7 Strength Exercises for Dancers

This routine will sculpt your core, improve posture, and prevent injury.

“Dancing requires strength, mobility, power, cardiovascular endurance, and muscular endurance,” says Devin Maxwell, Equinox Century City tier 3+ trainer. That's true for professional dancers and dance cardio class regulars alike. Not only does the sport keep you fit, but it also boosts your mood and keeps you mentally sharp. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that of 11 physical activities, dancing was the only one that lowered the risk of dementia by 76 percent.

So it’s no surprise that mastering such a uniquely beneficial mind-body exercise demands a little extra support in the training department. “It’s crucial that dancers protect their joints and muscles, and strength is the number one injury-prevention tool,” says Maxwell, who adds that low-back issues are common among dancers. “When you dance, your hips and core work together. If those muscles are weak, it pulls on the lumbar spine and causes low-back pain.” To counter this and stay in peak form for dancing and other athletic pursuits, Maxwell recommends doing the following moves as a circuit (do it three times through with one minute rest between rounds) two to three times a week. Maxwell says you’ll see the impact within two to four weeks: “Your dance form will improve and you’ll have better posture, a stronger core, and all-around greater stability.”