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7 Resistance Band Exercises for Dancers

7 Resistance Band Exercises for Dancers

7 Resistance Band Exercises for Dancers

Dancing requires strength, mobility, power, cardiovascular endurance, and muscular endurance. Your muscles quickly adapt to movements that are performed often in dance. Which is why adding resistance to every workout helps prevent plateaus and continuously challenges your muscles!

TheraBand Resistance Bands allow dancers to move more freely and achieve a greater range of motion by creating resistance from all directions. The dancer can adjust the angle of movement and combine several exercises, continuously working towards greater extension and flexibility. It’s also important that dancers protect their muscles and joints from potential injury.

Looking to strengthen your hips and core? We’ve come up with a variety of exercises to get you started!

4 Benefits to Using Resistance Bands

1. Great for Injury Rehabilitation

When recovering from an injury, it's important to practice safe rehabilitation exercises that won’t put excessive strain or weight on the injured area. Resistance training offers dancers a gradual reintroduction of strength-based movement and exercises. The bands also help build stability and better posture, helping prevent strain on weak muscles and joints.

2. Provides Variable Resistance

Resistance bands allow users to increase gradually the amount of the resistance during an exercise. This occurs when the amount of tension in the band increases as the ends are stretched further apart. Variable resistance leads to an increase in the number of muscle fibers being used in the working muscles. Which then leads to improved strength and muscular endurance.

theraband loops

3. Adaptable to All Fitness Levels

With a color-coded resistance system, TheraBand makes it easy to find your perfect fit and ensures you get the same level of resistance every time. These elastic bands are a great choice for progressive resistance training because the first six levels all increase 25% in resistance from the previous level at 100% elongation. Start with a lightweight band and as your strength and flexibility improves, move up to heavier weight. TheraBand also offers High Resistance Bands. It expands the resistance range and offers higher levels for advanced rehabilitation, elite athletes, and people looking for a tougher workout.

4. Improves Strength and Stability

Improving the height of kicks and leaps requires strength and flexibility throughout the lower back, hamstrings, groin, and quads. The major muscles that contribute to the actual height of a kick are the hip flexors and quads, which can be strengthened each time you lift your legs using a resistance band. In addition, proper stretching with the bands will improve a dancer’s form and technique.

group of hip hop dancers

Is hip pain limiting the height of your leg lifts? Is foot pain making it difficult to go into a plie? After dancing, some muscle soreness for 24-48 hours is normal. However, if you begin to experience any pain, you may have suffered a more severe injury. Talk to your doctor, physical therapist, athletic trainer, or medical professional about your pain relief options.

6 TheraBand Resistance Band Exercises

Perform these movements as a circuit (2-3 times each with one minute of rest between rounds) three times a week.

For assistance when tying the resistance band, hold the band with one end in each hand. Wrap one section around the other, then cross over again and bring one end through the loop that forms. Pull tight to form the first knot. Repeat so the band is double knotted securely. Before each use, make sure the knot is still tight and that it is not wearing/fraying. Or use a Loop Band!

Pointe-and-Flex

  • Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you
  • Flex your right foot and loop the resistance band around your foot. Focus on pressing slowly through the ankle, ball, toe, and then back through the toe, ball, ankle
  • Keep your working heel on the ground. Repeat this exercise 8-10 times and switch to stretch the left foot

Standing Push-Up

ballerinas stretching

  • Place the band across your back and feed the ends under your armpits, holding one end in each hand
  • Start with your hands by your shoulders, then press straight forward as though you were performing a push-up
  • Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat 8-10 times

Crunches

ballerinas doing crunches

  • Loop your resistance band over the barre
  • Lay on the floor perpendicular to the barre. Bend your legs and place your feet firmly on the ground to stabilize your lower body
  • Hold one end of the band in each hand and keep your arms extended beside your hips
  • Curl your upper body all the way up toward your knees and hold for 2-3 seconds
  • Slowly lower back down to the ground and repeat 8-10 times

The Frog

  • Lie flat on your back and bend your knees in toward your chest with your heels together
  • Place the resistance band across the balls of the feet and grip it near the knees
  • Keep the head down and use the abs to curl the upper body off the floor. The chest and shoulders should remain wide
  • On inhale, extend the legs toward the ceiling. Flex the feet, like a plié, in first position
  • Starting at 90 degrees, progressively bend the legs down into a diamond shape. Do not drop the knees or push the stretching limit
  • Repeat this exercise 8-10 times

Plank

ballerinas doing planks

  • Tie the band in a loop around your wrists so there is resistance when your hands are shoulder-distance apart
  • Come to plank position. Plant your hands directly under shoulders (slightly wider than shoulder-width) like you’re about to do a push-up
  • Ground toes into the floor and squeeze the glutes to stabilize your body
  • Walk around, moving the arms and legs together, going forward, backward or even sideways

Side Lying Clamshell

ballerinas side leg clamshell

  • Lie on your right side and tie a resistance around your thighs. Stack your feet and hips, with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle and your head resting in your right hand
  • Draw your knees in toward your body until your feet in are in line with your butt. Place your left hand on your hip to ensure it doesn’t tilt backwards. This is your starting position
  • Keeping your abs engaged and your feet together, raise your left knee as far as you can without rotating your hip or lifting your right knee off the floor
  • Hold for 2-3 seconds, squeezing your glutes at the top and then slowly return to the starting position. Do this 8-10 times

Reverse Lunge with Twist and Pull

  • Stand with your arms extended forward at chest height, holding one end of the band in each hand
  • Step your left foot back, and lower into a lunge
  • Twist your torso over your right leg, and pull your hands farther apart, stretching the band
  • Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side. Do this 5 times on each side

For further instructions on resistance band exercises for pointework, watch this video.

 

Looking for something to read next? Learn more in this article, Exercises for Ballet Dancers: Improve Your Turnout.

References

  1. Anonymous. (2016). TheraBand Exercises for the Dancer. A Dancer’s Life. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/3mLfNkQ
  2. Lee, Josephine. (2018). 5 Resistance Band Exercises for Stronger Pointework. Pointe. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/3h5rktY

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