So, you've got an at-home dance workout planned. Great news! You're going to have loads of fun. All you've got to do is crank the music and bring your body and a can-do attitude, right? Well, not so fast. Before you dive in, it's important to check in with yourself to ensure your body is both properly warmed up and well-equipped for maximum comfort, especially when you're doing something as cardio-intensive and mobile as dancing.
To speak to the former, we tapped fitness influencer duo Twice the Health, comprised of best friends Emily, who is a nutritionist, and Hannah, who is a personal trainer, to share their essential warmup moves and tips to get you going. "It's key to include a warmup before you workout to ensure your body is prepped for the session you have planned," they said. "We've included these movements to work into the hip flexors, as well as the core and glutes, both big muscle groups that often become the focus of a sweat. By activating these, you’re essentially giving your body the go ahead to work hard, and it’s likely you’ll get a lot more out of your workout."
As for the latter, Emily and Hannah also happen to have some advice for making sure your body is comfortable, especially if you're on your period. "We rely on Tampax Pearl Compak tampons when we work out to feel comfortable and protected during our time of the month," they said. "It removes unnecessary worry, knowing we can give everything to our workout." With MotionFit protection, the tampon gently expands to fit your body, so you can do everything and feel nothing.
Here, Emily demonstrates hip flexor lift-offs. She and Hannah recommend completing four reps per leg.
- Sit upright on the floor with both legs extended straight out in front of you.
- Bend one leg, and hug it tight to your chest.
- Make sure your back is straight, core is engaged, shoulders are rolled back and down, and the foot on the extended leg is flexed (think toes to shin).
- Without moving the torso, engage the quad and hip flexor on the extended leg, and lift the leg a few inches from the floor, hold for a second, and lower back down with control.
- If you want to make this a bit harder, you can lift the leg up and over an object.
Next up, half kneeling twists as shown by Hannah. The duo recommends completing eight reps per side to help loosen your hips and engage your hip flexors.
- From a standing position, step one foot backward, so you are in a lunge position, and lower yourself to the floor.
- Make sure your ankles, knees, and hips are at 90 degrees.
- Your pelvis should be tucked, so you feel a stretch through your hip flexor.
- Extend your arms out sideways, and clench your fists to create some tension.
- Without moving your hips, twist the top half of your torso away from the front leg. Do not force the movement; once you get to the end of your range, rotate back to face forward and repeat.
And finally, Emily and Hannah recommend Downward Dog heel taps, which Emily shows here. Ten reps per side is ideal to engage your core and lats. This warmup also provides a good stretch for your hamstrings and calves.
- Start in a high plank position with your feet hip-width apart and your hands directly under your shoulders.
- Press your bum up toward the ceiling, so you make a triangle with your body.
- Engage your core and lats in order to lift one hand off the floor without your body moving. Reach the hand back toward your opposite foot (it’s OK if you can’t reach), and pause for one second — you should feel a lovely stretch down the side of your body, which is being supported by one arm.
- Return the hand to the mat, and repeat on the other side.