Season 28 of Dancing With the Stars premiered last week and there was no shortage of sparkly outfits or sculpted bodies. Yes, the spray tans help, but these dance pros work long hours at their craft to get that kind of muscle definition. Dancing is a form of cardio and demands leg and core strength. We’ve all seen celebrities like Kirstie Alley and Kelly Osbourne shed major pounds from being on the show. Whether it’s the Cha Cha Cha or the Waltz, every muscle in your body is being used. Latin Ballroom dances especially require a lot of compression, twisting and isolation of the torso which builds exceptional abdominal strength. Not all of us have the chance to train with a pro, but you can get fit like a dancer with this fun, heart pumping, Dancing With the Stars workout.
Open Leg Twists– Stand with your legs shoulder distance apart. Keep your torso facing forward, your knees slightly bent and your weight on the balls of your feet as you twist at the waist to point both your knees to the right. Reverse to point both knees to the left to complete one twist. Keep your elbows raised to shoulder height to emphasize the separation of your upper body from your lower body. Do 20 twists with your legs in this position. For your last set, do a twist, twist, twist, step combo. Start with your legs together and as you twist your legs to the right, step out with your right foot. Twist to the left and then again to the right. After that third twist step your left foot together with your right. Keep your elbows lifted and allow your arms to move naturally by your sides. Repeat the combo in the other direction, stepping out to the left. Do 10 combos to each side.
Standing Side Crunches– (light hand weights optional) Get strong obliques for all the crunching and twisting of your waist that dancing demands. Stand with your legs turned out and slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Hold your arms up with your elbows bent at 90 degrees, palms facing forward. Bend your knees without allowing your knees to pass your toes. Bend at the waist and crunch your right side to lower your right elbow down towards the ground. Do not change the shape of your arms as you do this. Only go as far as you can without disengaging your abs. Contract your left side body to bring yourself back up to your starting position and go right into crunching down to the left. Crunch to the right again. For your fourth crunch to the left, transfer all your weight on to your right leg and pick your left knee up keeping your turnout. Place your foot down and repeat the entire combo. Do this 10 times and then do 10 more starting to the left side first which means you’ll be picking up your right leg on the fourth crunch.
Jack Body Roll- Do one jumping jack andwhen you jump your legs together, place your hands on the front of your thighs or hips and do a clockwise body roll with your torso. This body roll is an isolation of your rib cage so you will be extending your rib cage out, to the side, contracting it back in, and out to the other side. Keep your legs together and your arms by your side. Some movement in the shoulders and hips is natural to create a full and smooth body roll. Do 10 jack and body rolls clockwise and then another 10 jack and body rolls counterclockwise.
Cha Cha Cha Punch– Stand with your legs together and your arms bent by your sides with your palms up (light weights in hands.) Turn your body diagonally to right as you step your left foot forward and punch your left arm out, rotating the fist down as you extend. Squeeze your inner thighs to snap your knees together with your left leg straight and right knee bent. Replace all your weight back onto your right foot and then cha cha cha by taking three steps to the left. Repeat on the other side with the right leg stepping forward as you punch the right arm out. Cha cha cha to the right. Do 10 to each side.
Jive Kicks– Jive is a high energy dance that will get your heart pumping within seconds. Stand with your legs together, soften your knees and lean slightly forward with a tight core. Pick your right leg up and kick your heel to your butt before kicking your leg out and down to the left. Aim towards the ground as you cross your inner thighs. Crunch the left side of your torso and bring your left arm slightly forward and right arm back (like when running) as you do this. Switch arms and crunch your right side as you kick your butt and then kick back out this time to your right side. Triple step in place (right foot, left foot, right foot.) Your left leg is now free to repeat the two kicks on the left side. Do 10 kick, kick, triple step combos with each leg.
What’s your favorite ballroom dance?
Also by Crystal: Get A Stunning Dancer Physique With This Jenna Dewan Workout
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Photo: David Hofmann via Unsplash; Video: Crystal Chin