How to build leg strength for dance

Strength Training For Dancers - Elite Dance Studio


Dance is one of the most fast-paced, demanding and dynamic activities your body can do– for this reason, dancers are world renowned for both their athletic prowess and their physical beauty. Dancing not only strengthens and tones your body, it transforms your posture and adds grace to even the most mundane of movements. Whether you are hitting the ballroom or your living room, there are simple exercises that you can do almost anywhere to gain the long, lean muscles needed for dance. Read on for Elite Dance Studio’s guide to strength training for dancers… Leg day edition!


Among dancers, ballet training is known to be among the most grueling– but the results are undeniable! Most people grow up knowing ballet dancers are the pinnacle of graceful strength, so why not follow their example? Ballet or ballet-inspired exercises and stretches are ideal for adding flexibility and strength to your lower half.


Squats and lunges have become popular across all kinds of popular fitness. It is for good reason! These exercises isolate and strengthen your quads, calves, hamstrings and glutes– basically your butt and legs, essential muscles for strong dancers. Another great feature is that they require no equipment, relying entirely on your body weight and proper posture. From your backyard to the office: try a set or two of squats and lunges anywhere!


This next exercise does require one thing besides a willing participant: a wall! Sit against a wall with your legs planted evenly at a 90-degree angle and you will feel the burn in no time. Wall-sits are a classic conditioning exercise for dancers, building both muscle strength and endurance. Like squats and lunges, these can be done almost anywhere and they support the lower trunk of your body.


Staying with the theme, other popular exercises among dancers are leg lifts and raises. Leg lifts can be done lying on your back by raising each leg, making sure to keep it straight while tightening your abdominal muscles. Leg or calf raises can be done on a stair, low bench, curb… Anywhere really! Simply stand with your heels hanging over the edge and stand up on your tiptoes, keeping your back, legs and core in a straight line. As with all of the above, a dancer’s posture– head up, shoulders back– will add to the impact of the exercise.


All dancers train their core (abdominal muscles), but it may be hard for the layman to understand how that helps your legs. Strength should originate from your core, as it will add power and explosiveness to any motion. A well-trained athlete knows that strong abdominals will lengthen your entire body and allow your legs to become more toned, among other benefits.

The outline above is just a starting point for anyone seeking to pursue strength training for dancers, whether they want to dance professionally or not. Elite Dance Studios caters to students of all skill levels, focusing on the fundamentals of building a dancer’s body– and the joy of dance most of all! Contact or visit us today for more information.

How Ballet Dancers Can Gain Leg Strength And Recover Sore Legs Faster – SPRYNG

Ballet dancing is an art form. It's a performance of musical and creative expression. Ballet requires dedication, practice, and physical strength. For ballet dancers, legs training workouts are essential to ensure their best performances.  

There are specialized ballet workouts aimed at strengthening the muscle groups required for dancing, and they are important exercises for the ballerinas to prevent injuries and reach optimal conditions necessary for dancing. 

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Strength training exercises for ballet dancers 

As one of the most gruelling forms of dance that requires graceful movements, flexibility, a strong core and emphasis on leg strength, the following exercises performed consistently would make a big difference in a ballet dancer's life.  

1. Leg raises 

Leg lifts and leg raises are popular among dancers, and they can be done while lying on your back. Raise each leg while tightening your abs and making sure to keep the leg straight. Not only are these exercises great calf stretches for dancers, but they also help you achieve those lean and elongated ballerina calves you long for. 

Leg raises can even be performed while standing as you support yourself against a ballet barre and lift one leg high up. These helpful ballet calf exercises allow you to stretch out and extend your leg muscles and help to increase balance and flexibility. 

2. Squats 

Squats are an essential ballet leg workout as they work the front and back legs and help to improve ankle mobility. Simply stand with your feet placed parallel to each other and slightly apart from your hip distance. You may extend your arms in front of you, place them on your hips or overhead.  

While keeping your torso straight, push your hips back and bend into your knees until your knees are at a 90-degree angle. Conduct slow and controlled reps and hold the bottom of the squat for about 15 seconds. Repeat as desired. You may start incorporating small weights if you aim to build more strength.  

3. Lunges 

If you're wondering how to get strong legs for dancing, lunges are great workouts to engage in. They are fantastic ballet leg strengthening exercises as they help to strengthen quads and hamstrings. You may perform stationary lunges or conduct walking lunges based on your preference. 

As you take a big step forward, bend into both knees, forming 90-degree angles on each. You may place your hand on your hips or extend them over your head. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other foot in front of you. 

4. Wall-sits 

This workout is simple and effective in strengthening the lower half of your body. All it requires is a wall to practice against! Simply sit against the wall while placing your legs evenly at 90-degree angles. Hold the position for a few minutes, and you'll feel the burn in your muscles.  

This is a fantastic exercise for muscle conditioning for dancers as it helps strengthen muscles and increase endurance. 

5. Abdominal workouts 

Strengthening the core is especially important to all dancers as essentially all your arm and leg movements originate from your core. The strength of your core determines the power and grace you can incorporate into your movements. And it allows the dancers to maintain their posture as they perform, which is a must-have for all ballet dancers.  

Planking, side plank leg lifts and lower abdominal hip lifts are some of the most convenient ab workouts for ballet dancers to engage in regularly. 

How to recover fast after ballet workouts? 

Do your legs hurt after dancing? Are you wondering why your calves hurt after dancing? Minor aches and pains are common for those who dance and train regularly. With proper dance recovery routines and techniques, you can eliminate those aches and pains and ensure your next training session won't be impacted by it.  

Below are a few tips to help you alleviate the pain in your calves and legs and achieve a faster recovery: 

1. Use a foam roller 

Foam rollers are excellent muscle recovery tools that help you roll out those knots after a strenuous workout. Ideally, it would help to incorporate the foam roller into your warm-down stretches after a workout routine. 

2. Stretch 

Stretching out your tight muscles is one of the most effective ways to alleviate leg pain that follows a workout. It helps to release the excess lactic acids built up from your activities and alleviate the pain. 

3. Calf compression wrap 

If you're searching for the best recovery massage tool in the market, SPRYNG calf muscle recovery tool is one that you should grab. It provides active massage compression that promotes oxygenated blood flow to your legs, helping alleviate pain and soreness in your leg muscles fast. 

To read more about easy exercises for dancers to stay fit, visit here.  


Results of the use of the SPRYNG Product may vary from each individual and each individuals health status, goals and use of the SPRYNG Product. We encourage that you consult a qualified physician or other recognized health service provider and follow all safety instructions prior to beginning any new exercise program, recovery program or trying on the SPRYNG Product, especially if you are pregnant or have any condition that requires medical attention and/or guidance. The contents of our website are for information purposes only, and do not constitute any medical, legal, or any other type of professional advice and/or recommendation. The SPRYNG Products are designed to help stimulate healthy legs in order to improve circulation in the lower extremities.

4 steps to perfect dancer's legs

  • Dec 16, 2014
  • DANCE-mania, Blog, Video, Health, Exercise

Dancer's feet. They are not just long and thin. They are strong. They are flexible. And they do not appear easily by themselves.

This article contains four basic exercises that work your legs from top to bottom, with which you can achieve the perfect dancer's legs. nine0009

Trust the experts!

1. Glutes and Hamstrings - Marching leg raises, leaning on the ball.
Strong buttocks not only allow you to move faster and more vigorously, but also help prevent injuries to your knees and lower back.

Lie on your back face up with your knees bent and your feet on a large ball. Raise your hips so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees (A). Raise one knee to your chest (B). Then lower back, lift the other knee. Continue the exercise by changing legs. nine0009

2. Inner thigh - squats (Standing Plié Squat).
The muscles of the inner thigh, like all other muscles of the upper leg, help stabilize the knee joint. And when it comes to turnout, many dancers try to work from the knee. Strong inner thigh muscles will help you turn your legs exactly where you want them to.

Begin the plie exercise in wide second position, hands in second position with palms up. nine0009

Corn the buttocks and muscles of the inner surface of the thigh, getting up and raising your hands over your head.

Return to starting position and do 3 sets of 10 reps at a fast pace.

Let's make it harder! At the end of each rep, hold the plié and do 20 small up and down pulsating movements.

For maximum effect, stay in plie and pulse forward with 20 knees.

For advanced ones: at the end of each series, rub the heel from the floor and squeeze the hip muscles, go up to half -fans and linger in 10 accounts. nine0009

During the exercise, make sure that the muscles of the lower body are involved and that the hips are always kept directly under the shoulders.

For some, this exercise is old hat, but for us it is a classic. The toe raise strengthens both parts of the calf - the calf (the one you usually see on the back of the leg below the knee) and the soleus (which is under it). The next time you're balancing on your toes in a dance studio and trying to reach something on the top shelf, thank your strong calves. nine0019

A. Stand next to a chair with your heels together and toes apart. Place your right hand on the back of a chair, your left hand on your belt.
B. Slowly rise up on your toes. Hold at the top for a few seconds, then lower your heels. Repeat 10-15 times.

Be sure to do some stretching after strengthening exercises!

And finally, inspiring photos of beautiful dancing legs! nine0009


5 dance styles that will help strengthen your legs

One can talk endlessly about the benefits of dance and its effect on the human brain. Today we will talk about more applied, but no less important things: for example, about which types of dances will make your legs toned and strong.

1. Salsa

Salsa is a modern social dance that originated in the 1970s in the United States and Latin America. nine0009

Best for: for those who want to pump their lower body without exhausting strength training and recharge their batteries.

What muscles are involved: all major muscle groups. The movements in the dance are very intense - when performing different sequences of steps, the gluteal muscles, hamstrings, quadriceps muscles of the thighs and calves actively work. The back and arms in the dance must take certain positions, so they also receive a load, although to a lesser extent. nine0009

Salsa's famous step: with minor adjustments for different dance styles (there are seven in total) the basic movements consist of fast-fast-slow steps to four percussive rhythms. Every fourth count is used for slow weight transfer, pause, or - in some styles - for a kick (throwing the leg) or tap (kicking the floor with the foot).

Why else do you need to do salsa:

  • while dancing improves blood circulation; nine0004
  • active movements burn 5 to 10 calories per minute;
  • regular salsa exercises help control lipid levels and blood sugar levels;
  • improves emotional health;
  • social skills are improved (since salsa is primarily a pair dance).

2. Flamenco

Flamenco is a southern Spanish folk culture that includes both song and dance. Flamenco can be sung, danced and even played (guitar). nine0009

Suitable for: for those who want to try something completely new (and train their brain at the same time). By the way, experienced dancers passionately claim that flamenco has no nationality, gender or age.

Muscles Used: flamenco is essentially rhythmic tapping of fractions with the feet, so that during the dance all the muscles of the legs work intensively, and all areas are involved, from the hip to the foot. When performing turns, tilts of the body, twists and other asymmetric elements, the oblique abdominal muscles receive a good load. nine0009

In terms of technique, this folk single dance is one of the most difficult. He allows constant improvisation, his drawing is intricate and contradictory, the movements require good physical preparation, flexibility and control of his own body, and the rhythm requires decent endurance.

Why else do you need to do flamenco:

  • dance “sculpts” a relief back, forms an impeccable posture and beautiful hands;
  • dance develops intelligence. Flamenco is called a “smart art”, to comprehend which you need to learn Spanish (at least at a basic level), master solfeggio, rhythm, ideally, master the basics of vocals and even improve your knowledge of mathematics (flamenco has very complex rhythms that need to be calculated in your head) . nine0004

3. Contemp

Contempo is a combination of dance techniques from Western (classical dance, modern jazz) and Eastern (qigong, taijiquan, yoga) arts of movement. The main exercises are built by analogy with classical and modern ones: from simple to more complex. The lesson includes exercises in the stalls (work on the floor), relaxation techniques, as well as stretching.

Suitable for: for those who want to explore themselves more deeply, as well as fans of martial arts. nine0009

What muscles are involved: all, since the peculiarity of the dance is the alternation of muscle tension and relaxation, falling and lifting, sudden stops (often on straight legs) and balancing.

Why else do you need to do contemporary:

  • it's aesthetically beautiful;
  • dance will help you master breathing practices. Breathing during the contempo plays a big role - it should be measured. This feature kontepm learned from martial arts. nine0004

4. Irish solo dance

Solo Irish dances owe their origin to the masters of dance

- traveling teachers who appeared in Ireland in the 18th century. The peculiarity of the Irish dance is in fast and clear foot movements, while the body and arms remain motionless.

Who will suit : independent fans of James Joyce and lovers of order in everything.

What muscles are involved: all the muscles of the legs (to beat an energetic rhythm) and the back (which is always tense). Since the Irish dance is characterized by the eversion and cross position of the legs, as well as the aspiration of the dancer upwards, a beautiful posture and a fixed body play a very important role - the hands should be pressed to the sides during the dance.

Why else do you need to learn Irish dancing:

  • it's physically difficult - about 800 calories are burned per hour of training; nine0004
  • is fun. Seriously, thanks to its energy and positiveness, Irish dances in various manifestations and forms continue to win the hearts of people in all corners of the world, from Japan to Africa.

5. Bachata

This is a couple dance that originated in the Dominican Republic in the 1960s during the country's economic decline. Bachata was danced in spite of: dictatorship, military coups, difficulties. There is a version that the inhabitants of the Dominican Republic tried to support each other in difficult times, hence the gentle, almost intimate performance of the dance.

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