Simple Workouts for Dancers to Do At Home

We often associate dancers with flexibility, but strength is certainly a quality they cannot neglect. What are some of the best workouts for dancers to try without involving expensive equipment or assistance from another individual? 

Put your shoes on and get ready to push your strength to another level for more complex routines!

Cardio Workouts for Dancers

Aside from flexibility, dancers need stamina to conquer choreography routines, and that’s where cardio comes in. 

While this workout doesn’t focus on a specific group of muscles, it helps your whole body coordinate and regulate your breath even when you are moving vigorously.

If you do simple research, you will find the most common cardio exercises are swimming, cycling, and running. However, they either require you to leave the house or prepare suitable equipment, hence they are not always convenient.

Below, we have selected a few forms of cardio exercises at home for easy strength training.

Jogging in Place

The closest workout to running that we get at home might be jogging in place. It is more physically demanding than walking, yet less exhausting than running.

  1. Lift your left foot and your right arm simultaneously. It can be the other way around if you are more familiar with it.
  2. Engage your core and your hips as you switch between the legs and move the arms correspondingly.
  3. Repeat the movement.

Duration: 10 minutes for beginners, 15 -20 minutes for veterans.

Notes: Using jogging as an interval exercise and putting it in between other workouts will keep your practice more interesting.

Be warned: Jogging isn’t identical to running since your ankles and toes will endure more pressure, hence you will feel more fatigue and discomfort in your muscles. However, it still provides many similar benefits.

Through home jogging, you have some sort of aerobic workout for the strength and versatility of muscles, especially the lower body. 

The experts also proved posture, lung capacity, and cardiovascular function improvements from jogging, besides calorie burning and weight loss benefits.

Check more: What Is A Turning Board For Dancers?

Jump Rope

Through rope jumping, you will improve coordination, fitness, and agility all at once. The constant jumps undoubtedly strengthen our legs too, which is crucial for dancers.

You will need a rope with a suitable size and grip, so it’s better if you can try it at the store before buying. 

For more exertion, there are specialized ropes with attached weights for people who want to challenge themselves.

  1. It’s advisable to have a snack before the session, hydrate during it, and refuel with a balanced meal afterward.
  2. Swing your rope and jump over it as it hits the ground.
  3. Engage your core and keep your back straight.

Duration: 5 minutes for beginners and slowly increase to 10 – 20 minutes if your conditions allow.

Jumping rope is one of the most effective exercises to engage different muscles in your body and thus boost your overall strength, balance, and agility. 

Through quick-paced and continuous movements, your stamina and consequently your breathing will also be much better.

If you also need to control your weight and exercise without concerns about your body shape, rope jumping is an amazing choice. The risk of injuries and the financial investment for it are also something no one wants to overlook.

Although no official records have been made about rope jumping, the jumping movement in general helps to produce more endorphins, effectively relieving stress and lifting our moods.

Jumping Jacks

Jumping Jacks gif

Regarding home exercises that don’t require any tools, jumping jacks are never off the list. 

  1. Stand straight with your feet close to one another and your arms on the sides of your body. Tighten your core.
  2. Crouch slightly then jump as high as you can. At this very moment, widen the gap between your feet until they are aligned with your hips, and raise your arms over your head.
  3. Land on the ground lightly and repeat.

Duration: 20 – 30 reps for beginners, slowly increasing over time.

Even though doing a hundred jumping jacks in the beginning is nearly impossible, your body will adapt as you go on and thus enhance the versatility and endurance of your muscles and joints. It is great to strengthen the bones and prevent early aging as well.

Furthermore, during jumping jacks, your cardiovascular system will have to work hard to supply blood and oxygen.

Squat Jump

As the name indicates, the combination of squats and jumps is about to give you the strength training of your life!

  1. Stand with your feet separated a bit more than your shoulders’ width and keep your back straight.
  2. Lower yourself into a squat, and make sure your knees are slightly beneath your thighs.
  3. Push your body upwards in a jump and straighten your legs.
  4. Land on the floor in the original squat position, with your knees bent slightly.

Duration: 5 reps for beginners, increased to 12 – 15 reps over time.

Note: This move puts more pressure on your body, so you might want to practice on a soft surface, like a carpet or yoga mat.

When you do a set of squat jumps, nearly the entire body will be engaged, especially your hips, quads, glutes, and hamstrings. Since it boosts both your fitness and agility as well, you can call it an all-rounder among workouts.

Nonetheless, with the benefits comes the downside. This exercise is not for you if you have any problems with your ankles, knees, or hips. Don’t push yourself too much and try to recover first!

Check more: All About Ankle Weights for Dancers


Who would have thought such a funny name is the term for a push-up combined with a leap?

  1. Start with a squat: bent knees, straight back, feet aligned with shoulders.
  2. Lower your hands and place them in between your feet before kicking your legs back and putting your weight on your hands and toes.
  3. Maintain a steady pose and do regular push-ups. Make sure your bottom isn’t too high and your back isn’t sagging.
  4. Use a frog kick to get back to the squat pose.
  5. Stand up straight with your arms raised over your head and do a swift jump.
  6. Squat again as soon as your feet are on the floor and repeat the routine.

Duration: The average for most people is 20 reps/minute. You can decrease or increase the number depending on your strength.

Note: If you are completely new to push-ups and jump squats, you can skip either of them for safety. Planks are also a good alternative for push-ups.

As a full-body cardio workout, you can expect burpees to take your fitness and resilience to a whole new level. We also love the adjustments available, so we can tone down a bit or level up the challenge.

Aside from putting so much pressure on different muscle groups, burpees somehow require determination and toughness. A professional dancer needs to be physically and mentally balanced, don’t you agree?

Arm Workouts for Dancers

We tend to pay more attention to a dancer’s leg in the beginning, yet our eyes will gradually shift to the graceful and exerting arms.  

In a performance, and especially a static posture, the arms speak for themselves. They might seem still and motionless, but they carry immense strength.

Arm Circles

  1. Extend your arms to the sides, like the letter T. Make sure your wrists, elbows, and shoulders are in the same line, without tensing your arms too hard.
  2. Circle your arms to the front in small and even circles.
  3. Repeat the same movement but backward.

Duration: 20 reps for each set, increasing with time.

Notes: Holding weights can be a simple and effective way to level up your challenges.

The first thing that needs to be recognized in arm circles is convenience. You can either do it after getting up in your bed, or add it to your studio routine. In the worst case, you are unable to move your legs due to injuries.

Furthermore, arm circles are a great exercise to stretch the muscles in your arms, especially the rotator cuffs, which we often don’t pay enough attention to. 

Although it may seem easy at first, you will soon feel your arms heated and worked up enough.

Lateral Isometric Holds

  1. Stand straight with your arms down and relax.
  2. Steadily raise your hands out to the sides and pause when they are at the same height as your shoulders.
  3. Hold your arms in this position for 30 seconds. Press your shoulders down to keep the muscles straight.

Duration: 10 – 12 reps x 3 sets

This is a very simple exercise for the muscles of your shoulders, traps, and arms. The pressure put on your limbs will help to burn excess fat and increase their endurance.

Not only are toned arms aesthetically pleasing, but they also prepare you for tricky moves that might require more from your arms.

Shoulder Press

  1. Raise your arms over your head and lower one of your elbows to the level of your ears.
  2. Push it back to the original position and repeat the move to the other side.
  3. Engage your core while pressing your shoulders for better results.

Duration: 20 reps/set, preferably 4 sets at most.

Note: Using weights will make the exercise more challenging.

Shoulder presses make sure you engage your core so you can stabilize your upper body for the arms to move with confidence. In the long run, it promotes a proper posture that all dancers would love to have.

With or without weights added to the routine, shoulder presses are efficient in making your core work with your upper body to strengthen your body overall.

Tricep Presses

  1. Hinge forward with your feet aligned with your hips and knees bent.
  2. Push your arms back behind your hips. Keep them straight, with the palms turned toward the ceiling.
  3. Lift your arms and squeeze your triceps as much as you are comfortable with.
  4. Let your arms return behind your hips and repeat the move.

Duration: 20 reps x 3 sets

These simple presses are one of the best ways to strengthen and tone your biceps. At the same time, it builds more strength in your arms as well as your chest.

Tricep presses are also an isolation exercise, which means they target the triceps exclusively. Therefore, you can comfortably train this part without affecting other sections.

Prayer Pose Pulse

  1. Raise your hands forward and press them together until your forearms touch.
  2. Move your arms up and down an inch, while keeping your shoulders still.

Duration: 15 – 20 reps per set.

With minimal space needed, the pulses are the key to training your muscles here because they don’t let you rest too much or work too hard. 

Your arms, shoulders, and sides will have to work continuously and thereby strengthen remarkably.

Leg Workouts for Dancers

The legs are perhaps the most hard-working part of a dancer’s body because they determine how mobile and balanced a person can be. 

They also carry the weight of your body and prevent a large number of injuries from occurring to you.


  1. Stand with your back straight and your core tightened – this state won’t change throughout the exercise!
  2. Extend your arms forth and put your hands on your hips as you lower your hips and push the weight onto your heels.
  3. Once your thighs form a nice horizontal line, you can return to the beginning.

Duration: 10 reps/set, increased with time.

Targeting the lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and quads, squatting is the ultimate workout for dancers who need to tone their thighs and create a nice curve for their bottom.

Additionally, your sense of balance and stability will be enhanced significantly as well.


  1. Stand with hands on your hips and hips aligned with your feet.
  2. Put one foot forward in a large step.
  3. Bend your knees. The back knee should almost touch the floor and the front knee should be at a 90-degree angle.
  4. Make sure your core work and posture are straight.
  5. Push yourself back to the starting position using your front leg.

Duration: 10 reps x 2 – 3 sets (for each side).

Like squats, lunges work your hamstrings, glutes, and quads. However, they also put a good amount of pressure on your calf muscles and pave the way to defined legs.

With your weight leaning more on one leg at a time, your stability and balance will have positive improvements.

Glute Bridges

  1. Lie down with your knees pointed to the ceiling and your feet pressed to your bottom. When you put your arms down to your sides, your fingers should be able to touch your ankles.
  2. Lift your hips off the floor using your glutes. Your knees and shoulders should form a straight line.
  3. Hold the position for a couple of seconds, then return to the starting position.

Duration: 10 reps/set.

Your lower back and glutes will have to work hard to lift your body into a bridge and maintain the pose, which in turn makes the core and the balance much better.

Single-Leg Squats

  1. Stand on one leg and extend the other forward. You can hold your arms out for more balance, and bend your knee a little if you need to feel comfortable.
  2. Hinge your hips and lower your body on your supporting leg to squat. Don’t forget to use your core and straighten your back!
  3. Return to the starting point with your heel and repeat on one side before switching.

Duration: 10 reps x 2 – 3 sets (for each side).

Compared to most leg workouts, this is quite advanced and demanding. Your hamstrings, glutes, and quadriceps will go through some extreme challenges. 

If you have exercised wrongly and ended up with an imbalance of strength between your legs, it might help you correct the discrepancy.

Box Jumps

  1. Choose a platform suitable for your ability. It shouldn’t be higher than 6 inches if you are only starting.
  2. Stand with your feet aligned with your shoulders and your arms relaxed on your sides.
  3. Lower yourself into a squat before flinging your arms backward for momentum and jumping onto the box. Your knees should be bent to reduce the impact and maintain the balance.
  4. Step back onto the ground or jump down if you are confident with your strength, so you can repeat the routine.

Duration: 10 reps x 2 sets.

The intensity of this workout can give your legs a huge buff in strength. The multiple steps also make you more agile and level up your fitness. 

However, this should only be included in your exercise if you have established sufficient strength and balance.

Core Workouts for Dancers

The core is the root of your posture and balance. No matter which direction or position you are in, a strong core ensures you won’t stumble and fall over.


  1. Lie on your tummy and prop your body up on either your elbows or your hands and toes. Either way, they should be aligned with your shoulders.
  2. Tuck your hips and pull your belly in so your core is deeply engaged with the exercise.
  3. Your body should form a straight line with no part sinking low.

Duration: 30 – 60 seconds x 3 times.

Despite looking so simple, planks put all the muscles in your body under intense training. 

Your elbows (or hands) and feet support most of your weight, though your back and abdominal muscles also work hard to hold your torso in that straight line.

Side Plank Pulse

  1. From the classic plank, turn to one side so one of your arms supports you. Stack your feet for more challenge or separate them for more stability.
  2. Squeeze your waist in and lift your hips before raising your free arm over your head.
  3. Relax your hips and put your arms down without dropping yourself on the floor.

Duration: 10 reps/set (for one side).

Like planks, side planks are a workout for the whole body with more pressure on the core and the sides of your body, hence it helps you refine the areas that are too easy to overlook.

Wide Leg High Plank Crosses

  1. Get onto a high plank with about 50cm between your feet. All the tips for a common plank apply: keep your body straight and look at the ground so your neck won’t be strained.
  2. Lift one foot, point it, and cross that leg over the other.
  3. Return to the start and repeat for the other side.

Duration: Keep going until you cannot hold a plank anymore.

The high plank is always a good workout for the expansion of the shoulder and core. With the cross, one of your legs will take more pressure than the other at a time, and your core will have to work even harder to continue.

90-Degree Toe Taps

  1. On your back with your spine pressed to the floor, bend your knees at 90 degrees and hold your arms in front of you.
  2. Lower one foot and tap the floor with your toes, before returning upwards and switching to the other foot.
  3. Always make sure your back and shoulders are tight against the floor and your neck is not tense.

The upper and lower abs that we don’t pay enough attention to will receive significant enhancement. Your hip flexors and obliques will benefit as well.

Knee Pushes

  1. Start from the same position with 90-degree toe taps.
  2. Crunch slightly and put your palms on your knees before pushing them against each other.
  3. Hold it until you can feel a strong tension in your core. It’s okay even if you tremble.
  4. When you let go, inhale with your nose and exhale with your mouth.

Duration: Repeat as much as you can.

The hold will surely push your core to work so they can keep you up while your knees and palms push against the others so hard. It will familiarize you with the correct breathing technique while exercising.

Final Words

Are you ready to get on your mat and try these workouts for dancers? 

Don’t forget to mix several positions into a routine and switch them up after a while, so none of your muscle groups will be targeted for too long.

Practice makes perfect. 

Many workouts don’t mean to give immediate results, and we will always recommend going at your pace and staying consistent instead of pushing your body beyond limits and getting injured. 

You will gradually notice the change in your fitness and performance!

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