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Challenge yourself with this professional ballet dancer workout



Ballet may be beautiful, but it’s also brutal in terms of the demands it makes on the body, both in terms of general fitness and total body strength. This means that Royal Ballet dancer Reece Clarke wants to do several workouts a week between regular rehearsals and performances.

“What I do in the gym is a career necessity,” says Clarke, Albert Bartlett’s Potatoes Ambassador. “It enables me not only to work at a higher level, but also to protect and prevent my body from injury, which is unfortunately difficult to avoid in my job.”

“The workouts I do depend on my performance and my rehearsal schedule for that week. So if I had a day when rehearsals were hard to jump and I performed in the evening, that day I would work out my upper body and abs at the gym. If it was a day where I worked and lifted a lot together, I would do a leg day at the gym. “

We asked Clarke for an example of the type of workout he does to aid his dancing and he shared this full body session which also includes a cardio section after the blocks that focus on the upper and lower body. You can try to do it all at once or split it up over a week.

Upper body workout

1
bench press

Sets 5 Representative 5

Lie on a bench and hold a barbell with your hands just wider than shoulder width apart. Lift the bar off the rack and bring it to your chest. Then slide the bar straight up.

2 pull-ups

Sets 5 Representative 8th

Clarke does a mix of wide and tight grip pull-ups during sets. Jump up and grab the bar with an overhand grip. Then pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar. Lower under control.

3 Lat pulldown

Sets 5 Representative 8th

Position the pads on the machine so they are snug against your thighs and grasp the bar with a wide grip. Pull the bar in front of you to your chest, squeeze your lats, and then return to the starting position.

4 One-armed kettlebell pull

Sets 5 Representative 8 each side

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a kettlebell in one hand between your legs. Pull the kettlebell explosively to your shoulder and then control the descent.

5 One-armed overhead kettlebell press

Sets 5 Representative 8 each side

Start with the kettlebell in the rack position with your elbow tucked into your chest. Press the kettlebell right over your head, then slowly lower it down.

6 One-armed cable rotation

Sets 5 Representative 8 each side

Set up the cable machine with a D-handle on the center pulley. Stand with your elbow against your body and your arm bent at 90 degrees to the cable machine. Keeping your elbow tight against your body, rotate your forearm away from the machine as far as possible, keeping your wrist straight. It should be a controlled, light weight movement.

7 curl biceps

Sets 5 Representative 10

Hold the dumbbells against your thighs with your palms facing forward. Keep your upper arms tight against your body and bring the weights to your shoulders. Squeeze your biceps, then control the curl back down.

8 Cable Triceps Extension

Sets 5 Representative 10

Use a rope handle to place the cable machine on the low pulley. Stand in a split stance away from the machine and hold the handle above your head with both hands with your palms facing each other. Keep your elbows close to your head and extend your arms until your hands are directly above you.

Lower body workout

1 squat

Sets 5 Representative 5

You can do any type of squat your equipment allows, but the barbell back squat is preferred. Place a bar on your shoulders and lower yourself into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Then go back up.

2 deadlifts

Sets 5 Representative 5

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your shins touching a barbell on the floor. Reach down and keep your hands just outside your legs. Keeping a flat back, raise the bar by straightening your legs and driving your hips forward, then lowering it in a controlled manner.

3 single leg press

Sets 5 Representative 5 each side

Sit on the leg press and push the plate away from you by extending your leg. Stop before excluding your knee. Lower the plate under control.

4 Weighted calf rearing

Sets 3 Representative fifteen

You can hold dumbbells or kettlebells by your sides, or place a barbell on your shoulders. Stand up straight, then press through the balls of your feet to lift your heels off the floor.

5 side steps

Sets 3 Representative 20 on each side

Take small steps to the side with a mini-loop resistance band around your knees. Do all the repetitions on one side, then switch.

6 box jump

Sets 3 Representative 10

Stand in front of a plyo box. Drop into a flat crouch, then explode backwards to jump on the box and land both feet at the same time. Then jump or step back.

Cardio

In the off-season, Clarke likes to swim while he’s either doing a 20-minute steady session or a quick HIIT workout during a demanding performance plan to keep his cardio fitness up. Here are a few options you can choose from.

Exercise bike

Either do 20 minutes at medium resistance or finish the following interval session.

4 x 30 seconds high intensity, 1 minute low intensity
4 x 40 seconds high intensity, 1 minute low intensity
4 x 30 seconds high intensity, 1 minute low intensity

You can also do both sessions on the rowing machine.

Skip

Do two five-minute rounds of the following, resting for two to three minutes between rounds.

job 20sec Rest 10sec


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