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10-Minute Warm-Up Routine for Dancers

10-Minute Warm-Up Routine for Dancers

Dancers commonly don’t make the time for a proper warm-up prior to starting their rehearsals or a performance, whether it be due to lack of time or lack of awareness since many dancers have such excess mobility and flexibility.

I remember prior to a big dance competition, making no time for stretching and a warm-up before going on stage and just using adrenaline to get through each dance. Below is a quick 10-15 minute warm up to prepare a dancer for their rehearsal, show or competition and prevent injuries from occurring.

Foam Rolling

IT Band

  • Lay on your side with the foam roller on the outside aspect of your thigh
  • Cross top leg over for support
  • Roll slowly from knee to right under the hip bone

Quadriceps

  • Lay on your stomach with the foam roller on the front of your thighs
  • Position forearms under your body, almost in plank position
  • Use your arms to roll back and forth from the top of your knee to right under the hip

Calf

  • Position the foam roller under the calf
  • Roll along lower leg, if not enough pressure feels like it is being applied then cross opposite leg over for more pressure

Dynamic Stretching

Active Hamstring Stretch

  • Hold back of thigh with knee bent
  • Continue holding the back of the thigh and straighten your knee
  • Feel a stretch in back of thigh, hold 1-2 seconds and repeat 20 times

Downward Dog Alternating Heel Drops

  • In downward dog position, alternate dropping each heel down to the floor, hold 1-2 seconds and repeat 20 times

Glute Strengthening

Clams

  • Lay on your side, hips stacked on top of one another, hips and knees flexed.
  • Keeping ankles together, lift knee up to the ceiling.
  • Do not let hips rock back as knee goes up.
  • Can use hand on hip to make sure hips don’t rock back for cueing.
  • Repeat both sides 20 times.

Sidelying Hip Abduction

  • Lay on your side, hips stacked on top of one another.
  • Bottom leg bent to provide a counter balance.
  • Keeping knee straight, lift leg up and back (into extension).
  • Do not let the hips rock back when moving the leg into extension.
  • Repeat both sides 20 times.

Crab Walks

  • Go into squat position, hips knees and ankles in proper alignment.
  • Take side steps always keeping tension on the band.
  • Keep head at one height, do not let body bounce up and down with each step.
  • Repeat both sides 20 times.

Ankle Strength: Resisted Ankle 4 Ways

  • Band loop around foot, wrap the strap of the band around the opposite foot for resistance
  • Start in neutral position and then evert foot, move ankle “out” away from opposite leg.
  • Repeat both sides 30 times.
  • Band loop around foot, cross opposite leg over working leg
  • Wrap the strap of the band around the opposite foot for resistance.
  • Start in neutral position and then invert foot, move ankle “in”.
  • Repeat both sides 30 times

Crab Walks

  • Band loop around foot, pull tension on the band to create more resistance and then resist down.
  • Repeat both sides 30 times
  • Band loop around foot, cross working leg into a figure 4 position.
  • Pull tension on the band to create more resistance and then flex ankle up.
  • (In picture ankle is flexing up, using the knee as the reference point to be completed independently.)
  • Repeat both sides 30 times.

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Lindsey Rose, PT, DPT
Lindsey danced through college and while she no longer participates she stays involved in the dance community, attending a variety of dance shows and musicals. She also loves watching sports. Although her favorite teams remain Da Bears, Blackhawks and White Sox, she is eager to adopt a few new California teams too. Lindsey also enjoys yoga, Pilates, traveling, spending time with family and friends and going to Disneyland whenever possible.
Lindsey Rose, PT, DPT

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