I don’t mean to be dramatic but if you’re skipping strength and conditioning with your tiny dancers (10 and younger) you could be making a big mistake!
There is a lot of conflicting research out there about the pros and cons of strength training young dancers but training them with body weight in the studio is perfectly safe and no, their growth will not be stunted.
Offering strength training to your young dancers is a fantastic way to help them become more familiar with their body, which will give them more control in their movements and of course empower them to feel like an athlete which is a lesson they’ll hold on to for a long time.
Think about simple movements they can do like wall sits, crab walks, wall push ups, inch worms and cartwheels, but don’t underestimate them. I’ve seen better plank and push up form from 7 year olds than 18 year old dancers.
Always be sure to give hands on help with you see low backs swaying and offer modifications like removing the jump from an exercise or dropping the knees.
Check out some of my favorites below! (You can also click on the images to add them to a plan, or see step-by-step instructions!)
Calf Raise Arm Circles
Partner Squat High Five
Modified Push Up
Wide To Narrow Squat Jump