Time: 2 minutes
Start lying on the ground with the legs elevated and crossed making a 90° angle with the torso. Raise your head, supported by hands, as if for crunches and hold. Scissor legs (switch which one is in front, which is in back) down to the ground or as far as you can go without releasing the core and then back up.
Challenge: Point your toes! This will be useful in latin/rhythm dances where you need to do so anyway.
For the most part, ballroom is not aerobic. We don’t VW or quickstep for 15 minutes straight. Imagine if you could though–a two minute VW would be a breeze, leaving you with more attention to focus on the finer details of the dance. That’s where aerobics come in: to build stamina.
Recommended Time: 30 minutes daily minimum (American College of Sports Medicine)
Note: This can be varied and depends on the individual
Note: Stretch before and after aerobic activity; you are tightening muscles. Plus, muscles attain maximum benefit from stretching when warm.
Warning: Running puts pressure on the joints already overworked in dance. While as ballroom dancers, most of you don’t need to be concerned with this, for those with existing issues, be careful.
Low impact alternative: Run in the water or tread water
Pros: Activates all major muscle groups; low-impact; decompresses the spine (posture!)
Backstroke: Stretches the pectorals. Strengthens the back, torso and shoulders
Breaststroke: Works the inner thighs (turnout) as well as shoulders and pectorals. Stretch the pectorals after breaststroke! Also the groin (Butterfly stretch)
Treading Water/Water Jogging
Gets heart rate up without the impact of pavement
Strengthens quads and glutes.
Warning: Can shorten muscles at front of hips so be sure to stretch (lunges).
Nordic: Builds cardiovascular strength and works parallel position (smooth/standard dances)
Alpine: Strengthens internal rotation (Rhythm/Latin)