Just one look at Julianne Hough and it’s clear that dancing does a body good! Currently, the gorgeous dancer-turned-singer-turned-actress is gettin’ loose on the big screen, starring in the new Footloose remake out tomorrow.
To get her ready for the role, Footloose choreographer Jamal Sims worked with Hough eight hours a day, five days a week for four weeks. It didn’t take long for Sims to see how dedicated the sexy starlet was on — and off — the dance floor.
“Julianne is a fighter. She even went to the gym before our intense rehearsals,” Sims says. “She is such a hard worker and really pushes through the pain. Sometimes I would cut rehearsal short because I didn’t want her to over do it.”
Hough is known to supplement her intense dance training with workouts on the treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike, along with sculpting moves and free weights.
“She also did a lot of core work, which is very important for dancing. Using a resistance ball to train is great because you really need that core strength,” Sims advises.
Why is dancing such a great workout? “You’re using all your muscles…muscles you didn’t even know you had,” Sims laughs. “And you’re having so much fun doing it that you don’t even realize why your butt is so sore the next morning!”
Endurance training is also important for dancers like Hough to be able to withstand practicing sequences multiple times. But before you bust a move on any dance floor, just remember to stretch. “Stretching is above all the most important. Hamstring stretches are highly recommended,” Sims advises.
Here are a few dance-inspired workouts so you can (cue music) get loose, footloose and kick off those Sunday shoes — just like Hough!
Hip-Hop: Sims spiced up the new Footloose with a little juking, a little booty shakin’ and a whole lotta hip-hop. This form of dance works multiple muscle groups and is wonderful for fighting fat. While we may not all be experts like Sims and Hough, it’s fun to at least try to bring out our inner Beyonce every once in awhile.
Zumba: This popular, new style of dance fitness is a spicy alternative to a typical aerobics class. Combining Latin rhythms and movement with resistance training, the workout can burn upwards of 500 calories per hour – depending on how fast you can sashay those hips in true Hough style.
Pole Dancing: This is one sexy workout that would make both Kenny Wormald and Kevin Bacon proud! While it probably isn’t something to which we'd want to bring our kids, pole dancing classes or “striptease” workouts are a great way to tone your butt, thighs, abs, and arms, along with rocking your upper body strength.
Cardio Ballroom: Who better to teach us ballroom dancing than expert Julianne Hough herself? The talented star launched a series of dance-inspired workout DVDs, available on Amazon.com. Easy to follow and infectiously fun, you don’t have to be a professional to enjoy this results-oriented workout.
Kristen Aldridge lends her pop culture expertise to Yahoo! as host of "omg! NOW." Receiving millions of hits per day, the hugely popular daily entertainment news program is one of the most-watched on the web. As a seasoned entertainment journalist, pop culture expert, fashion addict and lover of all things creative, she is founder of positivelycelebrity.com and recently launched her own celeb-inspired fashion line and smartphone app. Connect with Kristen to talk all things celebrity via Twitter and Facebook, or visit her official website at www.kristenaldridge.com.