When she was a student prodigy scooping up medals at top competitions, Whitney Jensen didn’t have to do much to keep her body in shape. Now, the 21-year-old hits the gym most days—sometimes even after six hours of rehearsal—to build stamina and keep her metabolism in balance.
Typical routine: 45 minutes on the elliptical or treadmill (walking with intervals between 5 and 5.4 miles per hour), then 25 minutes of Pilates. “Having a gym in my apartment building makes it very convenient.”
Warm-up trick: “I never do strengthening exercises before class. They make my body feel too tight before dancing.”
Problem spot: Shoulders. “My joints are really loose, and can get painful during contemporary work. I have to keep my rotator cuffs strong by working them with a Thera-Band.”
Stamina secret: “To make sure I have enough energy to get through a ballet, I’ll rehearse by running it twice in a row. Then performing it just the once feels like nothing.”
Favorite stretch: Over-splits using a stack of mats.
For her inner thighs: “Lying on the floor on my side, I put one foot on top of a bench and the other underneath it, then raise my lower leg up to meet the top one 10 times. It kills your inner thighs.”
Recovery Rx: “Every night, I talk to someone from my family—it helps remind me I have a life outside of ballet.”
The Workout 26 September 2013