Everyone has seen or heard of Dancing With The Stars. It's basically ballroom dancing, but extremely showy. However, there is very little mention of the exercises that these dancers do to prepare for competition. Ballroom dancing takes a lot of work and since there are so many dances, it works a lot of different muscles. Here are 5 important exercises that ballroom dancers use that you can add to your own workout to get in better shape.

1. Posture 

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Gabriella Agnello

The easiest way to tone your muscles is holding your posture. You can do this anywhere, from sitting at your desk to walking around. Posture means that your shoulders are back and your spine is straight. First, let's talk about the shoulders. Keeping your shoulders back works your back and chest muscles since those muscles contract in order to keep your shoulders in place. The easiest way to get your shoulders in place is to roll them back. Another way to remember this "shoulders back, chest out."

The spine, however, is a bit harder to describe since everyone's is different. Keeping your spine straight works all of your back muscles and even the top of your glutes. The goal is to have your spine in one straight line, all under your head and neck. The easiest way to do this is to look in the mirror and adjust yourself until your spine is straight. With your shoulders, back and spine aligned, you should stand straighter and a little taller.

2. Pelvic muscles

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Gabriella Agnello

Ever since the kegel fad came into existence, people have been more aware of their pelvic muscles and how to work them. Since many ballroom dances, especially the Latin ones, include hips, the pelvic muscles are ones that are targeted heavily. One easy exercise for pelvic muscles is called "tucks." To do a tuck, stand with your feet together, and focus on pulling your hips forward, bringing your stomach and butt in. Release and push your hips as far back as they go, pushing out your stomach and butt.

You should feel it working the top of your pelvis, the top of your glutes, and even in the bottom part of your abs. You can do this as fast or slow as you want, or put on some music and "tuck" to the beat.

3. Core

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Gabriella Agnello

Many people aim to have a solid core, and there are many exercises to strengthen it. However, it's one of the hardest muscles to build up and to deal with the soreness that working it causes. Some of the most common core exercises include planks, crunches, and sit-ups. In ballroom dancing, the abs are always engaged, making for a very painful practice if the muscles are not built up.

One of the best exercises to do for your core is called "the jitterbug." To do this, lie on your back with your arms and legs straight in the air. Slowly lower one leg and the opposite arm until they are parallel to the floor. Raise them back up and lower the other leg and arm. In this exercise, the core is not actively used but is still engaged since it is being used as a stabilizing muscle. This exercise works your arms and legs too, so double bonus!

4. Arms

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Gabriella Agnello

In ballroom dancing, arms are used for everything from holding dance frame to making pretty, sweeping motions. This is the reason that the most tone part of a dancer is their arms. An easy way for you to get toned arms is to simply hold dance frame.

Hold your arms out in front of you, with your elbow at a right angle and your palms facing one another. For a harder version, hold your arms out to the side, like a pair of wings. Keep a straight line from one elbow, over both of the shoulders, and to the other elbow. Allow for some bend in the elbow, allowing for different placement of the forearm. This works your upper arms and your shoulder muscles as well. Even though it looks a little awkward, this is a great way to tone your arms.

5. Isolations

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Gabriella Agnello

Isolations are a great way to focus on a specific area of your body. The most common places that are isolated are your shoulders and your hips. In order to do shoulder isolations, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and a generally relaxed posture. Make sure to keep the rest of your body as still as possible through this process First, push your chest out and shoulders back; then, shift your shoulders to the left with your chest in a neutral position. After that, push your shoulders forward and chest back; then shift your shoulders to the right with your chest neutral. Repeat this as many times as you want, making an oval with your shoulders.

In order to isolate your hips, it's the same idea. First, push your hips forward, then to the left, then back, and finally, to the right. After you master the motions, work on making it smooth and one fluent motion instead of short and choppy.

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Stephanie Zajac

Whether you are a dancer or are just looking to shake up your daily routine, these exercises can help tone all of those hard to reach places. If you are more experienced, all of these exercises can be tweaked to fit your specific needs. In the end, though, we all dance to our own beat when it come to fitness, so do whatever makes you most comfortable.