Fitness activities outside of studio practice?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by manteca, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. manteca

    manteca Member

    What types of fitness activities do you do in addition to studio practice? I dance mainly Latin Ballroom and I'd like to add some workouts that can directly benefit the dances.
  2. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I am an AFAA certified fitness instructor and instructor trainer....I have taught a variety of classes....I am not certain that I would call any workout directly beneficial in terms of being able to see some direct crossover effect....that being said, cardio vascular fitness, strength and flexiblity are all critical to being a fit dancer if one is going to dance at an advanced level....so any aerobic activity is important...each has its strengths and weaknesses....obviously you can get on an elliptical or treadmill, a bike or a rowing machine... you can do each of these more or less intensely to derive more or less benefit and more or less consequent effect in both fitness and need for recovery....some put more wear and tear on the body...as to classes; zumba is hot right now...it can help or hurt depending upon how mindful you are of the difference in quality of movement once you are dancing... but it does use many of the same muscles in a similar way...still, so does step...and to do some toning, intervals, pilates, etc. for strength is a good idea and to do some yoga for flexibility...if you have to pick and choose due to limited time or money, ask yourself what you most need...strength? speed? coordination? weight loss?, increased cardio vascular capacity? flexibility?...then ask a professional to design a plan for you within your time and budget constraints
  3. Sania

    Sania Active Member

    Yoga helped me a great deal with core strength, balance / groundedness, flexibility, and posture.

    I also use it as a warm up to dance, and have never had an "off" dance session since I started doing this.
  4. Yoga, Pilates and stretching on top of working out with my personal trainer
  5. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    as to what I personally do... in addition to my 8 lessons a week and whatever practice I am able to get in which can range from 1 hour to 6 hours a week, depending upon the week, my regular fitness schedule is as follows;

    monday; one hour of step on an 8 inch bench (moderate to heavy cardio vascular), half an hour of light toning with weights, stretching
    tues, an hour of cycling (intense cardio vascular)
    wed; 1-2 hours of step on 8 inch bench with toning intervals (moderate to heavy cardio vascular and toning), stretch
    thurs; one our of light cardio and toning, stretch
    friday; intense cardio vascular bike and 8 inch bench for an hour with abs and a stretch
    saturday (once a month, two hours of moderate to heavy cardio vascular with toning)

    sundays and thursdays are usually my practice days, mon and tues are my lesson days...ideally, I would have more time for yoga in there
    jerseydancer likes this.
  6. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    :jawdrop: you scare me...
    dancelvr likes this.
  7. Miss Silly

    Miss Silly Active Member

    I come from a background of overtraining (more is not always better) so aside from dance, i currently keep my workouts fairly short. Usually only up to 20 min of interval training using primarily bodyweight exercises with some plyometric style jumping around and a bit of skipping rope, averaging about 4-5 times per week. I'm in the middle of selling my condo & moving so (moving is so disruptive!) so I haven't been as on top of my workouts and it is most definitely affecting my dancing. I die in a jive LOL
  8. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    I don't have the time or energy to devote to hours of nothing but exercise. I do a ballet barre (nothing complex, demi/grande tendu releve kind of stuff, first, second, fourth and fifth) I try to do every day except when my body's really saying stop it. Where it REALLY shows is rise and fall in bolero. Free weight and resistance band, working the arms, upper back and core. Outdoor labor is exercise itself, too and just being on my feet all day.
  9. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    I come from a family of runners, so when I'm trying to be good about doing stuff outside of the studio, that's usually what it comes down to. I've tried hot yoga, which I think would have been great for me had I kept up, but the commute wore me down (the studio was on the other side of town). I'm quite certain that I'd benefit from resistance training, but have never stuck to a plan.
  10. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I do yoga, pilates and swimming. I typically do at least one of them every day, though usually not more than an hour in total for a day.
  11. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    Aside from the 3-4 times a week at ballroom/latin, I consistently do a weekly zumba class (sometimes two). Most weeks, I also add a day that has either tennis, ballet or yoga, depending on weather and how my week has been.

    I try to keep one day as full rest (nothing more strenuous than a walk and some light stretching) and one lighter (active, but not full out) day in my week to give myself a chance to rest.
  12. JANATHOME

    JANATHOME Well-Known Member

    Yes we all have to find the exercise that works for us.

    I too am a runner and while I don't know that it has made any improvement in my dance it has for sure increased my motivation and made me aware of how far I can push my body, which I can translate to dance....

    I also find with running I listen very hard to my body... Am I on the outside of my foot, the inside....
    Always looking forward, never down. Is posture right so I can support my body and make it through a 5K..
    And this.... I like to exercise alone, I like to get "into my zone alone". Zumba would never work for me because I don't like to be social when I run. I want to be alone. And I talk to myself a lot. Zumba ladies would think I am crazy when I start saying outloud "ca'mon Jan, you can do this, don't give up"

    Still some friends who have tired running hate it, I love it... Running in the snow in New England is also awesome!! Everyone has got to find that "thing"
  13. middy

    middy Well-Known Member

    I recently-ish got into free weight training. Not conventional for dancers, but I enjoy it a lot. Makes you feel really empowered :) I have done yoga sporadically, for something more directly beneficial for dance. Other dances like ballet or jazz could be good for developing posture and flexibility.
    Lioness likes this.
  14. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    If I had the time I'd take ballet/jazz, but right now I just try to do something: elliptical, yoga, core or light weights.
  15. Leon Theou

    Leon Theou Active Member

    I swim, lift weights, run, was doing CrossFit for a spell, occasionally spin. I also am on hiatus from taekwondo, but mean to get back into it.
  16. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    For part of the time when I was competing, I got my heart rate to 150 for maybe 10 minutes a day on the exercise bike. This seemed to be sufficient to make aerobic rate nonlimiting.

    Now, the only fitness training I get is ballroom rounds.
  17. dancelvr

    dancelvr Well-Known Member

    Oh my...I was totally going to say this. :)
  18. dancelvr

    dancelvr Well-Known Member

    Well, if I didn't have some sort of workout routine, my weekly lessons would cripple me. So, as I have free access to our gym at work, I spend four nights a week on any combination of the treadmill, stationary bike, and/or stair-stepper (with upper body option). I have to be careful of my knees, but all this seems to really help.
  19. Lioness

    Lioness Well-Known Member

    I lift super heavy weights 3x a week, and occasionally walk/run/bike ride.
  20. Sania

    Sania Active Member

    During the period while I was not dancing I worked with a personal trainer who did a lot with core exercises - things like dumbbell bench press with upper back resting on a stability ball, knees bent, no bench, etc., and when I came back I found that these had increased my body awareness as well as my ability to support my posture from my core immeasurably.

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