As athletes, dancers have the ability to focus their strength and power in many different ways. Being aware of which muscles will be best for a variety of skills will help build strength and level of skill, beyond just technique.
To increase jump height and power, dancers must activate their gluteus muscles, or butt muscles, as well as hamstrings. The below exercises train the body to rely on those back muscles instead of our quadriceps which tend to take over due to their size.
These exercises will not only increase jump height and power, but also build long lean muscles in your dancer’s legs.
Squat and Rotate
Partners hold right hands and back away from each other until arms are almost straight. Each partner squats and rotates their shoulders toward their left side, stretching their left arm to the side Stand up, switch hands and repeat. Hips stay facing each other while shoulders and ribs twist. Repeat for a minute.
Partner Pistol Squat
Partners stand facing each other about one foot apart. Start by holding on to each others RIGHT forearms or hands for support. Lift the LEFT foot about 4 inches from the ground, send hips back, and lower until knees are 90 degrees. Slowly come up without placing the left foot on the floor. After 30 seconds switch hands and feet.
Burpee Tuck Jump
Each partner does burpees by jumping into the air, landing in a squat position, shooting feet back into a plank, doing a push up, pulling legs back into a squat, and standing back up. When standing again, jump straight up and tuck knees into chest. Repeat for 1 minute.
Plank and Hop
One partner planks on their elbows while the other squats low and hops over the ankles of the planking partner. While jumping, tuck knees up and toward the shoulders. Go slow and focus on the height of the jump, not the speed. After 30 seconds, partners switch positions.
Each partner squats low with arms above their head and jumps into the air sucking legs into the middle and gluing them together. As you land, open legs to end in a squat. Repeat for 30 seconds to a minute. This motion is the same as a jumping jack but the movements are exaggerated and take the whole body off the floor.