Practicing your stepping techniques and routine movements is essential to be a successful dancer, but did you know that core strength is just as important?
Not to be confused with just having head-turning six-pack abs, core strength means the front, sides, and back of your torso have been properly conditioned. Let’s take a look at the benefits of core strength for dancers along with an ab workout that will help you achieve stage-ready abs.
Benefits of Core Strength for Dancers
Abs are for more than just looking good. Here’s how having a strong core can help you improve as a dancer:
Functional Strength: Whether you need to pick up your partner or perform quick spins, having a strong core ensures you’re able to pull off the moves in your routine.
Injury Prevention: Having a weak core can lead to muscle overcompensation, which is when a strong muscle group does the work for a nearby weaker muscle group. Given the extra work load, the stronger muscle group is at risk for strains, tears, and injuries. A strong core can reduce the risk of injury by ensuring all muscle groups are doing their part.
Aesthetics: Let’s face it: Who doesn’t want to be able to show off their six-pack abs? A strong core is as functional as it is aesthetically pleasing.
Ab Workout for Dancers
The best ab exercises for dancers focus on the transverse plane of movement. There are three planes of movement: frontal (side to side), sagittal (front to back), and traverse (rotational). Rotation-based ab exercises can mimic those movements performed during practice or a recital, helping to strength both your core and dance performance.
- Woodchopper: 3 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions
- Over-the-Shoulder Wall Ball: 3 x 10
- Side to Side Twist: 3 x 10 – 12
- Rotational Deadlift to Side Press: 2 x 8 – 10
- Russian Twists: 2 x 10 – 12
Perform this workout two to three times per week, preferably with cardiovascular exercise such as jogging, biking, or fitness class (e.g., kickboxing).
Strong Abs for Better Dancing
Just like with your dance routine, consistency and variety with your ab workouts is key. Target your core a few times per week, and once you’ve adjusted to this ab workout, increase the reps and sets, or try new exercises. Don’t forget to take before and after pictures to track your progress.
Please Note: Before following exercise routines or changing your fitness regime, please consult a certified fitness professional. Always talk with a medical practitioner before following dietary advice or taking supplements.