Wolf Pack 60

  • Day 55: Hips Don't Lie Lite!

    Today, we're repeating a previous workout, but in this final week before Oireachtas, we are going a little lighter. This is an excellent workout to really dial in those hips while still giving them enough time to recover completely before you need to compete! This week is so important, so be careful with youself and take really good are of your hips today!

    Dancer's hips can be the source of a lot of power and strength, but also can be the source of pain as well. Not only do many dancers suffer from hip weakness, that weakness can lead to over-use injuries in knees and ankles. Often times, a sore knee or ankle strain can be attributed to a weak hip. 

    Today, we will take you through a simple series of hip strengthening and stablizing exercises with a familiar warm-up, and then a longer stretching session after. 

    WARM-UP

    Circle Drill (x2): 

    • 3 sets of hop 1,2,3s
    • 3 sets of 1,2 switch step leap downs (alternating legs)
    • 4 sets of tips (R, L, R, L)
    • 2 sets of jump jump jump tuck jump
    • 1 set of twists to the front
    • 1 set of twists to the back

    WORKOUT

    • Single Leg Lifts x15 on each leg: Make sure you are laying flat on the ground, legs completely stratched out, lifting one leg up to about 90 degrees, or as high as you can lift your leg without bending your knee. 

    • Side Leg lifts x15 on each leg: laying on your side, with your arm supporting your head, balancing on your hip, lift your leg as high as you can, then bring it back down to your other leg.

     

    • Superman x20: laying on your stomach. lift both legs and arms up simultaneously a few inches off the ground, while keeping knees straight, and arms extended. 

    • Double-Leg Bridge x20: Lay flat on your back, with knee bent at about a 45 degree angle, so feet are flat on the ground. Lift hips up, while squeezing your glutes, keeping your feet grounded through the heels. 

    COOL DOWN

    • Take at least 20 minutes to cool down and stretch while your muscles are still warm. Foam rolling is great along those front hip flexors, IT bands on the sides of your legs, and through the sides of your hips. Here are some other stretches you can incorporate: 

    • Seated Pigeon (pictured above)
    • Froggy sit

  • Day 52: Tippy Tippy Toes

    Just over one week to go until Oireachtas!! For that soft shoe dancing, you'll want to make sure you are as high up on those toes as you can go from start to finish! Today's workout is a specific strength workout, and we are working on the lower leg. Always getting comments from judges or your TC about dancing up higher on your toes? Do you tend to drop your heel height during your last step because you are getting tired? Well this is the workout for you! 

    Warm-up: 3 circle drills. Just as we were working the whole hamstring with Saturday's toe touches, this one is going to work your calves and arches a lot, so you'll need a solid warm-up! Your calves will thank you later!

    Work-out: We will go through a series of double and single leg calf raises interspersed with arch and toe strengthening movements. You'll need some stairs, and a dish towel for this workout. 

    Stair Calf Raises: For both the double and single leg calf raises you will want to have a railing to hang on to for balance, but try to use it as little as possible as this is always an opportunity for core strengthening! When you do your calf raises today you are going stand with heels together, and keep them together as your go through the calf raise. You are also going to dip lower than the stair level, so you can take your calf through a full range of motion. Feel that stretch as you are lowering down, but try not to bounce too much as you drop. You are lowering with control. Bouncing not only reduces the amount of strength you're using, but can also take you beyond a safe range of motion, so make sure you stay in control!

    Towel Pick-ups: We're using our feet as our hands for this one! Lay your dish towel flat on the ground, and then with a bare foot simply pick up the towel with your toes!

    Aternating Toe Taps: Keep those socks off, so you can see you feet! You will have your foot flat on the ground, and alternate lifting only your big toe, and then all of your small toes. Lifting your big toe, then little toes is considered one rep!

    • Stair Calf Raises (Up slow, down quick, Up 2,3 down) x30
    • Towel Pick-ups (right foot) x30
    • Stair Calf Raises (Up fast, down slow, Up, down 2,3) x30
    • Towel Pick-ups (left foot) x30
    • Single leg stair calf raises (Up slow, down quick, up 2,3 down) x15 on each leg
    • Alternating Toe Taps x30 
    • Single lef stair calf raises (Up fast, down slow, Up, down 2,3) x15 on each leg
    • Alternating Toe Taps x30

    Cool Down:  you will definitely feel the burn on this one! Foam rolling your calves will be super important, drinking lots of water, and also take a golf ball pr a small hard ball, and roll your arches over it to help stretch out those feet! 

  • Day 50: Jump, Jack Jump!

    Today's Workout is set to "Reels 113" by Sean O'Brien in It's about Time! You can find it on Spotify or Apple Music, above is a link to the song this workout is connected to! This song is 11 minutes and 35 seconds, and will include your warm-up, exercises, and rest periods. The workout starts when the song starts, and the fun doesn't stop until the song does! 

    This workout will be described in sets of 8 counts of music (or one foot of a step). 

    Warm-up (starts after an 8 bar intro): 8 sets of hop 1,2,3s

    Workout:

    Round 1 (swinging Bird Hops)

    • 4 sets of Jumping Jacks
    • 2 sets of swinging bird hops (right leg) (16 total)
    • 2 sets of swinging bird hops (left leg) (16 total)
    • 4 sets of rest

    Round 2 (swinging knees)

    • 4 sets of Jumping jacks
    • 2 sets of swinging knees (right leg) (16 total)
    • 2 sets of swinging knees (left leg) (16 total)
    • 4 sets of rest

    Round 3 (hop 1,2 push)

    • 4 sets of jumping jacks
    • 4 sets of hop 1,2 pushes (alternating legs the whole time) (total of 32 hop 1,2 pushes)
    • 4 sets of rest

    REPEAT EACH ROUND ONE MORE TIME!

    It's easiest to keep track of the sets just by counting on your fingers as you go, you'll also find that the tunes are grouped into 4-bar increments, so you'll start to hear a pattern in the music as well. If you have extra music at the end of two cycles, use that time to stretch and cool down!

  • Day 49: Sunday Funday

    This is your last really high volume workout of the challenge, so get ready, because it's gonna be good! 

    Warm up: The warm up is built into the workout below! So get after it!

    Step 1 - Jump rope. But not just any old jump rope. You're going to do 3 sets of 150 jumps. Can you do 150 without breaking (or tripping...)? That is your goal for step 1! Shake out your legs in between sets and then get back to it.
    Step 2 - Toe Touches. Standing tall with arms over head, bend at the waist and touch your toes. Then stand back up, arms up. Do 3 sets of 30. Each set of 30 should be as fast as possible, with a quick rest in between sets.
    Step 3 - Plank Up-Downs. In a plank position, go from straight arms to plank on your elbows and then back up to your hands. Up on your hands to down on your elbows is one. Do three sets of 30.
    Step 4 - Squats. Tight core, chest up high! 3 sets of 30, with each set being as fast as possible.
    Step 5 - Jumping Jacks. 3 sets of 150! 

    Whew! That was deinitely some serious volume, so take good care of yourself. Focus on streching your feet, calves and hamstrings because they took a beating in this workout.  As you strech, run through your perfect day of competition from start to finish. The more often you do that, the more easily it will flow when the day actually comes. You're getting so close - keep putting in work!

  • Day 47: Hip Hop Hooray

    You are getting so close to the final days of this challenge! Incredible work so far! There are just a couple more plyo workouts before the end, and hopefully you are noticing some serious improvements. 

    You know the drill, so get good and warm today. 

    3 Rounds of:
    30 seconds Dot Mat - Starting off your workout with very quick feet
    15 each leg (30 total) Bird Hops - Dancer jumps
    15 each leg (30 total) Shallow lunge jump - This jump is slightly more complex, you should be thinking hard, focusing on height and pointed toes as you switch legs mid-air.
    15 each leg (30 total) Single leg deadlift jump - This drill tests your balance combined with explosive power. In the past we have done a full stop in between jumps, but if your balance is solid, try to string a few together - only as long as you can do it without sacrificing your height and control.

    Finish today with 3 Circle drills, really focusing on your technique being spot on despite the fatigue you should be feeling post workout. Pointed toes, tight core and arms, and confidence. You are the most beautiful dancer in the room right now, so WORK IT!

    Cool down and stretch, taking some extra time with your hip flexors. This week is your last tough push before we taper leading into competition weekend, so make sure you are being even more conscientious about your recovery.  

  • Day 46: I Feel the Need for Speed!

    It's sprint day! Start with your dynamic warm up, including at least 20 squats and 20 butt kicks, but split those up into smaller sets as needed to keep them fast! By warming up your squats and butt kicks really fast, you start to activate your glutes and hamstrings for quick, explosive power, which is exactly what you need to sprint hard!

    After your warm up, it's time to run. 

    10x 100 meter sprints, rest is equal to the length of time it takes you to do one sprint. If your sprint takes 30 seconds, you rest 30 seconds.

    *If you are doing your sprints on a treadmill, increase the incline to 1.5%. Running on a treadmill is not the same as running on the ground, since the treadmill is moving for you and doing some of the work! By increasing the incline just slightly, you will mimic running on solid ground.  

    After you finish your sprints, grab a jump rope. Your cool down for today is descending work jumping rope. 

    45 seconds jumping, 15 seconds rest
    45 seconds jumping, 15 seconds rest
    30 seconds jumping, 30 seconds rest (repeat 4 times)
    15 seconds jumping, 45 seconds rest (repeat 4 times)

    And then get to stretching! 

  • Day 45: Dance Stronger

    This is a specific strength day, which means you will work limited muscle groups that are required to be a successful Irish Dancer, and perform repetions of exercises that include actual movements and positions you use in Irish Dance. You will notice we added an upper body element to todays workout. A common misconception is that Irish Dance don't need strong upper bodies to perform all of our leg movements. However, that could not be further from the truth! Irish dancers need to be able to stabalize their arms and posture as we use high levels of force on our lower bodies. Your back, triceps, core are exremely important in mainintaing proper posture from start to finish!

    Aside from some foam rolling and some dynamic stretching, the remainder of your warm up today is included in the workout programming. The instagram videos give pretty good examples of how to do each of these exercises, so be sure to check it out!

    • Circle Drill x 4:
      One full circle drill consists of
    1. 3 sets of hop 1,2,3s
    2. 3 sets of "1,2 switch step leap down" alternating legs each time
    3. Then tips or small 1 leg hops on right foot for a set of 8, then left foot, and then repeat on each leg one more time
    4. Followed up with 3 little jumps, and then one big tuck jump (1,2,3 big jump)
    5. Finally twists to the front (or quick switch jumps) for 8 counts, and twists to the back for 8 counts

    Once you have completed the Circle Drill 4 times, rotate through the following until you have done each excercise three times:

    • 15 Tricep Pushups: these can be done in a plank position on the ground, from your knees on the ground, or at an angle with your hands on a strurdy table, countertop or the wall. Keep your hands directly lined up with your shoulders, and your elbows tight against your body to complete these pushups. After 15, move on to the next exercise.
    • 15 each of “T’s, Y’s and I’s”: Lay face down on the floor and spread your arms out, so your body is in the shape of a "T". Squeeze your arm muscles tight and then lift your arms off the ground by tightening the muscles between your shoulder blades. raising and lowering your arms is one rep (you don't need to hold your arms off the ground). Next repeat the same thing with your arms in the shape of a "Y", and last, with your arms in the shape if an "I". Do each letter 15 times and then move on to the next exercise.
    • 32 Dowel 1-2-3’s (4 sets of 8): Find a dowel or broom stick handle can work great for this. Hold it above your head so your elbows are at a 90 degree angle, palms facing forward. You will do hop 1,2,3s in spot maintaining your posture with the dowel rod directly above your head. it is helpful to do this in front of a mirror to make sure your elbows don't drop below 90 degree angles. 

    Cool down: Today's workout is short and sweet. Choose your favorite way to cool down, but make sure to include some foam rolling of your upper back, and stretch out those arms and shoulders because they should be tired after all that! 

  • Day 44: Be Your Own Cheerleader

    You attitude on and off the stage can make a big difference in your results. You have to be your biggest cheerleader! Believing in yourself, and believing in the hard work you've put in, will show in your dancing! Here are a few tips on how to always be your own cheerleader: 

    From now until Oireachtas

    • Post notes around your house: In these final few days, you need to surround yourself with positivity. Put little post-its around your room, on your bathroom mirror, in your locker, in your notebooks at school, in your dance bag. You should not be able to escape the positive reminders of how hard you have worked, and just how awesome you are!
    • Go through your guided meditation before bed every night. Calm your thoughts, they are probably a little hectic right now in the final push of training. Make sure you clear your head every night before bed. 
    • Treat your body right: That means eating well, sleeping well, hydrating a lot. You need to get your body right, to keep your head right. If your body is not feeling it's best, you can't expect to train to your best abilities. 

    Arrival at Oireachtas

    • Put those notes back up! In your hotel room, on your water bottle, on the mirror, the reminders should be constant!
    • Get the lay of the land: Make sure you know where your stage is, what group you're in, where the bathrooms are. It helps to prepare if you know what to expect. So when you arrive the day before, go check out the venue and see where everything is!

    On Stage

    • Mantra! As you are walking on stage keep that confidence going. You are going to recall today, you are going to qualify for Worlds, you are going to nail that hard trick you've been working on. Today is the day. Just keep reminding yourself of that!!
    • Confidence head to toe: as you are dancing make sure you are feeling that joy, energy, excitement, and really showing it head to toe. It must come from a real place though. Find that memory, that person, that thought that makes you dance from a place of joy. If you do that, it will be hard to contain your dancing, and the judges will see that. 

    Keep journaling your journey. Keep working hard. You got this! The whole Wolf Pack is behind you to help you reach your goals!!

  • Day 43: Tabata Quad

    We are on the home stretch of the Wolf Pack 60 Day Challenge and now we are going to take a walk down memory lane! We will be revisiting some of our earlier workouts, but ramping them up! Today's workout is the Tabata quad, we did this back in week one, but this time we will increase the number of rounds you do!

    By the time you complete the workout today, you will have done a full Tabata for each exercise! You will rotate through each exercise twice per Tabata and do 4 Tabatas total. That means 16 minutes of Tabatas total! Feel free to rest as needed in between full rounds. Each exercise will be 20 seconds of work, and 10 seconds of rest, then move on to the next exercise. You will do 4 full rounds of this!

    A Tabata is a specific interval timeframe. A single Tabata consists of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated 8 times for a total time of 4 minutes. "Tabata Quad" is a four Tabata workout using plyometric movements, designed to help with your explosive strength. You should be very out of breath throughout each Tabata today, so make sure to push yourself.

    Warm up: With short bursts of explosive movements, your warm up is vital to prevent strained muscles and other injuries. Hopefully you are starting to see a pattern after a few days of this challenge, but you need to do enough to break a sweat! A quality warm up also prepares your body to be most receptive to adaptation - meaning your workout is much more productive and you will see greater results. 

    • Tabata 1: Shallow Lunge Jump. You will do this move continuously for 20 sec work, 10 sec rest, . You do not need to go into a complete lunge, but when you jump, make sure you point your toes!
    • Tabata 2: Straight Jumps. Make sure you are pointing your toes completely as you spring into the air!
    • Tabata 3: Skater Hops. For the skater hops, one thing to focus on is balancing only on one foot at a time! As you jump laterally to the opposite leg, try to land without touching the jump leg to the ground. 
    • Tabata 4: Star Jumps. These are like jumping jacks after too much sugar! Imagine making a snow angel in the air for these jumps.  

    If you're not sure how to do any of these jumps, make sure to check out the instagram videos today. 

    Cool down: When you are finished, walk for 5-10 minutes, do some stretching, foam roll, and hydrate!

  • Day 39: The Power of 3

    Today is a cardio interval training day, so get those running shoes on, or head to the gym if you have access! You can choose to do biking, rowing, or sprinting today for your cardio activity!

    Warm-up: 15 minute easy jog, with a few 20 second sprints towards the end to prepare for the workout! You know the drill... make sure you break a sweat!

    Workout (6 rounds total): 30 seconds as hard as you can, 3 minute active recovery. Keep moving on that recovery, maybe it's walking, or easy biking, but don't full on stop!

    Cool Down: At least 10 min of foam rolling and stretching! 

    That's it! Have fun everyone!