Some people watch Dancing with the Stars for the celebrities. Some
people watch to hear Bruno and check out the tans. But let’s face it:
Most people (me, too!) watch DWTS to see the half-naked dancers in
barely-there ensembles. So what is it about dancing that really helps a person slim down and achieve such a toned physique?
Incorporate dancing elements
I think I can tell you. Before I became a personal trainer, I was not
only a ballet dancer but also a figure skater, which is a form of
dancing (as you know if you’ve watched the Olympics!) Both those
activities and DWTS-style dancing have some important elements that you can apply to your own fitness routine. For starters, dancers have to rehearse almost every day of the week, so they have consistency. And dancing is like interval training. The
dancers start and stop constantly with little bursts of speed and power. When you dance, your posture is good; you’re bending, extending, twisting, turning (in other words, doing exercises almost without realizing it) and keeping focused on your form and your results. As long as you’re injury-free, dancing has all of the components of a super-effective exercise routine.
Here’s how you can get DWTS results at home or in the gym:
Be consistent Do your workouts steadily, four to five days a week. Someone once said that ninety percent of success is just showing up, so keep on doing that and you’ll see results.
Make sure you perform all your exercises as correctly as you can, not as quickly as you can. Exercise as if you’re going to be judged on your movement and posture.
Keep the excitement alive
Change your routine; make it fun! If you exercise indoors, try an outdoor workout (running, cycling). If you’re not getting enough from your time on the treadmill, you might want to walk with a three-pound weight in each hand. I like to run for a minute/walk for a minute and intermittently hold the three-pound weights in various positions like overhead, to the side and behind my back.
Have a partner
A friend who encourages you to show up and keep going is invaluable. The two of you can, like teammates or dancing partners, learn from each other and encourage each other.
Take a fitness class
Whether it’s yoga, cardio or any other kind of exercise, a class offers the structure, focus and discipline you need to improve your individual workout. You can even try a dance class!
Use music to pump yourself up There’s nothing like a good beat to getyou going for the long haul. Your favorite upbeat numbers will make your routine fun, not a chore.
Think of food as fuel
Eat to be healthy and to improve essential elements in your workout performance, like strength and endurance.
Track your progress This is the magic bullet. Seeing what you’ve done (and evaluating yourself) guarantees your results. But don’t give up–i.e. send yourself home–if you’re not satisfied. Like any good dancer, keep at it!
By practicing a wide range of off-ice training methods including ballet, pilates and track & field, former professional figure skater Kristin Anderson discovered that performing a diverse training regime leads to a more well-rounded athlete. She used her mixed method approach in her San Francisco and Los Angeles pilates studios and has carried her training philosophy over to her fitness company, The Daily Trainer, and her work with M-TRAIN, a mobile fitness application on iTunes.