The ULTIMATE Dance Sport Warm Up!

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The ULTIMATE Dance Sport Warm-Up – “I put that s**t on everything!” Jokes aside, I find it super important to warm up before I hit my dance practice of dance at a dance sport event. I think, the best thing about this warm up routine, is that it is completely universal.

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Transcript of the video:

I think a good warm up is absolutely essential for getting your body prepared for some good dancing. It loosens your body, activates the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints and, most importantly, prevents from possible injuries. It’s like a car engine, you have to give it a few moments to idle before you drive off to wherever you were planning on going.

Whether you’re giving your veee-hiiicle a proper warm up time or not, your body deeee-finitely needs it. Now, I know there are probably a looooot of different warmup exercises out there. But this one  does the job for me. And that’s why I’m sharing it with you

This warm up routine is totally universal. So, if you’re dancing International Latin or Standard, American Rhythm or Smooth, have a show routine or into any other form of dance, this little exercise routine should get you all warmed up.

For attire, I’d suggest wearing something comfortable. In my case I’m gonna be wearing my cowboy costume, just because, you know .. I don’t give a [shooting penis]. But in your case, you can wear whatever you want!

  1. The first exercise is simple – Quick Jumps. I’m just jumping up and down. It’s almost like skipping rope, except you don’t have the rope. The purpose is to shake things off. Get the body energized. Activate my leg muscles and relax the upper extremities. The amount of times I jump doesn’t really matter. You can do this as long as you’d like.
  2. Next – Upper Body Twists. Legs spread, facing forward, I’m grabbing my wrists and WITHOUT force, twisting my upper body from side to side. I’m not stretching, nor I’m stopping at the end of the range of motion. The purpose is to activate the overall body muscles and get them into the working condition. It is worth noting that I inhale when I start the rotation, and exhale when I arrive to either side.
  3. Next – Stretches Up w/ Circular Upper Body Rotations. I start this off by slightly squatting and collecting an imaginary exercise BALL in my palms. While inhaling, I then push that ball up into the ceiling. Then, once at the top, I start EXhaling and going for a CONTROLLED roller circular rotations to either sides. After a full circle and a half, I should end up at the bottom of the circle. Then, through squatting position, I start my cycle again to the other side.
    Here, I also add a few more rotations, before I complete the cycle and make sure I watch my breathing.
  4. Bends & Arches. Still using the same breathing method as in the previous exercise, while INhaling I’m pushing my ball out of the squatting position upwards and giving myself a very good vertical stretch. Then, while slowly exhaling, I am bending over forward trying to touch the floor. I stay there for a brief moment, then, through INhaling, squatting and pushing the ball up, I go back to the upper stretch. Stay there for a moment. And now, EXhaling and under CONTROL bending backwards. As you can see from another angle, I also bring my arms in front of my body for counter balance. I bend over to the edge of my comfort zone and, without any arm support, slowly bring myself back to the standing position. And, repeat the whole exercise a few times.
  5. Ahhh. the Good Ol’ Calf Stretches. Breathing normally now, facing either direction I’m doing me some dynamic calf stretches. Now, I find with this exercise it is important not to stretch statically, but rather go through the range of motion of pointing and flexing my toes. In my experience, it really warms up the calves and toe muscles. I do both legs a few times.
  6. Side Lunge Preps.  So here, I drive my pelvis from one leg to the other, while slightly squatted. This helps me warm up my leg muscles for much deeper lunges that I’m going to do next. I go from side to side until I feel my leg muscles warm up.
  7. Side Lunges. While supporting myself with the arms, I lunge sideways to each leg. I prefer slight and very controlled bounces, before I lunge to the other side. This helps me to keep my leg muscles activated, which is the purpose of this exercise. You can try and do this without arm support if you wish.
  8. Deep Side Lunges. So, this is basically an extension to the “Side Lunges”, but with this exercise I rotate the toes of my stretching leg upwards for more of a “hamstring” dynamic stretch, while sinking my pelvis closer to the ground. I place my hands around me to prevent myself from falling back or forward and to support my body when I get out of the lunge position. If you can do it without arms – props to you!
  9. Knee Circulations + Flexion & Extension. While joining my feet together, I make circular counterclockwise and clockwise rotations with my both knees. I do this very carefully, making sure I don’t feel any pain. And then, while applying a bit of pressure with my hands, I straighten my knees, gently stretching the hamstrings, and then I fully squat, stretching my quads.
  10.  Knee Circulations with Legs Apart + Flexion. Here I make similar circular movements with my knees, but now with my legs apart. Also being mindful with how my knees feel, making sure I avoid unnatural movement. Then, bending and straightening my knees and finishing with a squat. 
  11. Upper Back Twists. While still in the slightly squatted position with my legs apart, I place my hands onto my knees and twist my upper body to either side, alternatively stretching the lower back and shoulder joints. Definitely be mindful of how you go with the twists, making sure all movements are under control. Here is a little side view of that as well.
  12. Pelvic Rotations. So, here I’m doing so called “general pelvic rotations”. I have my hands on the waist, making circular motions either direction. You can see my upper body counterbalancing my hips. The focus here is specifically warm up the areas where my legs attach to my pelvis. And then, after a few rotations, I release the arms and focus on making circular rotations with just my hips. Which means, I isolate the hips and the upper body. This exercise activates the lower spine and warms up the pelvic area, and definitely prevents from possible… I then repeat the same process in the opposite direction.
  13. Jiggle Worm. So, I don’t really know if there’s an actual term for this exercise, but my partner calls it “Jiggle worm” So we’ll call it just that. Basically, the point of this exercise is to warm up the core muscles as much as possible. The concept is simple, I’m just making circular body wave movements, in which shoulder rotations oppose hip rotations. Almost like, circular chest pumps if you will. Obviously alternating sides.
  14. Arm Rotations. I’m starting with outward full arm circular rotations, making sure that the shoulder joints get fully warmed up. You can see me slowing down here to give my surrounding shoulder muscles and extra dynamic stretch. I also breathe through it. I then make outward rotations of my forearms. And then, onto my wrists. I, then, reverse the whole process inwards. Just like with the legs, the idea here is to activate the surrounding arm muscles.
  15. Arm Flops. This specific exercise focuses on relaxing the arms, while making quick torso rotations, allowing the arms to from one side to the other. The purpose is to shake off any possible tension that could build in the upper body. My main focus, actually, goes into first: rotating my pelvis, then the upper torso, and then I just let the arms fly freely.
  16. Body Stimulation. So, here I’m doing a bit of body stimulation by cupping my hands and clapping all reachable areas of my body. This, I find, stimulates my body and, sort of, wakes it up a bit. Encourages it to get active. As you can see I started with my upper back, move through my arms. Onto the chest, torso and abdomen areas. Then onto thighs and calves from both sides. Of course not forgetting the most important dancer’s muscles [buttcheeeeeks]. And finishing with the lower back, or as far as I can reach.
  17. Neck Stretches. So, now onto the neck stretches. I’m starting with up and down head tilts. Doing that a few times. Then, I rotate my head side-to-side. Then onto the side-to-side tilts. And finishing with clockwise and counterclockwise circular head rotations. It goes without saying that we, the dancers, need very flexible neck muscles, so I’m definitely focusing a lot of attention on my neck here..
  18. Final Shake Off. And finally, shaking things of with these wrist shakes. These, I find are great to complete my warm up routine, Praise the Lord, shake it off again, and get my mind ready for some good dancing!

So that is it! 

This is how I warm up before every practice and every performance event. Now that you saw it, you could totally use it yourself, or parts of it … whichever you like

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Thanks for watching Dance Comp Review Video Tutorial. I’m Egor Shalvarov. And I’ll see you in the next one.

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