Dancer Cardio Training – Indoors and without Equipment

Dancer Cardio Training – Indoors and without Equipment
At Home Cardio for Artistic Athletes

Written by Scott DPT

May 11, 2020

Lately, we’ve heard a lot of Artistic Athletes say things like “if I had a spin bike/elliptical/rower/etc. It would be so much easier”.

Sure, it would be, but I don’t think any Artistic Athletes dance because of how easy it is. It may take a bit of creativity, but you can still very effectively keep your stamina and endurance up, without any equipment, in a single room.

We’re actually going to show you another circuit from our New Season, New Heights Artistic Athlete Program that does just this. You’ll get the whole workout below. Plus we will give you details to make this type of workout on your own!

If you are ready to start treating yourself like the athlete you are, it’s time to join our New Season, New Heights program.

You can download more free sample workouts and stay tuned for sign-ups to open. This happens only 4 times per year, so be sure to sign up to get notified when we open next!

To join or learn more: Click Here.

So here’s the workout we’ll examine today!

 

First you’re going to want to set a timer for 60 seconds, 30 seconds, 30 seconds, 60 seconds, 30 seconds, 30 seconds, and 60 seconds. (This can be done with free apps like the “Seconds” app in the app store). 

 

Watch the exercise demonstrations here: CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO

  • Exercise number 1: Plank with weight drag or reach – 60 seconds
  • Exercise number 2: Lateral Lunge to the right – 30 seconds
  • Exercise number 3: Lateral Lunge to the left – 30 seconds
  • Exercise number 4: Hollow Hold with Band Pullover – 60 seconds
  • Exercise number 5: Reverse Lunge with Front Raises (Left) – 30 seconds
  • Exercise number 6: Reverse Lunge with Front Raises (Right) – 30 seconds
  • Rest for 60 seconds
    • Then repeat this whole sequence 4-6 times for a 20-30 minute workout.

First, let’s quickly explain how this kind of workout can be amazing for your cardiovascular system.

Cardio work, in its most simple form, is simply maintaining your heart rate at an elevated rate for a prolonged period of time. There needs to be balance as well. Some of the HIIT workouts (high intensity interval training), popular on social media right now, do a great job of getting your heart rate to increase, but they miss the mark in a key way.

They don’t maintain your heart rate. There’s a lot of benefit to mixing in intensity days, where you get a really high heart rate, let it recover, and repeat. But there’s even more benefit to finding work that gets your heart rate slightly elevated and maintains it there. This is often called “steady state” cardio. We won’t dig into it now, but it won’t overwork your system and greatly improves your ability to recover from every other workout you do. (Also from rehearsals and other activities as well!)

Plus if you push really hard in the beginning, then are barely getting by in the last half of the workout, you’re actually not getting much from that last part of the workout. It’s burning calories, but it’s not improving your fitness or performances. Your body needs balance between being exhausted ( just working mental toughness) and finding the limit where you can continue pushing your body to do more than it did last time (that’s becoming more fit!). 

 

 

Performing cardio work with multiple exercises paired together, there can be huge benefits!

  • Uses more parts of your body at one time
    • This is super efficient and we use this type of cardio regularly in our New Season, New Heights programs so you don’t need to spend an hour or more cross training a day. We can get it done in 30 mins! 
  • You build more muscular endurance
    • So cardio is basically your heart’s ability to keep pumping blood to the body when fatigued combined with your lungs ability to steadily fill your blood with oxygen it needs.
    • Muscular endurance is a bit more complex. To put it as simply as I can, basically each muscle group has its own cardio system. The muscle needs to be able to use that blood and oxygen. You have to train each muscle group to improve this, whereas any cardio work can improve the heart. 
  • It is more exciting than just pedalling on an elliptical for 30 minutes
    • Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes zoning out while doing cardio can be super beneficial for mental health. We include this as well in our programs. But a change of pace is great for your body and mental health as well!
    • You can start to play around with exercises you like and really make some fun circuits. This keeps your more engaged in the workout, and in most cases, leads to better outcomes! 
  • Can mix in more of what you need.
    • Lastly, if you found you have a major weak point, say a lot of rolled ankles recently, you can mix in more ankle stability work every circuit!
    • It’s really easy to start to mix in the work you know you need in circuits like this. In the above example, you could simply add 30 more seconds of a single leg balance tasks on each side after the rest.

 

Now I’ll quickly explain the key points to get the most out of a workout like this.

 

First you need to time things appropriately. You don’t want to go so long in one move that you are barely moving by the end. Or that leaves you so exhausted you can barely start the next move. This will break the whole process down.

Instead we want to find a time that allows us to work hard, but switches in time that we are able to keep moving at a similar pace. Remember, the goal is keeping the heart rate up (not too high that we collapse, but not so low that we may as well just go for a walk).

A walk is great exercise too! That’s not a jab at walking. This just fills a different void than walks.

Now comes which movements to choose. There’s so many options, but we will go over the easiest, and the one that fits the above example.

 

You can alternate between body regions to get the most out of it. Doing jumps, squats, or lunges are tough on the legs. I think my legs would fall off if I did 30 minutes of lateral lunges! By the end, I know my legs would be buring, but I would be taking so many breaks, I wouldn’t be keeping my heart rate up that much anymore, at least not consistently.

If we pair a leg movement, like lateral lunges, with a core movement, like a hollow hold, we allow our legs to rest, while we train another muscle group. So your legs recover, but your heart is still working steadily. Thus, we keep the cardio effect!

We make the hollow hold require even more by adding arm movements as well. The more muscles we use at a time, the more our heart works and the easier it is to keep the heart at the level we want it.

You will see similarities with the plank. The arms are working still, both in reaching but also in the arm that has to hold you up. But the muscles around the knee are recovering.

In the last exercise, we continue to challenge your arms, but in a more dance specific position, while going back to the legs. Since our prior lunges were to the side, to make the movements a bit easier to keep pushing through, we change the direction for these.

We add the rest at the end because these movements are tough. The 60 seconds is enough that your muscles get the recovery they need, while your heart rate will only drop a little, not enough to take away your cardiovascular benefits.

Hopefully you found this article helpful in explaining how you can train your cardio, stamina, and endurance, all from your living room!

 

To get more great workouts to do at home, be sure to check out our New Season, New Heights Program. (If you have access to a fitness center or more equipment, we’ve got you covered as well! You just select which options work best for you in the check out!

Click Here For Details and Sign-Up. Don’t wait to have your best season!

Finally treat yourself like the athlete you are!

Related Articles

Common Mistakes in Dancer Cross Training

Common Mistakes in Dancer Cross Training

Common Mistakes in Cross Training for Artistic AthletesSo we’ve taught you how to start implementing a program in a prior post, but now let’s be sure you avoid these common mistakes! To read that post if you missed it, click here.Here's a list of what we see most...

Start Cross Training Today Simple Guide for Artistic Athletes

Start Cross Training Today Simple Guide for Artistic Athletes

Cross Training Guide for Artistic AthletesToday I want to highlight some quick steps you can use to integrate cross training into your life, right now! Feel free to Contact Us at any time for deeper discussion. Obviously, if you want to get a much more complete...

Stay Up to Date With The Latest News & Updates

Learn More About our New Season, New Heights Program!

Join Our Newsletter

DPT Fit’s Dancer Digest

About The Author