Workout So You Can (Swing) Dance Better

Yes, that’s what i said… dancing.

I know I’ll lose some people on this one, so feel free to substitute the word  SOCCER, BASKETBALL, RUNNING, or whatever your favorite sport is for the word “dancing/dancer”.  Most likely my advice will still apply.

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Today’s post is for my fellow swing dancers.  Dance geek-speak to follow:  I’m talking to the people that take some dance classes for fun and to meet new people.  I’m talking to all those USCD Swing dancers, Balboa Rendezvous attendees, Hot Rhythm Holiday dancers.  Dying to go to Herrang?  Lindy Hop, Balboa, Collegiate Shag, Charleston…

Trouble with your turns?  Lifts? Pivots?  Trouble with that trick you just learned where you catch the follow at the hip with your foot?  Do you get hurt a lot?  Get overly sweaty after just a few minutes?  Well, it could be your technique, I know I am guilty of poor technique.  The worse your technique, the more energy you expend.  You might get a good workout by being purely inefficient at what you are doing.  You’ll definitely sweat through your clothes by being inefficient in your movements.

As you get better, your movements become better controlled.  You are able to accomplish your goal on the dance floor in a controlled way.  You can dance for hours and go home timed, but not overly exhausted.  But now you want to get EVEN BETTER.

Want to know the single most effective way at getting better at dancing, sports, or any movement-based activity?

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Its super simple… strengthen your core!

I’m not just talking about doing boring sit-ups.  I hate sit ups.  No, I’m talking about strengthening the entire core of your body.  A strong core helps you turn and pivot with control, to put your limbs where you want them to be.  It allows you to do those crazy lifts and tricks without hurting yourself or the person next to you.

Usually people think their dancing (or sport of choice) is “enough” to keep them in shape.  And when people are young, well its true.  Cardio + diet alone might keep you pretty well maintained if you know what you are doing, but it doesn’t make you BETTER.

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Our awesome teachers Joel & Jackie Plys. Joel does p90x, Insanity and the rest. He surfs in the morning, works out and THEN teaches dance classes every night! I’m impressed!

 

There are more workout moves than I can list here to help you strengthen your core.  If you can afford a personal trainer tell them you need core work without machines.  If you are like most of us (poor dancers) you need something a lot more affordable.

If you read this blog with any regularity, you know here is where I’m going to insert the Beachbody programs plug.  And you are right.  But which program should you choose?

Based on the programs I have personally done, these are the ones I think will be most effective if followed as directed:

CHALEAN EXTREME
P90X & P90X3 (coming soon)
FOCUS T25
BODY BEAST

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Maybe dancing isn’t burning all the calories it used to for you when you first started?  Well as an added bonus of following these programs you will build a little lean muscle in the rest of your body too.  Lean muscle BURNS CALORIES!  You won’t have to starve yourself.

From personal experience, my Balboa got so much better after I did P90X.  I’m not a pro, I don’t compete, but I don’t totally suck either.  It is fun to be able to keep my form in a spin.  I think you will enjoy it too.

Love to hear your thoughts!