Magazine article Dance Spirit

360° Strength

Magazine article Dance Spirit

360° Strength

Article excerpt


Consultants: Leigh Heflin and Megan Richardson Models: Ghrai DeVore and Renaldo Gardner

Dancers have to move their bodies in all directions, but most strength training exercises only require you to move along one plane at a time. (For example, when you do an arm curl, you lift and lower the weight in a straight line.) For a more dance-friendly workout, try using proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF), a technique favored by athletic and dance trainers because it improves your range of motion by simultaneously strengthening muscles and improving their flexibility. PNF exercises force your body to work multiple angles at once.

Try the move here, a PNF Diagonal, to get a taste of this method. According to Leigh Heflin, MSc, the exercise targets your obliques and shoulders and teaches you how to maintain your torso alignment while working your port de bras or lifting a partner overhead. Guys are advised to use a medicine ball to prepare them for partner work. Girls should use a latex exercise band to help build long, lean muscle.

Leigh Heflin, MSc, is the administrative coordinator at the Holiness Center for Dance Injuries, NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases.

Megan Richardson, MS, ATC, is on staff at the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries, NYU Hospital lor Joint Diseases and PT Plus, PC

Chraris a member of AlvinAiley American Dance Theater and Renaldo is a member of Ailey II.



Anchor one end of a latex exercise band beneath your left foot, which should be slightly turned out. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.