There are some super intense ab workouts if what you’re doing has become too easy. The simplest way to ramp it up is to add weight: doing sit-ups with a weight held to your chest, doing planks with a weight on your back, etc.
There are also more intense moves that you can add into your workout. BodyBuilding.com is an awesome resource for this. This article has a handful of super-intense ab exercises, including video demonstrations! You should also check out their ab exercise database, which you can further filter down by level, equipment needed, etc. (Plus, the database can be used to find exercises for any muscle group!)
I hope that helps!
That sounds terrifying!
The big thing that jumps to my mind is making sure you’re okay on a day-to-day basis. Are you drinking enough water? (Remember that when you’re active, you need more than the basic recommended amount.) Make sure you have a water bottle with you in class (and refill it before each class). It’s also a good idea to mix up your water with something full of electrolytes, such as coconut water, Pedialyte (which you’ll find in the baby section of a grocery store), or a drink mix.
Also, are you getting enough calories? Really, though, are you? Not what you’ve decided is enough, but how many you actually need? Check out this post (warning for calories and unhealthy eating talk) for help figuring out your daily calorie needs.
If you’re fueling yourself correctly, then we may have a stamina issue. And it can be complicated to figure out what you need since different dance types are different types of cardio when you get right down to it. If you’re doing a style like contemporary, where you tend to be going for a long time without breaks, I’d suggest a half hour (up to an hour) on a rowing machine or elliptical to build long-term endurance. If you’re doing something like ballet, where there are bursts of high-power dancing followed by more gentle dancing or even a complete stop, I’d suggest doing HIIT on a treadmill. HIIT will build your stamina for knock-down, drag-out intense dancing where you have to go from 0 to 60 quickly.
I hope all of this can help you figure stuff out so you never have to feel that way in class again. <3
Edit: people have brought up that this could be an iron deficiency. I have never dealt with an iron deficiency, so it didn’t come to mind. Check with your doctor about possible iron supplements!
It wouldn’t kill you to do all three of them. Just make sure, as you go, that you’re not over-exerting yourself. But since the rest days match up and they all increase at a reasonable pace, you should be able to use the three challenges together for your workout.
Honesty time: I’ve never had flat splits. My side splits are about 19 feet from being flat and my front splits were, at their best, still a few inches off the floor.
That said, the biggest thing for flexibility is consistency. Stretch every day. A few high-intensity stretch days, a few relaxed days with less pushing of yourself. Check out yoga poses (and my stretching tag) for new ideas that may get you deeper into the stretch. Make sure you warm up really, really well before a stretching session. Use a resistance band or a partner to help you push yourself.
Lastly, congrats on starting ballet as an adult! It can be scary, but you’re clearly having fun!
That’s, like, the least important thing about me.
Well, they won’t walk the dog for you and they can’t cook dinner, but they can help you get more fit, gain muscle, encourage you to move more, etc.
You can totally learn to do one in a month! The exercise that got me to doing double pirouettes consistently is this:
- Stand in 1st or 5th position, arms in 1st.
- Slide one foot out to the side, using your shoulder and ab muscles to turn your body 90* to the side, ending with your extended foot out to the side. (This is weird to explain, but you’re turning while extending your foot to a pointe touching the floor.) Open your arms to 2nd while turning.
- Return foot to closed 1st or 5th. Bring arms to 1st.
- Continue turning 90* each extension with that foot until you are facing front again.
- Repeat the exercise, turning 180* each extension.
- When facing front again, do a pirouette (or double) in the same direction.
- Repeat with the other foot, turning the other direction.
This exercise activates the muscles that help with turning and balance. You can’t do a double pirouette just by forcing your arms around and shoving off with your foot; you need to have your shoulders, back, and abs working with you.
I hope that helps!