Below are 10 exercises to help build muscular strength. For the weight training exercises, aim to perform each exercise between eight to 15 times with a very light load at the beginning so that you properly learn the exercise movement. Work slowly and breathe out every time at the end of each repetition of the exercise.
- Use light weights at the beginning
- Carry out each exercise 8 to 15 times
- Work slowly
- Breathe out at the end of the effort
- Bend both legs
- Keep your thighs horizontal
- Keep your body weight on your heels
Start with your legs apart; bend both legs slowly until your thighs are horizontal. Rest your weight on your heels properly and tilt your trunk forward slightly.
- Take large steps
- Keep your front thigh horizontal
- Keep your back knee close to the ground
Take large steps forward placing the front thigh horizontal and the back knee close to the ground. Contract your stomach muscles strongly, so as not to arch the lower back.
- Step on and off the chair
- Change legs
Start with one foot flat on the chair then step up, bringing your other foot onto the chair. Stretch out your leg and get down again slowly. Do the same on the other leg.
Ensure a sturdy chair that can comfortably support a person's weight is used for this exercise.
- While holding weights bend and stretch out your arms
- Lower them slowly
Sit on the chair and start with your arms extended along your body. Bend your elbow to bring your arms up towards the body. Release your arms back down alongside your body, slowly.
- While holding weights bend and stretch out one arm
- Keep your arm against your head
Start with your arm stretched out vertically above your head. Bend and stretch out your arm without taking it away alongside your head. Keep your stomach tucked in and do not arch the lower back.
- While holding weights stretch out both arms vertically
- Tuck in your stomach (flat back)
Start with both hands near your shoulders. Stretch out your arms vertically and bend them slowly. Keep your stomach tucked in and keep a straight back.
- Pull the weight vertically
- Lower slowly
- Lift your buttocks
With one knee and one hand on the chair, keep your back flat and pull the weight vertically whilst keeping your elbow along your body.
- Pull the weight vertically
- Lift your elbows
Stand with your legs slightly bent and your stomach tucked in. Pull the weight vertically towards your chin whilst lifting your elbows and slowly stretch out your arms downwards again.
- Place both hands on the chair
- Bend and stretch out your arms
- Your back should follow the line of the chair
Place both hands on the chair so you are facing away from it. Bend then stretch out your arms keeping your back near the seat of the chair. Breathe out while lifting.
- Stand with your legs bent
- Keep your back flat and straight
- Look straight ahead
Start by standing with your legs slightly bent. Tilt and straighten the trunk of your body so it remains straight. Look straight ahead whilst performing this exercise.
Remember to focus on good posture when carrying out each exercise. This allows you to reap the benefits of your efforts and protects your back, joints and balance.
The JAMES® exercise video is an excellent guide and you are recommended to watch it from time to time to correct bad habits. Even the greatest dancers have instructors: practice regularly with the help of a coach or physiotherapist, as this is the best way to maintain good posture.