'Tis the season to start dreaming up resolutions, and if one of yours is to boost your workouts, then we have you covered. Read on for a round-up of some of our best workout tips!
1. Don't be afraid to target your weaknesses. The National Ballet of Canada's Emma Hawes uses her workouts to focus on stabilizing her hypermobile shoulder joints. Use the extra reps in your own workouts to focus on what actually needs strengthening, not just what you wish was different (i.e. endless foot exercises).
2. Have you been trying to squeeze in morning workouts but just can't get yourself out of bed on time? Research shows that jump-starting your day with physical activity (as opposed to hanging out in a split before barre) has a whole host of benefits. Here's how to make it happen:
- Mark your calendar. You wouldn’t skip out on a doctor’s appointment you’ve had on your schedule for months. Similarly, when you pencil in your gym time, you’re more apt to follow through.
- Invite a buddy. When you know your friend is waking up early to meet you at the gym, you’re less likely to bail on your cross-training plans.
- Get to bed. Though it’s never good to scrimp on sleep, it’s especially important to wake up feeling rested when physical activity is first on your list.
- Lay out your clothes (and any special shoes or equipment you’ll need, like a yoga mat) ahead of time, so you’re not rifling through your dresser for a sports bra at the crack of dawn.
- Pack your bag with anything you’ll need for your dance day if you’re going straight to the studio afterward.
- Prep your breakfast. Don’t forgo the first meal of the day in order to fit in a workout. Instead, pack a portable breakfast, like a homemade smoothie made the night before, or yogurt, a granola bar and fresh fruit.
3. Give yourself enough time to warm up before performing. Acacia Schachte, who danced with Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, commits to Pilates, yoga and a ballet barre before she hits the stage, so her core feels steady and she can dance freely.
4. Try something totally new, like TRX training. Even though this workout was developed by a Navy SEAL, tons of dancers swear by it because it forces you to work against your own body weight—even when you're off balance or destabilized.
5. Fuel yourself properly. New York City Ballet principal Rebecca Krohn eats every couple of hours because her body needs it. Find a balance that works for your energy levels so you can dance your hardest.
6. Take a nap! Sleep is essential. We broke down the best ways to catch some shut-eye, even when you're rehearsing nonstop.