The best workouts don’t actually feel like workouts, and that’s exactly why Jenna Dewan Tatum‘s 45-minute dance-based cardio sesh is such a win, especially if you want to feel like the star of your very own Step Up remake.
The energizing, mood-boosting, and super-sweaty workout with Los Angeles–based trainer Jennifer Johnson—creator of the JJ Dancer Method—is something Dewan Tatum does on the regular, all because it’s such a great time. “She’s a trainer who is also a dancer and she makes it fun for me,” Dewan Tatum told Health. “If it’s not fun, I won’t go. We dance, we do routines for 45 minutes to an hour, whatever time we have. It depends on the week, but if I get one or two workouts in, I’m happy.”
“She’s a trainer who is also a dancer and she makes it fun for me. If it’s not fun, I won’t go. We dance, we do routines for 45 minutes to an hour, whatever time we have. It depends on the week, but if I get one or two workouts in, I’m happy.” —Jenna Dewan Tatum
You don’t have to be in LA to get in on this workout magic, though, because Johnson broke down their entire typical routine. But beware: Because Dewan Tatum’s schedule is so jam-packed, they squeeze in as much as they can within their sessions. That means they not only amp up the cardio, but they’re also doing strength-training.
The first two to three songs are purely for warming up the body and increasing the heart rate: “With dance, it’s not the same movement over and over, like running or [indoor cycling],” Johnson told Self. “You’re jumping, you’re squatting, you’re on the floor, you’re side-to-side, you’re spinning, you’re turning, and you constantly [change] directions and intensity of movement. And you’re having so much fun that it’s easier to get the cardio in.”
After the warm-up, the next exercise is a song’s worth of kickboxing, with plenty of hitch kicks and punches. (But, of course there’s still dance in the mix—Johnson calls it a kickboxing-and-twerking mix.) Next up is a focus on the lower body, which includes stacking up four steps and stepping to the beat for two songs to fire up the glutes and hamstrings. That’s not all, though—this portion also includes lunges, squats, jumps, and kicks.
Then, the arms and back work uses resistance bands and tricep extensions for one to two songs, then donkey kicks, leg lifts, V-ups with sliding discs (as shown above), and other glutes and core work on the floor for another four songs before doing a cool-down. If things ever get boring or repetitive, the workout warriors simply switch things up.
“If I feel like she’s doing the same thing too much, that’s when we abandon ship and do something different,” says Johnson of her workouts with Dewan Tatum. “[We’ll make changes like] adding ankle weights or using heavier ankle weights, using a different piece of equipment to hit the same body part, or holding things longer.”
If you try a killer workout like this, it won’t take long to get in Step Up–worthy shape (and maybe even find the love of your life in your co-star).
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