Arm Workout for Dancers

Hello!  Today’s workout may seem a bit un-fitting to dancers, but I’ll teach you a few things to help you learn why strengthening and toning your arms is vital to ballet dancers who are female, not just male for lifting.

The workout video

Why do I need this?

Ballet dancers should have even strength throughout their entire bodies.  It’s important to prevent injury in other activities besides dancing.  Anyways, most non-dancers do some form of exercise – and that exercise usually involves some kind of arm workout.  It’s important that we participate in the kind of exercise that the regular population does.

In dancing, arm strength is also very important for Contemporary work.  Also, many ballets like Swan Lake have continuous port de bras that require fluidity and stamina – and exercise is the only way to achieve that without bulking or getting really sore arms the night before your premiere.  So, even if you’re a student who is not going to perform the full-length Swan Lake as Odette any time soon, you can still practice conditioning.

Finally, the exercises in this workout video are aimed towards dancers.  We work on muscles like the subscapularis so that you can practice holding your arms from your back properly.  The non-back work that we do is geared towards making your arms feel lighter and more fluid.  Also, stretching is included at the end to prevent bulking.

The exercises

  1. Subscapularis pull
  2. Port de bras controlled swing
  3. Bicep curl
  4. Tricep pull
  5. Rowing
  6. Stretches


For this workout, you will need a small hand weight or a water bottle (that’s what I’m using!).  You will also need a long un-looped resistance band.

If you would like to see the corresponding technique tip and video to this workout, you can check out my Improving Port de Bras blog post.

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