At Home Strength Training Stabilization phase

One of my favorite follows in the whole wide world from one of my favorite scenes proposed a good question and scenario for me. After reading my post in regards to strength training, Rebecca Kilby out of Greenville, South Carolina, where if you ever get the chance you should check out the Greenville Lindy Exchange and discover the beautiful Greenville all their fantastic people and dancers in the Palmetto state. Ms. Kilby (as I call her affectionately) sent me this message on facebook. “I workout at home, not at a gym. So I don’t have access to fancy equipment. So what exercises you can do at home or on the go with minimal equipment? For example, I only have 5 lb., 8 lb., and 10 lb. weights, a chair, and the floor.”

So challenge accepted!!! As I know gym memberships are expensive so as much as I’d LOVE to say all ya’ll should join a Lifetime Fitness I understand budget comes into play you can join gyms for as low as 10 dollars a month and I slightly just vomited in my mouth advertising for another gym but do what’s best for the readers. Anyways you can get a pretty decent workout utilizing these pieces of equipment and I’m going to make suggestions of what you can add to this for minimal cost so you can get an all around workout.

Phase 1 Stabilization with dumbbells a chair and the floor.

This phase is circuit style training of 1 set 1-3 rounds which is a set of each all 8 exercises with 45 seconds between each round and 2 minutes between a set (1-2 completed rounds). Each exercise will be done for 12-15 reps at a tempo of 3-1-1 that means the 3 second lowering phase, 1 second lift and a 1 second squeeze at the end of the lift.

The Exercises

Body weight or Dumbbell Squats

Start with feet shoulder width apart with toes forward or turned out at 45 degrees. Have your hands on your hips or straight out in front of you, have your hips go back as if you were sitting down keep your chest up and head neutral (looking straight ahead). If you have difficulty with this I recommend getting a stability ball for a stability ball squat http://youtu.be/dxWQgMpEFjs  or use a chair to sit in and to stand back up or you can simply widen your stance as shared in this video. You can progress by making your stance more narrow or adding dumbbells.

Bent over row

For this exercise you’re gonna have a dumbbell in each hand bend over at the hips, have knees slightly bent. Keep your shoulders back, chest  up and have your upper torso parallel to the floor and pull the dumbbells till your elbows are at 90 degrees and slowly go back to starting position . If you need stability you can put your hand on the chair for balance but keep you back flat with shoulders back and chest up and just do a single arm bent over row.

Romanian Deadlift w/dumbbells or Single leg Romainian Deadlift

 Personally a favorite movement to teach if you’ve ever seen Legally Blonde a Romanian Deadlift is pretty much a “bend and snap” if you haven’t here’s the clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-4tIs00NvM . I say this to for fun but also I seriously teach this movement this way. You’ll have your dumbbells in front of you bend over with your hips going back, keep your chest up and shoulders back and slightly bend the knees. Go down as far as you can and return to starting position. Here’s a more serious video that I love because it’s taught by British trainers and I just love the cues they use. You can do this movement on one leg with a single dumbbell or body weight to work on balance and stability http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSmhMKo6jV4 but I like to teach the move on two feet first. If you struggle with balance on the single keep your free leg toe on the ground so you can stabilize yourself when need be. If that doesn’t work do regular deadlifts till you’re strong enough to do single leg.

Chair bridge chest press

As you’ll see in the video demonstration from Hyper strike. This exercis is more commonly done with a stability ball but you can relax on the corner of the chair to give you free range of motion with the elbows and dumbbells. You’re going to want to use a towel or something to cushion the seat of the chair so you’re more comfortable. I’d recommend purchasing a swiss ball because it’s a versatile piece of equipment that is fairly inexpensive. Rest your shoulder blades on the chair, press heels firmly into the ground and raise hips to create a bridge with the body and keep abs tight. Start arms extended bring down slowly till elbows are 90 degrees then press upward.

Static Lunge/Split squats

You must always learn to produce strength from one leg. So I always recommend a single leg pushing exercise such as the step up to balance but knowing the fact that said chair maybe too high for most novice fitness trainees. We’re going to break down the static lung instead. You’ll start off one leg in front of the other weight loaded on the heel. Lower hips down to front knee being 90 degrees back knee slightly bent. Go down and push back up from the heels.

Renegade row

Awesome core and shoulder stability exercise with dumbbells. You’re going to start off in a push up position on dumbbells core drawn in (abs tight) back flat and straight. You’re going to pull one dumbbell towards you slightly turning the body place it on the ground then the other leading with the elbow of course.

Floor Bridge

Another bending movement to help strengthen the glutes, lower back and hamstrings. You lay flat on your back feet flat on the ground. Hands flat on the ground. You’re going to push your heels into the floor lifting your hips up till your back is straight and slowly bring your body back down.

Push ups

Help stabilize your shoulders strengthen you abs and lower back push ups are great you can. I’m not even really going to write much on this exercise because speaker Rachel Buschert Vaziralli does a great job breaking this down and give awesome regressions and progressions to make this exercise easier or more  challenging.

Conclusion

So here is a workout you can do circuit style to help you build up some stability for your joints and muscles to get you a good foundation before moving on to other exercises to challenge you while you’re at home. Hope this one helps. I apologize for the links that weren’t live totally copy and paste those into another tab so you can access they’re also very useful to watch. Thanks for reading  and feel free to ask me question. Love y’all and God Bless ^_^

Photo Credit to Jamie Lynn Photography Youtube channel credits to Howcast, The Fit Lab, HyperStrike and Well Fit

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How Weight Lifting/Resistance Training can transform your dancing

Introduction

Bro do you even lift? No, seriously do you because there are a ton of ways this can help you as a dancer and I have really no idea where to start.  So I’m going to lay these benefits/adaptations out in the manner that the National Academy of Sports Medicine does by giving physiological benefits, Physical benefits and last but not least performance benefits. I’ll be tying each benefit back to where it falls in regards to dancing. Resistance training does more then just build big muscles. As always this is just an overview if you want specifics don’t hesitate to ask questions.

Adaptive Benefits of Resistance Training

Physiological

Resistance training helps improve cardiovascular efficiency, decreases body fat, and Increases metabolic efficiency (metabolism). So first of all resistance training can improve cardiovascular fitness/efficiency Gettman and Pollock showed in a study that 20 weeks of circuit training with weights can improve VO2 Max by 5-8%. Also, Stone, Wilson, et al  found in high volume Olympic weight lifting program can improve aerobic capacity by 8% in an 8 week program. This due to the number of large muscle group exercises like squats, cleans and high pulls with minimal rest between sets. Now a increased metabolism and decreased body fat go hand in hand. As you build up your muscle, your body will rely more on fat as an energy source not only at rest but at higher intensities of exercise. With this you spare glycogen or carbohydrates allowing you to do high intensity activity for a longer duration of time. Which means, you guessed it, you can dance more consecutive songs and effectively with an improved metabolism.

Physical 

When it comes to the physical adaptations these are all about things that help prevent injury. A good resistance training program increases bone density and tissue (muscle, tendons, ligaments) tensile strength. Increased bone density makes your bones less susceptible to fractures (and a shin splints common among dancers), gives your muscles a sturdier anchor to pull on making your movement more efficient. Improved tensile strength of the tissues makes you less likely to strain a muscle on the dance floor and to suffer from spraining a tendon or a ligament. This will also lower the severity of tendinitis as well. So your body is going to feel a lot better dancing during those long exchange weekends. Also, resistance training will increase cross-sectional area of muscle fibers. In non science speak your muscles get bigger fellas, not only does this mean your arms look WAY better when you roll up your sleeves of those dress shirts at dances and ladies you get some pretty awesome toned legs to show off with your flowy skirts. You’re able to move with less effort as now you have a bigger motor unit  contracting to produce that move and more motor units recruited. This benefit will be covered in more detail in the performance section.

Performance

Now for the performance part of it. If you’re to take part in a well organized program, you’d not only be able to improve your strength but you’d be able to improve power as well. Power is strength with a high rate of speed which is vital in dancing Fast Lindy when you have to perform directional changes quickly. Power is also important when performing aerials as you need to be able to get your follow off the ground efficiently as a lead and the follow can help out by jumping quickly. You can improve muscular and cardiovascular endurance through a number of different systems of  resistance training. The more endurance your muscles have the longer you can maintain good technique with your footwork, while dancing and maintaining a responsive connection. My favorite benefit is resistance training increases neuromuscular control (coordination). For those of you who want better balance weight lifting gets the body to recruit more motor units (muscle fibers and motor neurons) and become more coordinated in firing. This improves how well you move and are able to learn a particular movement along with improving balance.

Tips for Starting/Designing a Resistance Training Program

1. Focus on Core aka Multi Joint Exercises

When you start a resistance training program, whether that involves weights or just using your own body weight, focus on Core exercises, as they recruit one to two large muscle groups and involve 2 or more primary joints. This is going to give you the above adaptations in the shortest amount of time. Also, core exercises will have a bigger cross over to dancing as well as a lot of other sports movements. Assistance exercises or single joint exercises are good for working areas that are commonly injured. Here’s an article from Lifetime Fitness (my employer ya’ll) on the type of movements I feel should be staples in your routine and help you get results 4 Movements You should focus on.

2. Have your Exercise Order go from Big down to small

This is kind of similar to the above tip but when you train you want to work the large muscle groups first. So if you’re working out legs do squats, deadlift and lunges first. At the end you can just work the quadriceps (front of thigh), Hamstrings (back of thigh) and do calve raises. For Upper body it’d look like this do Chest press, Pull ups, Dips, Rows, shoulder press and then you would work your biceps and triceps at the end. Assistance exercises don’t need much time spent on them because those muscle are utilized during the core exercises. Fitness trainer confessional I hate seeing members go out to the workout floor and go straight to doing curls and tricep extensions when they want to lose weight and I try to give them advise to help improve their workout and they get mad…please don’t be those people.

3. Start with basic movements and then go up from there

If you don’t know how to squat don’t try doing single leg squats and if you have to do a push up with your knees on the ground that’s perfectly fine. Rome wasn’t built in a day and we all have to learn how to crawl before we can walk and even God took seven days to create everything. I feel one should not engage in box jumps, med ball throws or any other power or ballistic movements without going through a series of stabilization, endurance, hypertrophy and strength exercise Optimum Performance Training Models. That’s just asking for an injury and that’s honestly something I hate seeing which is why I’m writing so if you want guidance feel free to ask me because I’d love to help.

4. Less can be more

The most important aspect of any training program is rest and recovery. It took me 10 years of running track for me to learn this when it came to my off season training. I trained  4 days a week in the summer 2 of those in the weight room, one on the track and I utilized Ultimate Frisbee after campus ministry as another conditioning day and which didn’t seem like conditioning because I was having a blasts. I came into the season fresher and in better shape then the seasons I trained 6 days a week over the summer. We tend to fall into the myth the more the better. The most important thing for your body is to recover the only way for these adaptations to happen is the body needs to rest and regenerate to a higher level of performance known as super compensation, Here’s the visual aid I always use to explain this point to people.

Conclusion

That’s all I have for now FEEL FREE TO ASK ME QUESTIONS. I’d love to help and totally plan on going in depth with this subject on a later post love ya’ll and God Bless 🙂

P.S.

I’m being very forward about ya’ll asking questions because I want you dancers from all around to drive the material. This is how i work with my clients at times and we’ve been pretty successful doing this. Also, Photo credit to Jamie Lynn Photography in Orlando, Florida LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU JAMIE 😀