even if you have two left feet.

1. Lacey Schwimmer As Lady Foot Locker’s brand ambassador (and former “Dancing With the Stars” cast member), Lacey Schwimmer knows what it takes to keep her body in top shape. The dancer/singer keeps her legs toned at home by doing toe rises, known as “releves” in the ballet world. The simple exercise effectively targets your calves, thighs and glutes.

More from Shape.com: Shape-Up Secrets From Old Hollywood Glamour Girls Brooklyn Decker’s Fat-Burning Cardio Workout 10 Tips From People Whose Body Is Their Career[1][2][3]

“Stand by a nearby wall, bar or table for balance and put one of your ankles to your opposite knee,” Schwimmer says. “Rise up on one foot as high as you can go, then come back down.”

Do this 50 times total, but alternate feet after 3 reps. Make sure to point your toes of the lifted foot and stretch when you’re finished!

“This will prevent injury and help your muscles heal faster and grow stronger,” Schwimmer says.

2. Laurieann Gibson When she’s not working with stars like Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry or Janet Jackson, Laurieann Gibson is working on her own lean physique. The Emmy-nominated director, choreographer and creative director stresses the importance of warming up your body.

“I like to always remind my dancers about ways to avoid injury,” Gibson says. Dancers often succumb to lower-body injury because of long rehearsal hours. But with a few simple tips, her dancers (and you) can stay injury free.

“One of the basic ways to avoid injury is to always make sure to stretch and warm up your body. This will loosen up your muscles, which will help to avoid common strain injuries such as shin splints and ankle strains,” Gibson says.

Another tip for best results: Add variety to your workout routine. “I believe it’s extremely important to include some other type of fitness activity in your training, so cross training will help you to avoid injury when you are dancing,” she says. “I personally love to run outdoor fitness trails. I love the meditative value I get when out alone, challenging myself to run faster and higher.”

3. Cheryl Burke Between her gigs as a professional dancer on Dancing With the Stars and her role as a Macy’s spokesperson, Cheryl Burke juggles a busy schedule! She dished her simple secret for sculpting her bod into taut and toned shape — all in the privacy of her home!

“I love to work out to my Jazzercise DVDs at home,” Burke says. “The new ones are Latin dance-based and really provide a wonderful workout. I can burn up to 600 calories an hour working out with them.”

4. Briana Evigan Actress and dancer Briana Evigan has been dancing her whole life, but she took her talent to the big screen in 2008 when she starred as Andie West in “Step Up 2: The Streets.” Evigan credits her slim body to a consistent exercise routine, including lots of intense dance classes like hip hop.

“Hip hop classes and ballet are what I’ve been keeping up with, and of course my usual abdominal workout, which consists of 500 sit-ups a session. Or I take a 30-minute abs class at my gym. But dance classes are a full-body cardio workout, which always brings me success and keeps me feeling great,” she says.

For more on fitness and exercise, click here[4].

Related on HuffPost:

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  1. ^ Shape-Up Secrets From Old Hollywood Glamour Girls (www.shape.com)
  2. ^ Brooklyn Decker’s Fat-Burning Cardio Workout (www.shape.com)
  3. ^ 10 Tips From People Whose Body Is Their Career (www.shape.com)
  4. ^ click here (www.huffingtonpost.com)

Original Story Here


Fitness Tips From Professional Dancers

By Tiffany Tse for Shape.com How do professional dancers keep those lean, mean physiques? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/22/fitness-tips-dancers_n_1498091.html

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  1. Reply

    Fitness Tips? My fiance and i are getting married in August and although we are both very healthy and look after ourselves, we both want to look our best for the wedding. we usually go cycling but the weather is really awful at the moment and the local gym is rubbish. does anyone have any excersize tips that we can do at home? aside from the obvious of course *wink*

      • HealthNut
      • May 22, 2012

      Here is an at-home routine that you can do for a total body and great cardio workout. Hope you like it.

      RUN IN PLACE – kick heels up to buttocks



      BACK LEG LIFTS – keeping the hips forward lift your left leg back – it’s a small movement so don’t arch your back to lift very high – do one side for half the amount of time and then switch

      HEEL DIGS – press heel out in front of you and hop to switch feet

      SIDE LEG RAISES – standing lift your left leg out to the side and lead with the heel (don’t turn your toe up) and also don’t lean over sideways as you do this – half the time and then switch sides

      BURPEES – standing place hands on floor and jump feet back into pushup position and then jump feet back towards hands and stand up (that completes one burpee)

      PLIE SQUAT – stand with your feet wider than should length apart and your toes turned out at a 45 degree angle, squat down and using your inner thighs press yourself back up

      SPEED SKATER – leap to the right bring left leg slightly behind you and you reach towards the floor and then leap to the left bringing right leg slightly behind while reach towards the floor

      PUSHUPS – can do against a wall or on the floor on your toes or knees

      CROSS COUNTRY SKI – stand with legs together and jump up landing with right leg in front and left leg back then jump again switching feet in the air

      BICEP CURLS – curl with weights (or whatever else you can use such as soup cans, water bottles, resistance bands) be sure not to lock out the elbow and curl for the full range of motion

      DOWNHILL SKI – feet together jump to right and then the left and stay low in a little bit of a squat position

      TRICEP PUSHUP – lay on your left side with your left hand on your right side and place your right hand on the floor infront of you, now press yourself up with your right hand – half the time and then switch sides

      HIGH KNEES – run in place brining knees into the chest as much as you can

      BACK ROW – using weights hinge forward at the hips so you are slightly bent over and knees slightly bent, let the weights hang down with palms facing each other than pull the elbows up keeping them close to the body and bring the weights up as high as you can and then lower

      SQUAT THRUST – kinda like a burpee but when you come up jump

      SHOULDER RAISE – with weights stand with elbows out at shoulder height then press weights up over head and lower to shoulder height (don’t go below shoulder height)

      POWER JACKS – like a jumping jack but when your feet go wide go down into a squat and when jumping back with feet together do two hops

      LOWER ABS – laying stomach place your hands infront of you forming a triangle, lift your hips up so you are on your toes and elbows (don’t lift your hips too high though – you should be in a straight line and abs pulled up in towards your spine) alternate touching your knees to the floor, but don’t let them rest – they should just barley touch

      JUMP ROPE – real or pretend

      OBLIQUES – on your back with feet on the floor and hands behind the head crunch up and twist left elbow to right knee – half the amount of time and then switch sides

      SQUAT JUMPS – in a squat position jump up and land in squat position

      UPPER ABS – on your back with feet planted on floor lift your hips up and have hands behind head – keeping your hips up off the floor do a crunch

      QUICK FEET – standing with feet wide run in place as fast as you can (think football)

      FRONT LUNGES – lunge forward with the left foot, staying in this position lower yourself and then press back up – half the amount of time and then switch sides

      SQUAT W/ FRONT KICK – feet close together squat and come up and kick with the left then squat again and come up and kick the right and keep alternating

      STEP TOUCH – stay low with knees bent and step to the left bringing feet together and then step to the right, while doing so have your arms extending out to the sides with each step

      SHUFFLE W/ KNEE – shuffle three times to the left and on the third one lift your right knee and then shuffle three times to the right lifting your left knee on the third one

      MARCH – march in place to cool down

      do each move one after the other without a rest in-between and you’ll get an excellent interval workout – If you want a longer workout walk in place 3-5 minutes and then do the whole circuit again.

  2. Reply

    Fitness Tips…? Well, Im 16 and weigh 306 pounds at about six feet in height. I just started Varsity Football for my school. Well, my coach told me that he will prefer me at a weight of 280 by about July. I just wanted any and all tips that someone can think of that will hep me with my goal and increase my football skills. Hopefullly, improving my speed, explosion, agility, strength, etc,. Is this goal attainable and what do you reccomend I do?

      • HealthNut
      • May 22, 2012


      I’ve tried so many different diets in the last 10 years that I can say now, they don’t work!
      A few months ago, I came across a great product for weight loss (it’s actually a colon cleanse) and like many others I was skeptical about it. But I really wanted to lose weight and I tried it (it’s 100% natural). The results were excellent. I lost about 20 pounds in 2 months with this detox. That’s why I recommend you check this product at http://www.thin-quick.us where they have a free trial and you only pay $4.95 shipping and handling.
      Good luck!

  3. Reply

    What Are Some Good Fitness Tips To Do In Your House ? Please anything helps !! its cold outside and i hate running what are fitness routines i can do to loose weight but indoors?

      • HealthNut
      • May 22, 2012

      You can do workout DVDs, Wii fit, DDR, you can also get trainers to turn your road bike into a stationary bike. Dancing is good too.

  4. Reply

    Can Anyone Here Give Me Some Good Fitness Tips On Yahoo Messenger? I am completely clueless about fitness…
    can anyone help?

      • HealthNut
      • May 22, 2012

      Walk at least a mile a day. Get rest drink plenty of water & fluids. Avoid junk food. Eat at least 23 g of fiber a day.

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